And still they come. Not content with already announcing an extraordinarily fine line-up for this July’s festival, we have added even more musical excellence to the bill for Charlton Park 2016.
With the likes of George Clinton Funkadelic Parliament, Baaba Maal, John Grant and Roots Manuva already heading to the lush pastures of Wiltshire, more artists can now be revealed. St Germain – the multi-million-selling electronica nom de plume of musician/producer Ludovic Navarre – produced some of the signature sounds of the 1990s. He returns with purpose and intent, his latest project brilliantly absorbing and showcasing the traditional sounds and instruments of West Africa.
Anoushka Shankar has now fully emerged from the shadow of her father Ravi to become the foremost sitar player in the world today. Equally at home playing purely classical pieces or embarking on numerous forward-facing collaborations, her appearance at WOMAD offers the opportunity to see a world-class artist at the peak of her substantial powers.
One of Anoushka’s past collaborators is the formidable singer Buika. Born and raised on Majorca to parents from Equatorial Guinea, her gorgeous melding of flamenco and jazz – adorned by a fabulously husky voice – carries the listener away on wings of song across the Mediterranean’s waters.
Those arriving early at the gorgeous Charlton Park site near Malmesbury have the added bonus of some exemplary artists kicking the weekend off on Thursday night. These include Asian Dub Foundation, the uncompromising outfit whose brilliant explosion of electronica, raga, drum & bass and punk is one of the most thrilling live experiences around. They’re joined on Thursday’s bill by Imarhan, a trailblazing band from the latest generation of Saharan desert blues-rockers who have recently been on the receiving end of gushing praise from BBC Radio 6Music’s Lauren Laverne.
And that’s far from all. The true joy of a WOMAD festival is that endless journey of discovery that you’re sent on, with new delights around every corner and in every nook and cranny. From Colombia to Korea, among those offering musical enlightenment this year include…
Much-in-demand DJ/producer specialising in African-accented futuristic sounds.
Deeply expressive Kurdish singer from Turkey whose admirers include Yo-Yo Ma and Johnny Depp.
Cinematic Orchestra alumni set intimate Irish vocals to a widescreen canvas.
Unstoppable groove machine from north-east Brazil, putting samba, ska, funk, psychedelia and hip-hop into the blender.
Fiercely played Bosnian ska-punk that adds a new chapter to the Balkan sound story.
Deeply mesmeric piano-led creations from this fantastically talented Milan-born, Berlin-residing composer.
Block-party-rocking beats from Germany’s foremost funk-friendly disc-spinner.
Truly multinational folk-jazz fusionists described as “ridiculously good” by the Washington Post.
Kim Juhong’s Ensemble, Noreum Machi
Visually enthralling and aurally stimulating drum ensemble from South Korea.
Meta & the Cornerstones
Diamond-hard roots-reggae outfit from New York City, led by Senegalese dread Meta Dia.
Rabble-rousing neo-folk from the spirited twins. Melbourne’s answer to Mumford & Sons?
Selda Bagcan & Boom Pam
Venerable Turkish psych-rock singer joins forces with prog-friendly Tel Avivians.
Spirited combo offering their self-styled “rough Romanian soul”