Human library checks in for Womad
There will be a human library, a chance to vote in their top Kiwi act and a lineup hailed as the most musically diverse in its history.
Womad 2013, New Zealand's pre-eminent celebration of music, arts and dance will see 300 hundred performers from 21 countries will sing, dance and perform over seven stages at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands from March 15 till 17 next year.
Widely proclaimed as the "Golden Voice of Africa" Salif Keita will once again illuminate the Womad NZ stage, joining other headline acts trumpeting master Hugh Masekela and reggae superstar Jimmy Cliff.
European megastar Goran Bregovic will appear as will Spanish classical genius Jordi Savall and "The Hendrix of the Sahara", Vieux Farka Toure.
It's not just international artists likely to cause excitement.
The Aotearoa National Maori Choir reforms especially for Womad. Featuring 80 singers from around New Zealand, the choir will be accompanied by Womad 2012 crowd favourites, The Yoots.
Alongside the unique Fly My Pretties and New Zealand musical icon David Kilgour, Womad 2013 was shaping up to be one of the most musically diverse years in its history, says artistic director Drew James.
The Human Library is a new feature where festivalgoers "borrow" living books, people who have experienced discrimination or stereotyping. Its intent is to challenge stereotypes and give people access to the thoughts and stories of people they would not normally meet, says James.
Taranaki Arts Festival Trust (Taft) representatives saw the initiative at Womad UK and aim to have 12 "books" available.
This year they also throw open part of the programme to the public, inviting them to vote online for a Kiwi act to perform on Sunday afternoon.
Artists nominate themselves, the vote goes out and the winner is announced in six weeks. James says Taft receives a lot of suggestions for artists and a lot of registrations for interest. "We are not in a position to programme many of them because of limited stage space. This is a way of engaging people with the process."
International artists: Abigail Washburn and Kai Welch, USA; Amparo Sanchez, Spain; Antibalas, USA; Ayarkhaan, Russia; Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba, Mali; Dj ClicK, France; Goran Bregovic & His Weddings & Funerals Orchestra, Serbia; Grace Barbe, Seychelles/Australia; Hugh Masekela, South Africa; Hugo Mendez, UK; Jimmy Cliff, Jamaica; Jordi Savall, Spain; LA-33, Colombia; LAU, Scotland; Manjiri Kelkar, India; Mari Boine, Norway; Melbourne Ska Orchestra, Australia; Nidi d'Arac, Italy; Novalima, Peru; Salif Keita, Mali; Savoy Family Cajun Band, USA; Shunsuke Kimura and Etsuro Ono, Japan; Soweto Gospel Choir, South Africa; Sudha Ragunathan, India; Tenzin Choegyal and the Monks of Tibet, Tibet/Australia; The Alaev Family, Tajikistan/Israel; The Correspondents, UK; VulgarGrad, Australia; Vieux Farka Toure, Mali.
New Zealand artists: AHoriBuzz, Aotearoa National Maori Choir with The Yoots David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights; Electric Wire Hustle Family; Fly My Pretties; Mihirangi; Newtown Rocksteady; Jax Hamilton.
For more see website www.womad.co.nz
Taranaki Daily News