Round up: despite a wobbly moment with the weather on Friday morning, the festival was flawless in every other way. Some great bands, clearly enjoying playing to audiences free to dance and enjoy the non-auditorium experience, strutted the various stages. My favourites were probably Alpha Blondy (I didn’t even know I liked his music that much before), Baaba Maal of course and Faiz Ali Faiz among the bigger names. The dynamo Nomfusi was a refreshing blast of energy and the reflexive Samuel Yirga caught my attention among the newer names.
It was great to see the festival so well organised. Almost no litter at all thanks to enterprising children getting money back on empty plastic glasses, the beautiful arboretum to wander through, great indian food and some damn fine coffee made it a real pleasure to be there. Continue reading WOMAD 2011
“I thought she was the greatest singer I’d heard”. So said New York photographer Carol Friedman after seeing Abbey Lincoln perform live. From the first track on this new CD, you can see why Lincoln gets such a reaction.
Sometimes music and the elements connect and produce a wonderful result. This was the case on a cold Tuesday night in a busy London Soho, as diners, drinkers, clubbers, city workers, football fans went their collective and different ways
Catching Ba Cissoko’s band on stage is like watching African lightning bottled in front of you. The aching beauty of the acoustic kora, the thrill of an electrified kora and the cross currents of tradition and modernity in west African music meeting in one band. The whole — as dazzling as it is — feels unstable, powerful, beguiling.
Rich Medina is a DJ, poet, performer and now producer of his first album, Connecting The Dots. It was released on Dutch label Kindred Spirit earlier in the year and as there’s a growing interest in the jazz poetic at the moment, it’s a good time to have a closer listen