The international stage for the world music industry is almost here. Founded in 1994, the World Music Expo (WOMEX) will be held this year from 21st-25th October in Budapest, Hungary. With an established history of showcasing artists from cultures and backgrounds all across the globe, WOMEX celebrates influences of all musical styles from Arabic jazz, to Indian fusion rock, to Latin American samba rhythms. The Expo presents an opportunity to bring together professionals from the worlds of roots, traditional ethnic music and subsequently cultures of all kinds.
In light of the recent refugee crisis between the Middle East and Europe, WOMEX has issued an official statement in recognition of the current situation, declaring they are “against all forms of xenophobia”. Delegates from the event have reinforced their roles as ambassadors for bridging the gap between all cultures through music. While facilitating social and cultural understanding, WOMEX continues to be an effective platform for change that is pro diversity.
With such a wide variety of musical backgrounds, languages and instruments, this years WOMEX will be an event to remember.
While there is an absolute wealth of masterful artists performing, WMN have highlighted some acts below that are a real ‘must-see’ for those attending:
1. Cheikh L? (Senegal) - 'Degg Gui'
The worthy recipient of the 2015 WOMEX Artist Award can look back over a career spanning more than four decades, as the young drummer of Orchestre Volta Jazz, to becoming a session player in Paris before his international breakthrough in 1996. A mean groove monster with an idiosyncratic mix of mbalax, Cuban and reggae influences.
2. Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band (Ghana) - 'Gyae Su'
“The Golden Voice Of Africa”, Pat Thomas, in conjunction with the Kwashibu Area Band produce free flowing afrobeats and grooves.
3. Tritha Electric (India) - 'Saajan'
Tritha Electric inhabit the space where psychedelic punk-rock meets Indian classical and folk music. Tritha sings about women's empowerment against social oppression, sexual exploitation and domestic violence.
4. Rancho Aparte (Colombia) - 'Poniéndote a Gozar'
Rancho Aparte is the name of this group of Colombian Pacific comprised of young musicians who are looking to the root of music 'born in the joy of newfound freedom and sadness of having missed a day'. Dance to this afro-cuban shaker.
5. Karolina Cicha & Bart Pa?yga (Poland) - 'Umirzaya'
Songs composed by Cicha to lyrics written in the languages of the ethnic minorities of Podlasie: Tatar, Roma, Lithuanian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Russian, Yiddish and Polish. A unique blend of instruments and sounds from North-Poland.