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Womad New Zealand 2010: Artist Biographies

Womad New Zealand 2010: Artist Biographies

(Full Biographies available on request)

1814 (New Zealand) What started as a family’s musical trio playing gigs around Northland has grown to an eight-piece band playing kiwi-flavoured reggae all over Aotearoa. Formed by Patu Colbert (guitar/vocals) and sons Shaun (drums) and Jimmy (bass) in 2004, the band now includes Darren Katene (lead vocals); Katherine Te Haara – Atama (vocals); Reuben Heger (sax); Erana Jones (keys) and Maihi Pinker (vocals). The name, 1814, was taken from the year the Gospel arrived at Oihi, in the Bay of Islands. Missionary Samuel Marsden, held the first sermon there on Christmas Day, 1814. This is the inspiration behind delivering a message of peace, love and unity to all people throughout the world. Jah Rydem, the band’s debut album has been well received around the country and as a live act, 1814 delivers energy, up-beat grooves, wicked sax and sweet soulful vocals. Website: http://www.myspace.com/1814official
Experience 1814: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDDlbyncdWo

Amal Murkus (Palestine/Israel)

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Pioneering a fiery post-modern style of Mediterranean music, singer/composer Amal Murkus melds pop elements with Palestinian folklore and traditional Arabic heritage, railing against the marginalisation of Arab Palestinian culture. Born and raised in the Arab town of Kafr Yasif in the Galilee region, Amal has devoted her career to promoting Palestinian music and culture, happily smashing stereotypes in her homeland along the way. Boasting one of the most beautiful voices in the Middle East, Amal’s three solo albums – Amal, released in 1998, Shauq in 2004 and Na’na’ ya Na’na’ in 2008 – have been acclaimed for weaving Palestinian poetry with western instrumentation. Not surprisingly, the force of her emotion tips over into her live performances, which have been described by critics as mesmerising. Website: www.myspace.com/amalmurkus Experience Amal Murkus: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWqMyDzDS3w&feature=related Anna Coddington (New Zealand) Originally hailing from Raglan, the engaging Anna Coddington, singer, guitarist and sometime drummer, released her first solo, self-produced album The Lake last year. Releasing pop gems and fronting her own bands Handsome Geoffrey and Duchess from the age of 14, Anna’s voice has also featured on Anika Moa, Bic Runga and SJD recordings. Website: http://www.annacoddington.com/ Experience Anna Coddington: http://www.youtube.com/user/AnnaCoddingtonTV

As a true musical menagerie, 10-piece big band Babylon Circus has reached far beyond its ska-punk inspiration to embrace spirited French chanson, funk, Afrobeat and dancehall reggae, spiced with a healthy dollop of European folklore, rakish humour and big-top energy to arrive at a compelling spectacle. It started in Lyon, France, during 1995, when singers David Baruchel and Manu Nectoux devised a racy sound mainly fuelled on punk energy and hot with defiant social anthems sung in French and English – sometimes both in the same song. David explains that their rebel yell is “a way to fight, to be active in today’s society rather than a victim”. It’s a sentiment that rang loudly in their 2004 breakthrough hit ‘Dances of Resistanc’e, backed by the group’s sense of adventure that took them to perform in Damascus during the Iraq war among 900 concerts staged in 30 countries. With Georges on guitar, Olive on keyboards, Dadé on drums, Basile on bass, Rimbaud on accordion and saxophone, Laurent on trumpet and Clément on trombone, Babylon Circus present a live show that these gypsy dancehall punksters still inject with grand theatrical flair. By arrangement with Top Shelf Productions Website: www.babyloncircus.com Experience Babylon Circus: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eY3CY8CFxBg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=685EeeXmmcQ&feature=related

The Bellbirds (New Zealand) Formed in mid-2009, The Bellbirds features four of New Zealand’s top musicians – Sean Donnelly (SJD), Don McGlashan, Sandy Mill and Victoria Kelly. Described as 'a baroque '60s pop sensibility with bitter-sweet lyrics, the group presents songs and vocals in a stripped back setting as a way of making sure lyrics and melodies didn’t get lost behind noisy instrumentation. At the moment Sean writes most of the songs and is trying to make them simple, honest and direct. The default musical setting is two acoustic guitars plus piano with occasional touches of brass, organ and percussion. The jewel in the crown here is the soulful, emotional voice of Sandy Mill. The diamond-studded sceptre is Victoria Kelly’s spellbinding voice and keyboards. The throne itself: Don McGlashan’s powerful vocal and instrumental presence. And finally the very royal haemorrhoid cushion of Sean Donnelly’s mildly inept guitar and bass work stops the whole thing from becoming too slick and professional.

Blue King Brown (Australia) The infectious energy and passion from lead singer, guitarist and percussionist Natalie Pa’apa’a is the driving musical force that has led Blue King Brown through an impressive touring history playing major festivals and venues around the world. Hailed by Santana as “the voice of the street and the band of the future” - BKB will deliver its world-renowned power packed show at WOMAD featuring home grown, universally spoken language, delivered as hard hitting urban roots. Website: http://www.bluekingbrown.com/
Experience Blue King Brown: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H11hii4za7g

Calexico (USA) From Tucson, Arizona, guitarist Joey Burns and drummer John Convertino have spent 12 years exploring all manner of dusty low-fi and compelling sound noir experiments through their eclectic band Calexico. Having first played in the band Giant Sand while studying music at the University of California, Joey and John moved to Tucson and by 1996 had gathered a floating line-up of musicians to work as Calexico. It grew into a prolific creative outfit over six studio albums with influences ranging across a wide prairie, especially traditional Mariachi Tejano music and Southwestern country music – reflecting the band name, taken from a southern California border town. The band solidified around the recording of its 2003 album Feast of Wire to include a multinational cast of regular members: Germans Volker Zander (upright bass) and Martin Wenk (accordion, guitar, synthesisers, trumpet), Tuscon’s Jacob Valenuela (keyboards, trumpet, vibraphone) and Paul Niehaus (slide guitar). Staying true to John’s assumption that “a band has got to keep changing and moving or it will get boring and break up”, the 2008 album Carried to Dust offers an especially heady mix, bringing alt country into collusion with Spanish horns, Portuguese fado, surf guitar and haunting strains of ambient jazz. By arrangement with Billions Australia Website: www.casadecalexico.com Experience Calexico: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o14hqYc96gE

De Stijle, Want … (The Netherlands) – “Hek” Hailing from The Netherlands, De Stijle, Want… (which means ‘”the style, because…”) is a veteran arts company that has produced all manner of fleeting theatre pieces with an outrageous comedic tone. Embracing bizarre incidents and accidents at the core of their ideas, these performances can run anywhere from 20 seconds to 20 minutes, either in tents or as mobile sideshows that rove through fairgrounds, streets and outdoor performance sites. In 2009, the De Stijle, Want… company celebrated its 25th anniversary by staging a 25 hour, non-stop performance festival featuring 25 different acts for audiences in Neerpelt, Belgium. At WOMAD New Zealand 2010, they present ‘Hek’. ‘Hek’ (or barrier) is the tale of two city workers and a fence that seem permanently bonded together. Despite the obvious obstacles and difficulties this entails, the fence serves as a place to sleep, a fitness device, a musical instrument and a shelter, so the workers keep dragging it along to wherever they travel. Website: http://www.destijlewant.nl/

Dub Colossus (Ethiopia/UK) Defying a bias running through modern Ethiopian music towards hip hop and pop singers, UK musician/producer Nick Page took a different tack to capture a true East African flavour with his Dub Colossus project. Having previously assembled Temple of Sound and worked with such diverse artists as Los De Abajo, TransGlobal Underground and Natacha Atlas, Page went to Addis Ababa with a laptop computer in 2006 hoping to uncover the roots of a noble line of African music that stretches back 1500 years. He found much more than he bargained for, exploring Azmari, traditional Ethiopian styles and 1970s grooves. It inspired him to commence a series of new recordings with Addis Ababa singers Sintayehu “Mimi” Zenebe – dubbed the Edith Piaf of Ethiopian song – and Tsedenia Gebremarkos (winner of a 2004 Kora award as best female singer in East Africa), Teremag Weretow on messenqo (Ethiopia’s traditional one-string fiddle), Ethiojazz star Feleke Hailu on saxophone and dazzling young jazz prodigy Samuel Yerga on piano. Now, the recording collaboration comes to life on stage with the same vibrancy and excitement first captured on the album A Town Called Addis, with percolating grooves ranging from a subtle reggae edge to lively salsa. Website: http://www.myspace.com/dubcolossusmusic
Experience Dub Colossus: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ES337XXnLtg

Eddi Reader (Scotland) Meltingly true vocals and towering romanticism have positioned Eddi Reader as a unique figure in the British music scene. It was her time with Fairground Attraction that really brought her into the limelight - the group’s single ‘Perfect’ topped the British charts. Her seventh solo album was released early this year and continues to set Reader apart through her ability not only to move the listener but to connect her experience to that of her audience. Eddi Reader comes to WOMAD with support from the British Council. Website: http://www.eddireader.co.uk
Experience Eddi Reader: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIKWHuxljFE

Eliades Ochoa (Cuba) With his trademark cowboy hat, Eliades Ochoa was a star of the Buena Vista Social Club, delivering unforgettable performances of the song Chan Chan with Compay Segundo. Hailing from Cuba’s eastern countryside near Santiago, Eliades’ musical roots are in guajira – Cuban country music. He began playing the guitar when he was six, making a living through playing in cafes and brothels around Santiago. In 1978 he joined Cuarteto Patria, and eventually became leader of this legendary group that has been keeping the Cuban folk music tradition alive since 1940. Shortly before being recruited by Ry Cooder for the Buena Vista Social Club album, Eliades had been working with Compay Segundo, reviving the old master’s career by recording a version of Chan Chan with him. Eliades’ contribution to the Buena Vista sessions included his distinctive guitar playing and lead vocals on El Cuarto de Tula, and his own guajira showcase on El Carretero. Away from the Buena Vista connection, he recorded CubAfrica with Manu Dibango in 1998 and solo albums Sublime Ilusión in 1999, and Estoy Como Nunca in 2002. Eliades lives in Havana but regularly performs internationally, championing the acoustic, string and percussion-driven rural sound of Cuban son. Experience Eliades Ochoa: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raOx5Ah-gs0

Ethiopiques (Ethiopia/USA/France) What Western audiences know of Ethiopia’s music before the mid-1970s is largely due to French music producer Francis Falceto, who has assembled 23 volumes of Éthiopiques compilations. These discs catalogue various releases by popular Ethiopian and Eritrean musicians from the early 1960s until the Mengistu dictatorship took power in 1974. Inspired by the recordings he had sourced, Francis encouraged four of the biggest stars from this golden age of Ethiopian music to share the stage again – Mahmoud Ahmed, Mulatu Astatqé, Alèmayèhu Eshèté and Gétatchèw Mékurya – performing their best known works with a 10-piece band. Mahmoud, the featured star on this particular tour, is a versatile veteran singer who effortlessly spans melancholy blues, minimalist country airs, brassy urban jazz, Afrobeat and Latino-swing. Born in Addis Ababa, he shined shoes before becoming a handyman at the Arizona Club, where he first sang professionally in the early 1960s. He sang for the Imperial Body Guard Band until 1974, and recorded with other bands for the Amha and Kaifa record labels throughout the 1970s. He opened his own music store in Addis Ababa's Piazza district during the 1980s while continuing his singing career. Falceto’s stunning CD series has, deservedly, returned Mahmoud to the limelight. Website: http://ethiopiques.info/
Gochag Askarov (Azerbaijan) As a figurehead of Azerbaijani mugham music – classified by UNESCO as a masterpiece of the world’s verbal and non-material heritage – Gochag Askarov is a singer of extraordinary ability. Hailing from the Garabaq district of Azerbaijan, which is famous throughout the Caucasus region of south eastern Europe for producing singers with beautiful voices, Gochag became one of laureates of the TV competition Mugham Star, which led to him embarking on tours though the UK and US in 2006. After graduating from the Azerbaijan National Conservatoire in 2008, he released his first CD Music from Azerbaijan, showcasing his voice that is high in pitch, yet soft and rich in timbre. Gochag mostly performs with the Khary Bulbul ensemble, headed by Aliaqa Sadiyev, a talented player of the tar (a long-necked lute with 22 moveable frets) who studied the secrets of the art of mugham with Azerbaijani master musician Malik Mansurov. Also in the ensemble is Elshan Mansurov on kamancha (a four-stringed spike fiddle), Shirzad Fataliyev on balaban and zurna (two types of double reed pipes) and percussionist Kamran Kerimov on naqara (a double headed drum). Backed by centuries-old instrumental motifs, Gochag’s voice makes a plaintive sound that recalls the late, great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Experience Gochag Askarov: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtxHW4WGUro

Gyuto Monks (Tibet) The chants of the Gyuto Monks shimmer above a tone so low it seems to boom from the earth itself. This otherworldly sound, based on one of the lowest fundamental pitches of any of the world’s throat-singing traditions, is a sacred offering to the Tibetan Buddhist deities and enlightened beings. Their sonic offerings, while transforming the performers’ mind and body with its demanding technique, serves a broader purpose - the call for the enlightenment and salvation of all beings.

House of Shem (New Zealand) Like many legendary reggae groups House of Shem is built around the classic harmony trio format. The House of Shem live experience is an unforgettable occasion – a rare mix of power and beauty. Website: http://www.houseofshem.com/
Experience House of Shem: http://www.youtube.com/houseofshem

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (USA) Formed on Chicago’s south side, these eight horn-playing brothers were taught by their father Phil Cohran, Sun Ra’s extraordinary lead trumpeter in the 1950s who later became a vigilant jazz educator for budding Chicago brass musicians. His youngest sons (from among Phil’s 15 sons and seven daughters, born from three mothers) would be woken at 6am for strict instrumental practise before school. At night they would slip on headphones to secretly groove to the explosive hip hop of NWA and Public Enemy. By 1999, after all the brothers had left school, they took to Chicago’s streets and subways to start busking, creating a new brassy style they called ‘hypnotic’, fusing the better parts of jazz, rock, reggae and hip hop in their own arresting compositions. Website: http://www.myspace.com/hypnoticbusiness
Experience the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ospt8g4i-9k

Iva Lamkum (New Zealand) At an age many would consider ‘a youngster’ in the heady funk/soul/jazz world 23 year old Iva Lamkum is throwing her own special twist and rich inimitable voice into the mix- and we’re treated to a sophisticated, intelligent and unique sound that sees this Wellingtonian become the rising star everyone’s talking about. Described as “the definition of one to watch” (Rip It Up), many are tipping this extraordinary singer songwriter to go far. Of Samoan/Chinese descent, her soulfully rich voice delivers a funk-soul sound peppered with elements of jazz and rock that her home crowd can’t get enough of. Demand for Lamkum’s live performances is keeping her feet firmly planted on NZ soil for the time being. Experience Iva Lamkum: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cq-mPXg4W8

Kamel al Haraachi Chaabi Music (Algeria/France) Born in Algeria, Kamel grew up listening to chaâbi, the popular urban style that spouted from the Algiers casbah in the 1940s. This was the music popularised by his famous late father Dahmane El-Harrachi, a powerful singer and master of the oud who composed Ya Rayah, which became an international hit when Rachid Taha covered it in 1998. After his father’s death in 1980, Kamel took the name El-Harrachi as a mark of respect and followed a similar musical path as his father. He first ventured into Africa Audio studios in Douera near Algiers for recordings during 1991, and then chose to live in exile in Paris from 1994, performing on the café circuit where his father had found an appreciative audience decades earlier. Kamel shows the same masterful oud skills as his father, excelling in all of the vibrant chaâbi signatures that are evident on his first album Ghana Fenou. The recording comprises a mix of his father’s favourite songs and Kamel’s original compositions, which have extended his popularity beyond Paris to embrace a diverse European audience. On stage, Kamel will perform with a five-piece band, colouring arrangements with touches from jazzy piano to Afro-Cuban congas. Website: http://www.myspace.com/kamelelharachi Experience Kamel al Harrachi Chaabi Music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADw5vd4QJyw

LA Mitchell (New Zealand) Songstress L.A. Mitchell has been working tirelessly over the last couple of years. She opened for Stevie Wonder at both his New Zealand shows, supported Dave Dobbyn on his European tour and performs as keyboardist and vocalist in his touring band. She toured nationally as part of Fly My Pretties 3 and also manages to find time to be a member of rock band Dukes and collaborate with Sunshine Sound System and Oakley Grenell. In 2009 she was named first songwriter in residence for Auckland University. L.A. Mitchell’s meld of soul/jazz has been met with critical acclaim since the release of her first, self-produced album ‘Debut’. It was followed by a live recording with her six-piece band, Nativa, at Wellington’s iconic music venue, The Matterhorn, a release that showcases the spectacular power of her voice and polish of her live act. Website: http://www.laurenmitchell.co.nz/ Experience LA Mitchell: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXMJoAFGaW8

Ladi 6 (New Zealand) Ladi6, renowned for her energetic live performances, sublime soulful vocals and socially conscious lyrics is a world class female vocalist and MC. She started her musical career as part of New Zealand’s first all-girl hip-hop group Sheelahroc. Sheelahroc had the hit track “If I Gave You The Mic” which has become an underground classic. Ladi6’s touring and collaborations have established her a significant following throughout New Zealand, Australia and Europe. She has toured Australia and New Zealand extensively performing at festivals and with top international artists in Australia such as Ohmega Watts, Scribe, Fat Freddy’ Drop, Shapeshifter and Freddie Cruger. She has toured Europe and throughout the UK with her partner in crime - Parks. Website: http://www.ladi6.com/ Experience Ladi6: http://www.youtube.com/user/theladi6

Lepisto & Lehti (Finland) Finnish master musicians Markku Lepistö and Pekka Lehti stunned and held a vast concert audience in awe at the 2004 Helsinki Festival when they introduced their unlikely and unprecedented union of double bass and accordion. It was especially surprising because the pair came from such diversely different musical backgrounds. Markku has been playing Ostrobothnian folk music on accordion since the age of five. He graduated at the Sibelius Academy Folk Music Department before joining the hugely successful Finnish folk music band Värttinä in 1998. His diversity extends to a folk-orientated solo recording career, and performing concerts with the klezmer group Doina Klezmer. Coming from the significantly different musical worlds of jazz, fusion and funk, Pekka enjoys the reputation as one of Finland’s top bass players, having worked with such leading bands Burn!, ZetaBoo, Dalindeo and The JPs. He also operates and produces albums for his own recording label, Aito. Despite this, traditional folk music and its extensions remain a very important part of Pekka’s musical life, which led to his unusual collaboration with Markku. The duo has since become performance favourites, presenting feisty new twists to material from both of their individual repertoires, and injecting pure traditional folk dances with vigour and youthful spirit. Website: http://www.myspace.com/lepistolehti Experience Lepisto & Lehti: http://www.youtube.com/user/paasia

Mairtin O’Connor Trio (Ireland) Legendary accordion player Mairtin O’Connor, a primary musical force behind the Riverdance phenomenon and famed for his work in Ireland with De Dannan, Midnight Well and Skylark, formed a formidable trio in 2001 with Cathal Hayden and Seamie O’Dowd. Fiddle and banjo player Cathal was a founding member of Four Men and A Dog, and a multiple All-Ireland Championship winner on his instruments. Guitarist/singer Seamie O’Dowd, whose wide array of acoustic and electric work is rooted deeply in the traditional music of Country Sligo, toured the world for many years with Sligo trad legends Dervish. He also played extensively with Liam O'Flynn, Matt Molloy and Mary McPartlan. Cathal and Seamie’s collaboration with Mairtin created a veritable power trio of Irish traditional music, causing a sensation since they first performed together at a gig in Sligo town, organised in memory of Dervish sound engineer Fin Corrigan. Their musical rapport and sympathy was instant, which has encouraged them to stretch beyond obvious traditional material and embrace a fresh strain of Celtic music. The sum of their instrumental powers have launched traditional Irish music into full flight, evident on their 2008 album Crossroads that runs from their original compositions to covering a Rory Gallagher song. Website: http://www.myspace.com/mairtinoconnorband Experience Mairtin O’Connor Trio: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNdxrffoLws

Mariem Hassan (Western Sahara) After more than 30 years of performing, Mariem Hassan is hailed as the true voice of the Western Sahara. Her people are Saharawis, living in exile within Algeria since Spain abandoned the Western Sahara in 1975 and their desert lands were claimed by Morocco. Within the Algerian refugee camps, women singers are recognised as pillars of strength, humanising the harsh living conditions through their powerful songs of hope. Mariem sings in hassania, the language of her dessert homeland and deemed closest to classical Arabic. During the 1970s, Mariem joined forces with Matir el Uali Mustafa Sayed (more popularly known as El Uali), touring internationally with his band until she recorded her first solo album, Deseos, during 2005. In concert, her intense voice sits atop two electric guitars (substituting for the rustic tidinit) and two tebals (ground-drums played by women), melding ancient spiritual sounds with whispers of blues, reggae and other current music, driving her music into the 21st century. Different dances, performed by the percussionists, enrich a repertoire based on traditional and spiritual songs. Her solo fame has been further enhanced by a documentary film, Mariem Hassan, The Voice of the Sahara, released in 2008 at the Fisahara Festival. Website: http://www.myspace.com/saharafree Experience Mariem Hassan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=visvaXRsAUE

Nickodemus (USA) Born in the Bronx and raised in the Queens and Long Island districts, New York City’s DJ Nickodemus has a unique hip hop flavour, incorporating break beats and brisk grooves. One of the original Giant Step DJs involved in famed street and warehouse parties in the mid-90s, Nickodemus founded the legendary Turntables on the Hudson parties with DJ Mariano in 1998, held on a concrete deck on the edge of a pier and specialising in integrating DJs with live percussion. The sound roamed a wide domain, from hip hop to funk, house to Latin, big beat to reggae, and this freedom from stylistic boundaries became a Nickodemus signature. From 1999 to 2001, Nickodemus went on the road, touring with the late great percussionist/songwriter Mino Cinelu and his band, playing beats through an eight-track and an MPC, and using twin turntables for scratching and delayed effects. He has remixed tracks for artists from Thievery Corporation to Sultan Khan, Nina Simone to Boozoo Bajou. In 2005, Nickodemus released his first solo album, Endangered Species, embracing world, folk, funk, jazz, hip hop and dance music, laced with messages of peace, awareness and love – themes echoed in his 2009 album Sun People. Website: http://www.myspace.com/nickodemusnyc Experience Nickodemus: http://www.youtube.com/user/NickodemusNYC

Nortec Collective (Mexico/France) From Tijuana, this bold collective of electronic sound artists has invented Nortec – a fusion of norteño (traditional music from northern Mexico) and techno dance beats. Indeed, this compelling work from sound collaborators Fussible (Pepe Mogt), Bostich (Ramón Amezcua), Panóptica (Roberto Mendoza), Clorofila (Jorge Verdín) and Hiperboreal (PG Beas) has now spawned an entire Nortec movement encompassing music, film and graphic design. The Nortec experiment started in 2001, mainly using vocoders, synthesisers and drum machines to echo the norteño instrumental flavour, resulting in the innovative Tijuana Sessions Volume 1 and Tijuana Sessions Volume 3 albums. Designed as a project to keep evolving and adapting, the 2008 album Tijuana Sound Machine, featuring Bostich & Fussible propelled the sound in a slightly different direction – moving away from many synthetic sounds that characterised the early Nortec work to instead embrace acoustic instruments. The resulting album features a unique blend of accordions, tubas, trumpets, norteño percussion, vocoders, samples and loops, creating hip lounge music that adapts easily for either dancing or chilling. The Collective is now a drawcard at festivals, proving that the clever transition from studio to stage qualifies this group as Latin America’s most important electronic act. Website: http://www.norteccollective.com/ Experience the Nortec Collective: http://www.youtube.com/user/Nacionalrecords#p/a

NZTrio (New Zealand) Innovative repertoire, dynamic interpretations of both traditional and contemporary classical music, and sheer musical chops set this threesome apart. Violinist Justine Cormack, cellist Ashley Brown and pianist Sarah Watkins first joined forces in 2002 and were Ensemble in Residence at The University of Auckland from 2004-2009. During this time they have continued to impress music lovers throughout New Zealand, Brazil, the US and UK, China, Korea and Indonesia. The Trio actively commissions works by leading New Zealand composers, and collaborates with musicians of diverse musical styles.
NZTrio’s first CD Spark (which showcased a broad range of contemporary New Zealand trio pieces) was a finalist for Best Classical Album at the NZ Music Awards in 2006; their 2008 Pacific Rim-focused release Bright Tide Moving Between was a finalist in 2008. Recent highlights include appearances at the 2008 Beijing Modern Music Festival, 2009 Shanghai Spring Festival and performing Gareth Farr's Triple concerto with the Vector Wellington Orchestra. For WOMAD New Zealand 2010, the trio will be collaborating on a special project with Lepisto and Lehti. Website: http://www.nztrio.com/ Experience the NZTrio: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVjSCgSmzXQ

Ojos de Brujo (Spain) From the streets of Barcelona in 1998, the he ady fusion of street rumba with a hot flamenco heartbeat has breathed fire into this feisty group. Led by the passionate vocals of Marina Abad, which fly from gritty wailing to assertive rapping, the group’s gypsy spirit brings a sharp edge to performances that embrace the multicultural origins of old flamenco, the new energy of hip hop and the spice of Afro-Cuban energy, with a hot social conscience to match. Taking its name from a gypsy term meaning “the eyes of the sorcerer”, the group recorded its first album, Vengue, in 1999. It was a homemade production that quickly won mainstream attention for its original sound and vibrant energy. The response fuelled a fierce independent spirit within the band, recognising that its unique flavour demanded specialist attention, so they began publishing their own work and handling their own promotion, production and recordings. Not surprisingly, their second album, Barí, released in September 2002, took flight in a different direction. Now, with five eclectic studio albums to its credit, the group has performed at leading jazz, rock, and world music festivals, from Glastonbury, Rosklide and Summerstage NY Central Park to Montreal Jazz. Website: http://www.ojosdebrujo.com/ Experience Ojos de Brujo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAB6ZGvY6gE&feature=PlayList&p=246F98211D5424EC&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=2

Pacific Curls (New Zealand)

Pacific Curls never set out to be a trio. Four years ago when they found themselves in an Auckland studio, recording a Celtic/Maori/Pacific fusion album with two others, they had little idea that after two European tours, untold Australian, several New Zealand and a knock out Canadian Festival run, they would be the last three standing! Hailed as a "... standout act..." by Wellington’s Dominion Post, and recognised for their "impressive resume of performance experience and musical talent..." (Waikato Times), they are artists who best embody the notion of music and culture transcending boundaries till the seams are invisible. Pacific Curls is Kim Halliday, Sarah Beattie and Ora Barlow. The unprecedented combination of fiddle, ukulele, Maori traditional instruments, cajons, guitar, stomp peddles, percussion and vocals with lyrics in Maori, Rotuman and English unfolds a new direction for fusion world music. Website: http://www.pacificcurls.com/ Experience the Pacific Curls: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDdyEm-xDwA&feature=PlayList&p=6964E29A55A30EBC&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=23

Ross Daly & Ensemble (Greece) Irishman Ross Daly has fully embraced the intricate weave of Eastern and Western influence that runs through the music of Crete, having lived on the island for more than 30 years. He studied Cretan music in addition to the great modal traditions of the Middle East, Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. While most Cretan music is dance music, other genres exist, most notably a special repertoire of extraordinarily beautiful and sophisticated slow songs known as rizitika. These are a star feature of The Circle at the Crossroads, a musical production created by Ross that blends ancient and contemporary musical elements. It references a classical Cretan folk tale of the mystical initiation into playing the lyra, a small three-stringed, pear-shaped, upright knee-fiddle which is the prime instrument of Cretan music. Ross, who has recorded more than 30 albums, performs this musical suite on the Cretan lyra, saz, the African rabab and tarhu. Joining him on lyra is Kelly Thoma (from the Greek city of Piraeus), singer and Cretan laouto player Giorgos Xylouris (the son of Psarantonis, one of Crete’s best known and most innovative musicians) and percussionist Bijan Chemirani, the younger son of illustrious Iranian percussionist Djamchid Chemirani. Website: http://www.rossdalymusic.com/ Experience the Ross Daly & Ensemble: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nJB1QUxqt8

Skatalites (Jamaica) Since its inception in 1963, The Skatalites has always been the seminal ska group. Most of the original members came from a big band jazz background, though together they began to explore uncharted territories when they cut the groundbreaking album Ska Authentic in 1964. Within only 14 months, they had revolutionised Jamaican music, laying the foundation for rocksteady, reggae, dub, dancehall and raga, with their own music and playing with other Jamaican ska luminaries such as Prince Buster and Desmond Dekker. By 1965, factions within the outfit saw it splinter into two supergroups, Rolando Alphonso and the Soul Vendors and Tommy McCook and the Supersonic, though the key figures of the original band reformed in 1983, making a huge hit at the Sunsplash festivals in Jamaica and London and inspiring the band to continue. Although founders McCook and Alphonso both died in 1998, original duo Lloyd Knibb (drums) and Lester Stirling (alto sax) remain at the core of a new nine-piece outfit that continues to provide the irresistible Skatalites beat. After a huge global 40th anniversary tour in 2004, the band recorded its On The Right Track album in Byron Bay for Australian recording label Aim International. Website: http://www.myspace.com/foundationska Experience the Skatalites: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwPLeczyhKg

Te Whanau-a-Apanui (New Zealand)

Te Whānau ā Apanui was established more than 20 years ago to raise the spiritual and physical well being of the tribe. The waiata are based on the stories of those who have passed on and tell of genealogies and tribal stories. These waiata have become a source of inspiration and knowledge and are still performed with pride today. The group has consistently been highly placed at the annual national kapa haka competition, winning the contest in 2005 and placing third in 2009.


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