Revealing the 19 acts from 14 countries, WOMADelaide director Ian Scobie promised the March 8-11 festival in Botanic Park would be “a unique and memorable sonic journey around the world”.
Benin-born Kidjo, who headlined the 2016 event in a performance supported by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, will return next year for the Australian premiere of her re-imagining of Talking Heads’ 1980 Afrobeat-influenced album Remain in Light.
The John Butler Trio will play at WOMADelaide for the first time in 11 years, showcasing their new release Home, with the Australian contingent of musicians also including Adelaide hip-hop singer Tkay Maidza and the 35-member Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir, singing centuries-old German hymns in Western Arrarnta and Pitjantjatjara.
Other artists announced today are Silkroad Ensemble, a group founded by cellist Yo Yo Ma (who won’t be appearing) and featuring musicians from 20 countries; Indian sarod player Amjad Ali Khan, who will give two performances, including one with the ASO; and seven-piece Soweto band BCUC (Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness), whose genre-bending sound features congas, bass drum, guitar, nose-flutes and tambourine.
Next year will also see the return of French group Artonik’s interactive performance The Colour of Time, a homage to India’s Holi festival involving a parade of dance, music and an explosion of coloured powder, which festival regulars will remember from the 2015 event.
Rounding out the 19 acts are Texan trio Khruangbin; Taiwanese children’s choir the Taiwu Ancient Ballads Troupe; Cuban vocalist, flautist and percussionist La Dame Blanche; Spanish contemporary flamenco pioneer Maria Pages (who will perform a flamboyant version of Bizet’s Carmen with eight dancers and seven musicians); Brazilian singer Dona Onete; Congolese/Belgian rapper Baloji; Welsh folk group Jamie Smith’s Mabon; Australian singer Julia Jacklin; Afro-Mexican group Las Cafeteras; Irish accordion player Sharon Shannon and her band; and young New Zealand soul singer TEEKS.
The full 2019 WOMADelaide line-up will be announced next month.
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