World Music Expo: Womex 2010


It’s an all-day, all-night dance and listening party, where old hands and grand dames share space with wild newcomers. It’s a business platform where people from remote villages and well-heeled megalopolises meet and discuss how to sustain musical diversity. It’s the best place to launch a successful career, whether you’re a striking traditional singer from Afghanistan or the best rock guitarist in Zanzibar.

It’s WOMEX, the world’s premier world music expo and music event (October 27-31, 2010 in Copenhagen, Denmark). This year, in addition to hearing sounds from across the planet, participants will get a chance to build new approaches to “world music,” a term coined at the end of the eighties in the UK to help market music from outside the Western world, now about creating musical infrastructure to support artists and audiences everywhere.

WOMEX has brought Saharan desert rockers Tinariwen, Cape Verdean diva Cesaria Evora, Brazilian bohemian Seu Jorge, and countless others to global stardom. This year’s showcase festival highlights everyone from La Réunion’s soulful Creole blues poet Danyèl Waro to the hip electro-cumbia of Colombia’s Bomba Estéreo and the hard-core Bavarian brass of LaBrassBanda. Virtuoso hurdy-gurdy from Austria (Matthias Loibner) may follow 10,000-year-old Chinese jew's harp tunes (Wang Li) and the resonant funk of the Senegalese hoddu (Malick Pathé Sow & Maoba). Anything goes—as long as it excels.

“The jury always tries to put together a program that is broad in styles and traditions, that reflects electronic and acoustic approaches,” WOMEX Director of Music Programming Alexander Walter notes. "We keep an eye on having bigger and smaller bands. Only by being this open and diverse can cover the radically different interests and tastes of the delegates that come to the event."

[Published on: 9/29/10]

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