Current Issue #488

Angelique Kidjo To Headline WOMADelaide 2019

Angelique Kidjo To Headline WOMADelaide 2019

Angelique Kidjo will reclaim the West African sounds of a post-punk classic in a WOMADelaide 2019 lineup announcement rich with familiar names and new discoveries.

Kidjo, who performed alongside the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra at WOMADelaide 2016, will return to Botanic Park to perform her recent reinterpretation of Talking Heads’ classic 1980 album Remain In Light. A watershed moment in western rock, the Brian Eno-produced album saw David Byrne and his bandmates borrow from African musicians  on iconic tracks like Once In A Lifetime and Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On). In Kidjo’s hands, those complex polyrhythms and rich textures that helped popularise ‘world music’ come home to roost – and dance.

The John Butler Trio heads up a strong homegrown contingent that includes Adelaide-based rapper Tkay Maidza and Blue Mountains songwriter Julia Jacklin. Astoundingly Butler hasn’t actually performed at the festival in over a decade, and will break an 11 year drought to air tracks from his new album Home.

Globetrotting local success story Maidza brings an unmistakable energy to any stage she bursts onto, and with recent EP Last Year Was Weird Vol. 1 incorporating reggae and gospel influences will make a comfortable addition to the WOMAD bill. Fresh from a US tour with Swedish WOMAD alumni First Aid Kit, the alt. country inspired Jacklin will perform songs from her 2016 debut Don’t Let The Kids Win and potentially tracks from its as yet unreleased follow up.

The Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir looks certain to be a highlight of the weekend, with the 35 piece ensemble embodying WOMAD’s theme of cultural exchange as they perform in Arrarnta and Pitjantjatjara the traditional Lutheran songs introduced to their communities by German missionaries generations ago. The subject of recent documentary film The Songkeepers, to see the choir in person promises to be a transcendent experience.  

Keen WOMAD watchers might have anticipated the announcement of the Grammy-winning, Yo Yo Ma-founded Silk Road Ensemble, who last month were confirmed to headline the Kiwi WOMAD in Taranaki alongside Kidjo and NZ rapper TEEKS (who will also perform at WOMADelaide 2019). They won’t be the only Grammy winners on the lineup, with sarod master Amjad Ali Khan to perform his Samaagam concert alongside the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Khan will also perform a second set of classical Indian music with the assistance of sons Ayaan and Amaan.

A stark contrast to the wall-to-wall white feathers of last year’s event, WOMADelaide 2019 will also see the return of Artonik’s The Colour of Time, a technicolour explosion of dance and music that evokes India’s Holi festival.

WOMADelaide 2019
Friday 8 – Monday 11 March
Botanic Park, Adelaide

WOMADelaide 2019 first lineup announcement

Angelique Kidjo
Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness
John Butler Trio
Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir
Taiwu Ballads Group
Silkroad Ensemble
Amjad Ali Khan (with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra)
La Dame Blanche
Tkay Maidza
Maria Pages
Artonik’s The Colour Of Time
Dona ONete
Julia Jacklin
Jamie Smith’s MABON
Las Cafeteras
Sharon Shannon Band

Main image:
Sofia and Mauro

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