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Womad New Zealand 2005 – Background Profile


Womad New Zealand 2005 – Background Profile

Adel Salameh Trio (Palestine/Algeria)

Palestinian oud player and composer, Adel Salameh was born in Nablus, Palestine, in 1966. He started performing as a soloist while still living in the Arab world, but emigrated to Europe in 1990. He quickly established a reputation as one of the finest performers of the oud. He has performed in more than 30 countries including Japan, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa, and numerous countries in North Africa and Europe.
When performing as a soloist or with musicians from a variety of musical backgrounds, Adel believes that music is an excellent tool to build bridges between various cultures. In an effort to tackle these cultural barriers, he has worked with Turkish, Spanish, Indian, French, English and Israeli musicians.
Adel has worked with Womad/Real World for six years and performed at the most prestigious concert halls in Europe including Royal Festival Hall, Barbican Centre in London, Concertgebouw, Royal Tropical Institue, Paradiso in Amsterdam, Theatre d' Single (Antwerpen) Belguim, Institute of the Arab World in Paris, The Opera House and the Auditorium in Lyon. He has also performed at many festivals throughout the world. He has been described as the ambassador of Arab music in the west.


WOMAD NEW ZEALAND 2005 – BACKGROUND PROFILE

BATUCADA SOUND MACHINE (NZ)

Batucada Sound Machine is a truly international ensemble. This 15-piece group of talented musicians boasts members from Chile, Brazil, France, United Arab Emirates, the UK and even Mangere Bridge!

As the numbers suggest, the sound they create is massive. Featuring an all star horn section, scratch DJ Definite, a 7-piece percussion line-up, MC KMS, the unstoppable Rota Barrington on drums and a host of unmentionable others, BSM's unique style is a wicked blend of samba-reggae and brazilian beats fused with funk, hiphop and drum & bass.

Based in Auckland, BSM has firmly established itself as a major attraction on the New Zealand club and festival scene, accruing a loyal and ever-growing fan base along the way.

The group’s energetic and dynamic live performances have secured them a variety of gigs ranging from headlining the Jambalaya festival earlier this year, to a stellar live performance on COAST TV & a premiere spot on George FM's Summer Stage. Other highlights in 2004 include the Ohakune Mardi Gras festival, Splore, the Bfm summer series, Brazilliance and of course, their regular gigs at Auckland's Number One hiphop club, 420.

BSM is recording its first EP due for release in March 2005 and will be performing at the Sydney Festival in late January!


WOMAD NEW ZEALAND 2005 – BACKGROUND PROFILE

FAT FREDDYS DROP (NZ)
Fat Freddys Drop hails from Wellington, Aotearoa in the South Pacific and delivers the deepest dopest sounds worldwide.

Purveyors of a hypnotic groove of skanking urban Pacific roots, dub and electronica, no two Freddys’ gigs are the same as the seven band members jam each song into smoking supernovas of soul and goodness.

In 2004 the band was awarded Best Live Act at the 2004 b-Net NZ Music Awards, and the CD Live at the Matterhorn, went Gold with over 9000 copies sold purely through word of mouth.

Freddys’ signature sound is crafted by the grouse powers of Joe Dukie sublime vocalist and songwriter, Fitchie award winning producer and MPC champion, Jetlag Johnson on gat, Dobie Blaze on analog keys and the booty shaking horn section, Fulla Flash on sax, Hopepa on trombone and Suga 2 Tone, trumpet maestro.

In 2002 Fat Freddys Drop grabbed attention on the international dance circuit when Midnight Marauders, released under the guise of Joe Dukie and Fitchie by Sonar Kollektiv’s imprint Best Seven, became a dance anthem that was canned on decks and floors from London to Berlin.

In 2003 Freddys dropped their official band debut on wax with a 10” release with London’s Kartel, featuring Hope a song that Dukie scribed to inspire “positivity, spirituality and creativity”.

Midnight Marauders and HOPE both scaled to the number one spot on Gilles Peterson’s top 20 WorldWide picks in 2002 and 2003 respectively.

The crew visited UK and Europe in 2004 for the Hope For A Generation Summer Tour. While in London, Freddy’s nailed a live recording of Willow Tree, This Room and Midnight Marauders at the BBC’s Maida Vale studios, an exclusive set for Gilles Peterson’s WorldWide show on Radio 1.

“Definitely one of the best live shows I've seen in One World Live, if not the BEST!” - BBC 1 World Live @ Notting Hill Arts Club

“Fat Freddys Drop 10” single Hope has sat unplayed on my floor for months. Finally checking it out, I discovered an extraordinary epic, which moves from being a gentle lament supported by muted trumpet, into a more intense section with honking tenor sax, before floating away into space. At nearly 10 minutes, I think this is the longest track I have ever played on the radio. A listener called to say it was the most remarkable thing he had heard in a long time” - Charlie Gillet, BBC London

“Fabulous furry freak brothers…the most interesting band in the country…Fat Freddys magnificent mongrel of a sound is sufficiently fresh and original that many believe this band offers our biggest chance of international musical success outside the mainstream rock market…” - Grant Smithies, Sunday Star Times


WOMAD NEW ZEALAND 2005 – BACKGROUND PROFILE

BALLET FOLCLORICO DE KARI KARI (RAPANUI – EASTER ISLAND)

They come from the most isolated island of the world, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Rapanui (Easter Island) - famous for the giant and enigmatic stones: the Moai.

Ballet Folclorico de Kari Kari was the hit of the 9th Pacific Festival of Arts in Belau in July 2004. This dynamic 14-person troupe of dancers and musicians were voted by one avid fan as "The best choreographed routines - sophisticated, yet invigorating - sensuous and muscled bodies moving to a hot beat!"

WOMAD New Zealand 2005 is a rare opportunity for New Zealand audiences to experience, for the first time, a part of Polynesia we could never imagine.

Ballet Folclorico de Kari Kari was created from a desire to bring together a folkloric group using the young people and their enthusiasm.

The group compiled the oldest and best songs of the old culture of the island, thus helping to revive music and maintain the compilations of the material found.

Ballet Folclorico de Kari Kari performances are divided into four areas:

Old – using only with voices, and featuring the game of threads (kai kai)

Modern – adding instruments including the guitar, big drum, ukelele, etc, and representing typical dances

Polynesia – using other musical instruments such as the toere and bongo, and representing the dances of different cultures from Polynesia

Aparima – a sensual solo performance


WOMAD NEW ZEALAND 2005 – BACKGROUND PROFILE

KATCHAFIRE (NZ)

Reggae is one of the bloodlines of New Zealand music – and it pumps in the veins of Katchafire.

The Hamilton-based band emerged two years ago and has become known as “the hardest working band in the country” playing gigs up and down the country.

Their astonishing debut album, Revival, sold more than 30,000 copies (double platinum) and they scored massive hits with songs like Giddy Up, the biggest selling single of 2002.

Katchafire had tapped into that bloodline of New Zealand. The music is uplifting and celebratory and their gigs are joyous singalong affairs – Katchafire’s audience is the most cross-cultural, cross-generational in the country.

Katchafire is an eight-piece touring band which regularly packs out the same venues time after time.

They’ve opened shows for Michael Franti and Spearhead and played all across the country, toured to Australia, New Caledonia and Fiji.

Their new album Slow-Burning was released in 2004 and quickly went Gold.

Produced by Chris Macro (of Dubious Brothers) and with international guests, the album features 11 diverse tracks moving from classic jah-sounding roots-reggae to very New Zealand material, with smatterings of DD Smash-style pop and a nod to the music of Cuba.

Expect to hear songs Hey Girl, I Got Ya Back and Close Your Eyes all over the radio this summer.

Hear them live at WOMAD New Zealand 2005 and be ready to celebrate!
WOMAD NEW ZEALAND 2005 – BACKGROUND PROFILE

LUCID 3 (NZ)

Victoria Girling-Butcher – vocals/guitar/songwriter

Marcus Lawson – bass

Derek Metivier – drums

Lucid 3 are one of the most critically acclaimed bands to have being produced by these shores in recent years. It’s not simply that they have a stockpile of songs that effortlessly creep into your musical subconcious, but that the strands from which this band weave their musical tapestry is so undefinable yet compelling. They inhabit a genre all by themselves –roots, blues, folk, pop, rock, ‘trip-hop’ and whatever other pigeonhole you care to name…

In 2002, Lucid 3 released its debut album Running Down The Keys which featured the massive b-net & Juice TV hits Smooth Machine‚ Fluid‚ and Paradigm. Released independently but with strong word-of-mouth, the album raced on to 3000 sales in a very short space of time.

Sales were also helped by extensive national touring and by building a robust fanbase the old-fashioned way – through superbly delivered live shows. The concert stage is an area this band truly fly. Marcus and Derek’s rock solid rythyms and frenetic energy provide the foundation to which Victoria’s captivating voice and guitar can soar.

In June this year Lucid 3 released its follow-up album All Moments Leading To This, prefaced by the superlative new single AM Radio. The new 11-track album builds naturally on the template provided by Running Down The Keys - a sonic palette that sounds organic yet modern, sensual rhythms that loop and twist, and an expertly judged lyrical and melodic awareness that emphasises Victoria’s skills as one of New Zealand’s most gifted young songwriters.

All Moments Leading To This peaked at the Number 2 position on the national Independent Music Chart, and Number 4 on the national Heatseekers chart in the first week of July – the highest new entry that week.

Amongst the glowing reviews, the band also graced the cover of the June/July issue of NZ Musician magazine, featured in NZ Listener and Metro, played one of the most memorable performances on TV2’s National Anthem, TV3’s A Queen’s Tour and Maori TV’s Coast music show, and surprisingly for such an eclectic band, played live on Top Of The Pops. Proof of just how popular the band have become came when the video for AM Radio won Best Indie Video at the 4th Annual Juice TV Video Awards. The award, decided by public voting, garnered over 13,000 votes, leaving the competition in their wake. Rip It Up readers also voted AM Radio their favourite single, giving it 1st placing on the cover CD of the magazine’s Christmas issue.

The All Moments Tour (June/July ’04) saw sellout shows in Wellington & Christchurch, and in October the band supported multi-platinum artist Brooke Fraser on an extensive national tour that played to the more mainstream audiences in 15 cities in just 17 days! Lucid 3 played the famous Grey Lynn Park Festival in November and are on a 12-date summer tour of the North Island supporting kiwi music icon Dave Dobbyn and Brooke Fraser in December ’04 and January ‘05.

“… songs with choruses that could melt your resistance, ballads that break your heart …organic, semi-acoustic rootsy quality (folk, blues and funk) blends perfectly with nonchalant 'trip-hop' beats and contemporary radio sensibilities.” – Gary Steel, Metro, August 2004

“Victoria Girling-Butcher has established herself as one of New Zealand’s leading female vocalists on a level with Bic Runga, Goldenhorse’s Kirsten Morelle and Anika Moa.” – Marty Duda, Real Groove, July 2004-12-23

“What makes ‘All Moments Leading To This’ so captivating though is the run of songs up it’s front end. That includes opening track West, with it’s mix of reggae backbeat and dreampop chorus, the low-swinging blues-funk of Stirring, and the insistent groove and hook of Pitch Jumping, while the torch tune of Precious Ace seems to be about the band’s struggle as musical outsiders and the title track comes as a heart-stopping ballad.” – Russell Baillie, NZ Herald, July 2004

“… a mix of jazz, country jug band, pop and punk, which is wrapped together tightly and seamlessly… AM Radio - sure to be one of the songs of the year … New Zealand’s answer to Prince’s When Doves Cry.

… a very impressive, assured second album, signalling that Lucid 3 may well just be New Zealand’s next big thing.” – Rip It Up, August/September 2004

WOMAD NEW ZEALAND 2005 – BACKGROUND PROFILE

MORA BROTHERS (CUBA)

The WOMAD Foundation presents an exciting visual arts opportunity for 2004 with Cuban artists, Filiberto and Yanoski Mora…papier-mâché inventors extraordinaire.

“For us there is nothing more elementally powerful than the process of creating with paper, flour, paint and the imagination” – Filiberto Mora, Havana, Cuba

The Mora Brothers are two remarkable artists living in Havana, Cuba. Their subject matter ranges from small-scale replicas of Havana taxis, spilling over with luggage, passengers and animals, to life size copies of shocking pink Chevrolets and gleaming Harley Davidson motorbikes. Their work also includes wonderful decorative paper sculptures of Afro-Cuban saints and Orishas.

Working together as a team, they offer a witty and affectionate insight into the day-to-day life found on the streets of Havana, with a wry perspective on Cuban urban culture.

Their link with the Buena Vista Social Club has resulted in the creation of several domestic-sized pieces. One immortalizes the now world famous musicians where the car is being driven by Ibrahim Ferrer with passengers, Omara Portuondo, Chaichito Lopez and the late Compay Secundo.

The Moras are fast gaining an international reputation. In recent years, they have created vibrant pieces of work for Ibrahim Ferrer from The Buena Vista Social Club, artefacts for Mo Fini of Tumi Music and contributing to exhibitions in the Galleria Villena in Havana, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Scotland and the Museé Internationale des Artes Modeste in France.

As well as being superbly inventive artists, Filiberto and Yanoski will be leading workshops with people of all ages and abilities, adapting their techniques accordingly. They have led a number of school and community arts programmes, both in Cuba and Scotland.


WOMAD NEW ZEALAND 2005 – BACKGROUND PROFILE

MWEYA (NZ)

Based in Golden Bay, Nelson, Mweya is an afro-marimba band which has been performing since 1997. The music primarily comes from the Shona culture of Zimbabwe introduced to the west in the 1970’s by Dumisani Maraire who taught in the northwest USA.

Mweya is one of only two groups playing this style of music in New Zealand. The second group, Chimuka, is based in Motueka and is directed and taught by Mweya’s musical director Russell Matthews.

Mweya is an 8-piece band consisting of seven marimbas – bass, baritone, tenors and sopranos, and hosho (shaker). The music has been adapted for marimba from the mbira (thumb piano) of the Shona people who have developed this instrument and its music to a high degree of sophistication.

With intricate polyrhythmic cyclic melodies the music has a powerful uplifting quality capable of connecting people to a childlike sense of joy and delight.
WOMAD NEW ZEALAND 2005 – BACKGROUND PROFILE

OSADIA (SPAIN)

Osadia is a street animation company formed in Barcelona in 1996 whose performances are based on the innovative concept of ‘hair art’. The active participation of the audience is sought, as volunteers are invited to take a seat and put themselves into the artists’ capable hands, allowing them to create daring and original hair sculptures.

Using a trunkload of accessories, combs, sprays and other nifty gadgets, Osadia performances are carried out in the open over a period of around three hours … invariably the public gets caught up in the show either as an observer or a volunteer. The volunteers attract attention both during and after they take to the barber’s chair, becoming walking works of art.

Osadia have performed at the Barbican in London, the 1998 World Expo in Lisbon, the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, the Edinburgh Fringe and the Streets Ahead Festival in Manchester, and the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts.

Note – hair is never cut!

"In Wellington, art has gone to people´s heads." – CNN. The Art Club

"OSADIA gathered crowds as they performed free psychedelic hairdos..." – THE TIMES

"For those brave enough to take a seat in the barber´s chair, artistic duo will create weird, wild and wonderful hair sculptures using creative and innovative concepts of hairdressing. The less brave can simply watch the frantic creations take shape before
their eyes." – CITY OF SYDNEY TIMES

"Bewilderment and amazement … The ‘daring’ of a special salon that works live." – Santiago Fondevila, LA VANGUARDIA

"Osadia´s repertoire includes performance as well as visual art. The show unfolds on a stage with two barber´s chairs and mirrors. The ‘hair sculptors’ play up to the crowd in make up, costumes and theatrical headgear." – THE DOMINION

"...I love it, (my hair) it´s like a garden. Now I´m going to show my family around the Opera House …” – THE AUSTRALIAN


WOMAD NEW ZEALAND 2005 – BACKGROUND PROFILE

OZOMATLI (USA)

Ozomatli belong to a new breed of global music hoodlum alongside the likes of Manu Chao and Los De Abajo.

They all play a kind of hi-octane pan-Latino dance music which mixes elements like ska, samba, salsa, punk, hip hop to varying degrees, and, in Ozomatli’s case, funk, Tex Mex, swing and soul as well.

On stage, they rely mainly on live instruments, old style, and mash all their influences together with rocket-propelled abandon, new style.

They’re all defiantly and fearlessly radical, politically and creatively, and they all deliver monstrously enjoyable live sets, the kind that keep you buzzing like a live wire for days after the event.

Named after the Aztec god of dance, Ozomatli, or ‘Ozo’ for short, came together in ‘burbs of mid 1990’s Los Angeles when a Black-Chicano-Cuban-Japanese-Jewish-Filipino bunch of mates started to pool their love of everything from Tito Puente to Jimi Hendrix to Stetsasonic to The Clash.

With names like Wil-Dog, Asdru, Raul and Kanetic MC (who splits his time between Ozomatli and Jurassic 5), Ozomatli look and sound like they’ve come straight out of some underground US comic by the Hernandez brothers.

The band has conquered the USA and the world by dint of relentless touring, which has honed their live show down to perfection. They’re famous for giving their all for the allotted 60 minutes plus and then bouncing off the stage to carry on partying in amongst their audiences, a ruse which caused joyous havoc when Ozomatli played at the Barbican in London a few years ago.

The debut album ‘Ozomatli’ featured the hugely infectious hit Cumbia Cumbia and their follow-up Embrace The Chaos was graced by contributions from Pos de Nous and TruGoy of De La Soul.

The last time Los Angeles’ beloved Afro-Latin-and-beyond style-mashers released an album, was on September 11, 2001. While most bands in the United States responded to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon by cancelling their concerts, Ozomatli’s multi-racial crew who have never been shy about their commitment to social justice, progressive politics, and anti-war convictions and decided to keep their dates and keep playing.
“Music is the key to every culture, the beginning of an understanding,” says the band’s trumpet player and co-vocalist Asdru Sierra. “September 11 really pushed us to delve into North African and Arab music. For us, music is a language far more universal than politics.”
Street Signs, the band’s first full-length studio album in three years, bears this new Middle Eastern influence out in typical Ozo style, by mixing it into their trademark blend of hip-hop and Latin styles.

When the band’s original MC Chali 2na (now of Jurassic 5) returns to take centre stage on Who’s To Blame, he drops rhymes about “presidential motorcades” and “Yakuza tattoos” over a reedy gnawa trance session complete with tablas and hand-claps. Believe, the album’s uplifting opener that looks for hope in destruction, features Veteran Moroccan sintir master Hassan Hakmoun, who’s joined by the acclaimed French-Jewish gypsy violinsts Les Yeux Noir and The Prague Symphony (yes, The Prague Symphony).
Street Sign’s body-moving urban globe-trots were encouraged by Ozo’s new label, Concord Records, who gave them total creative freedom to follow their songs wherever they went.

“With the last record, I loved all of our collaborations, but it wasn’t a complete representation of who Ozomatli is,” says Sierra of the band’s sophomore outing that paired them with the esteemed hip-hop likes of Common and De La Soul.

“After eight years of being together,” explains tenor saxophonist Ulises Bella, “our overall comfort level with ourselves and with our playing has really grown. The songs venture off to a lot of different areas. That’s the beauty of Ozomatli, being able to do things really differently than everyone else.”
Street Signs is both a mature testament to the band’s nearly decade-long evolution and a fresh, dance floor-rocking reminder of their commitment to creating original music in the face of industry conservatism.

“Since we started, our perspectives have changed as our lives have changed,” says Bella. “We just trust each other more now. Everyone gives everyone the space we all need. This band did not start, at all, to get a record deal. It started out of love for the music we made, and that’s exactly where we still are.”

Featuring Jurassic 5’s Kanetic MC at WOMAD NEW ZEALAND 2005!
WOMAD NEW ZEALAND 2005 – BACKGROUND PROFILE

PATRICK DUFF AND ALEX LEE (UK)
Patrick Duff and Alex Lee started their musical collaboration in the modern rock band Strangelove, which achieved critical acclaim and chart success with three albums released on Parlaphone EMI, having toured extensively with Radiohead, Suede and The Manic Street Preachers.
After going their separate ways, Patrick developed his solo career, working with Adrian Utley, of the band Portishead, legendary sixties veteran harmonica player Pete Trill and South African singer Madosini and WOMAD.
Alex has been the guitar player for Suede and worked on numerous film and TV soundtracks as well as playing sessions for Bristol bands Alpha and Lupine Howl.
Now reunited, Patrick and Alex, with the addition of ex-Spiritualized drummer Damon Reece, are a unique combination of maverick genius.



WOMAD NEW ZEALAND 2005 – BACKGROUND PROFILE

RUIA AND HAAKIWA (NZ)

Hareruia ‘RUIA’ Aperahama is a Mäori composer and recording artist hailing from New Zealand.
Ruia’s brand of music is a reggae/world crossover sung in a Mäori/English bilingual mix (Ruia is a native speaker of te reo).
Ruia is adept on a variety of musical instruments - saxophone, keyboard and guitar – as well as a superb and passionate vocalist.
A gifted singer/songwriter comfortable in traditional or contemporary musical environments, Ruia is one of the few composers to emerge from New Zealand with such multi-dimensional musical gifts.
This musical flexibility provides a distinct advantage when it comes to writing unique tunes based on traditional chants or catchy choruses and melodies using today’s pop boundaries.
Ruia grew up in the small rural settlement of Ratana Pa, (home of Maori Prophet of the 1920's era T.W. Ratana 'Te Mangai' founder of the Ratana Church and Movement).
Ruia's participation in the church brass band and choir as well as various contemporary bands and involvement in kapa haka (traditional dance groups) during his formative years have given him a unique ability to cross musical boundaries with ease.
Ruia has written, recorded and released songs as lead vocalist and composer with groups such as Southside of Bombay, penning the top five hit What’s the Time Mr Wolf which achieved gold sales status, and highlighted in the infamous Once Were Warriors feature film.
Ruia has also composed and performed for Moana and the Moahunters on 'Tahi' and 'Rua', and ‘Toru’ albums.
Ruia is the leading instigator of the ‘Prophecy’ music project, showcased at WOMADelaide, WOMAD Aotearoa, 2000 Olympic Festival of the Dreaming in Sydney, the Vancouver Folk Music Festival and represented in Europe in 2003 at the Cultural Olympiad in Greece.
Ruia and twin brother Ranea released the album ‘Whare Mäori’ in late 2000, which was nominated as a finalist in the New Zealand Music Industry’s Tui Awards.
A second album, ‘Waiata of Bob Marley ‘Volume 1’, released in 2001, again had the Aperahama brothers sharing vocal duties, covering a selection of Bob Marley’s songs sung completely in Maori. This won them the coveted Tui award for Best Maori Language album. Ruia also recorded a follow up Volume 2 in that series released in 2002.
Ruia released his current album, Hawaiki, in January 2004, which coinsided with an extensive tour of New Zealand. This album won the 2004 New Zealand music industries Tui Music Award for Best Maori Album. He also won the 2004 APRA Maioha Award for the song 'E tae' also off the Hawaiki album.
He is presently working on a bilingual single for his next album, due to be released in 2005.

WOMAD NEW ZEALAND 2005 – BACKGROUND PROFILE

TOELEGU PANPIPE ORCHESTRA (SOLOMON ISLANDS)

This energetic and vibrant 14-person troupe from the Toelegu village were very popular at the 9th Pacific Festival in Belau playing bamboo panpipes of every length imaginable, some so large they require frames for support as they are beaten by jandals, thumped on earth or rock, creating a wonderful sound, while the musicians dance to infectious rhythms at the same time.

The Panpipes are blown, beaten and slapped producing an orchestra of unimaginable beauty.


WOMAD NEW ZEALAND 2005 – BACKGROUND PROFILE

TONY MACMAHON (IRELAND)

Most interviewed and quoted in the world of Irish music, Tony MacMahon is its least visible icon. His contribution, both as broadcaster and as one of Ireland’s most remarkable accordionists, has been singular.

MacMahon’s music has been described as a language of passion. A wounding music. His extraordinary interpretation of the old song airs of Ireland, in particular, stands alone – inhabiting places where mystery and magic find full expression. Some say his music has a call, a draoicht – which has moved more than one listener to tears.

The airs are marked by exquisitely measured timing, masterly proportioning of space and silence - as well as astonishingly subtle control of dynamics, ornamentation and harmony.

A similar sense of rapport with the music animates his jigs, marches and set dances - via his unerring balance between formal rigour and richly nuanced expressive vitality.

“One of the great Irish traditional musicians of our time” – THE IRISH VOICE

“Tony MacMahon is one of the most accomplished button accordionists ever… exceptional.” – THE IRISH ECHO


WOMAD NEW ZEALAND 2005 – BACKGROUND PROFILE

XAVIER RUDD (AUSTRALIA)

Xavier Rudd is a multi-instrumentalist delivering a unique and harmonious combination of lyrics, vocals, instruments and energy that is warm, powerful and emotive. His performances are captivating and his talent unmistakable and he attracts a huge level of support whereever he tours.

As he begins you are immediately drawn into the warmth of his sound. His bare feet work the rhythm on the stomp box as he effortlessly glides his Weissenborn guitar though fluid melodies. The candidness of his vocals teamed with the depth and mysticism of the didgeridoo all provide for a unique and inspiring performance.

Hailing from Torquay on the Southern Victorian coast in Australia, Xavier has a strong affinity for the beauty and naturalness of his surrounds. An influence that lends itself well to Xavier’s interpretation on life, and indeed his music. His first studio album TO LET encompasses this passion and energy.

“…(his) sound is very accessible with a driving, toe tapping beat full of sweet harmonies and delicious melodies... His didgeridoo playing is stellar and fresh, and he sings powerful songs.” Ken McKnight.

His second studio album SOLACE was released in 2004. Much like the days of old, every track on this album is a live performance recorded in the studio, capturing the emotion and energy of Xavier’s live performances. SOLACE features 14 tracks including singles Let Me Be and Shelter which are already receiving solid radio support nationwide.

Recent Australian performances include: WOMADelaide (2004), Melbourne International Music & Blues Festival (2004), East Coast Blues & Roots Festival (2003 & 2004), The Falls Festivals (2002 & 2003), Woodford Folk Festival (2003).

Xavier has also built a strong following in North America where his performances include a set on the main stage at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, touring with Ani DiFranco and the exclusive Moonshine benefit gig in Laguna Beach, California, with Jack Johnson and G.Love. At the Street Scene Festival in San Diego, Xavier finished up with an impromptu and spontaneous jam with human beatbox, Radio Active – of Spearhead fame. Even further a field, Xavier performed at the Quicksilver Pro WCT surfing event inn October 2003, hosted in Hossegor, France. His rhythmic and rootsy sounds have been met everywhere with genuine enthusiasm and interest.


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