Returning to Adelaide’s Botanic Park from 8-11 March, WOMADelaide today offered a glimpse into its 2019 line-up, with the announcement of 19 extraordinary groups from 14 countries.
The announcement is led by the extraordinary three-time Grammy winner Angelique Kidjo, with the Australian premiere of her full-circle re-imagining of Talking Heads’ 1980s classic, Remain in Light, an album heavily influenced by West Africa’s Afrobeat.
Hyped by The New York Times as “Transformative … raises the ante on every parameter of the original”, Kidjo has redefined it as a clarion call to contemporary issues and a true African rock album.
Complementing this will be BCUC (Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness), a band turning the page on the next generation of musicians from South Africa’s Soweto, a place that has always been a hotbed of ingenuity. Their rebellious ‘Afropsychedelic’ energy will make for a stark contrast with the cinematic, Thai-flavoured psychedelic grooves of Texan trio Khruangbin, who will also make their Australian debut.
Australia’s John Butler Trio will return to WOMADelaide after 11 years to premiere their aptly-named and stunning new album, Home; while from Central Australia and singing centuries-old German hymns in Western Arrarnta and Pitjantjatjara, the two living languages of the NT and SA, is the immensely powerful 35-strong Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir. Expanding upon this collective vocal journey the Taiwu Ancient Ballads Troupe, a children’s choir of 18 exquisite voices will perform the traditional indigenous songs of Taiwan’s Paiwan villages.
“Offering the first taste of the program awaiting our audiences for next March is always a thrill,” said WOMADelaide Director, Ian Scobie.
“With the combination of the fearless work of artists like Angelique Kidjo, John Butler, the wonderful voices of the Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir, and Taiwu Ancient Ballads Troupe, alongside a powerful new generation of musicians, WOMADelaide 2019 is certain to be a unique and memorable sonic journey around the world.”
Adding to WOMADelaide’s list of Grammy-winning artists is international supergroup Silkroad Ensemble, comprising musicians from over 20 countries and founded by cellist Yo Yo Ma. Acclaimed as “one of the 21st Century’s great ensembles” (Vancouver Sun) they draw on a rich tapestry of tradition, converging centuries, continents and cultures. Yet another Grammy winner, virtuoso and master of the sarod, India’s acclaimed Amjad Ali Khan, will give two special performances; his Samaagam concerto with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and a performance of classical Indian repertoire accompanied by his sons Ayaan and Amaan.
Daughter of Jesus ‘Aguaje’ Ramos (trombonist and Musical Director of the Buena Vista Social Club), the Cuban vocalist, flautist and percussionist, La Dame Blanche has carved out her own musical identity that’s an explosive mix of Cumbia, dancehall, reggae and hip-hop. While Adelaide’s own rising hip-hop star Tkay Maidza will grace the WOMADelaide stages for the first time, following the release of her second album and her biggest year of international touring to date.
From Madrid, acclaimed dancer/choreographer and pioneer of contemporary flamenco Maria Pages brings together eight dancers and seven musicians into a visionary and flamboyant version of Bizet’s opera with Yo, Carmen. Continuing the dance theme will be the irresistible celebration of unity & diversity that is Artonik’s homage to India’s Holi festival, The Colour of Time. This joyous, processional kaleidoscope of dance, music and colour returns to WOMADelaide after four years of international touring.
WOMADelaide 2019 will be held from 8-11 March in Botanic Park, Adelaide, South Australia.