Womad competition – Gilberto Gil is helping have a good time 40 years of blazing trails | Womad

After two Covid-induced years away, Womad returns to mark its fortieth anniversary celebrations – and it’s earned itself a little bit nostalgia. Pageant co-founder Peter Gabriel is right here, in fact, introducing Ghanaian-British rock band Osibisa, praising their position in popularising African tune right here again within the 70s, and paying homage to the primary Womad in 1982, when their singer and dancer Angie Anderson used to be additionally with the dance corporate Ekome, who subsidized Gabriel on his efficiency of Biko. The Congolese soukous veteran Kanda Bongo Guy, nonetheless as rousing a performer as ever, stated that his UK debut at Womad in 1983 “took me from nowhere to the global marketplace”. And the ones passionate exponents of Sufi devotional making a song, the Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali, paid tribute to their uncle Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, whose 1985 Womad debut additionally gained reward from Gabriel in an previous onstage dialogue of the competition’s historical past.

However the competition additionally continues to appear to the longer term and trails nonetheless being blazed. Sona Jobarteh, the continent’s first feminine kora-playing big name, demonstrates her beautiful gambling of the West African harp along a band that comes with her 15-year-old son Sidiki on balafon. From Europe come Taraf de Caliu, 4 of whom have been as soon as global stars with Romanian Gypsy band Taraf de Haïdouks. They returned to Clejani, Romania after the band cut up and – fronted by way of new singer Florin Murgoi, who stated he used to be a farmer within the village till they signed him up – they’re obviously extremely joyful to be again with their exciting, virtuoso mix of rapid-fire duelling violins and cimbalom. From around the border in Ukraine, Folknery open with a music praising their nation’s infantrymen ahead of remodeling conventional songs with an edgy, eerie mix of feminine vocals, percussion and digital results.

Osibisa performing at Womad.
Osibisa functioning at Womad. {Photograph}: C Brandon/Redferns

If there’s one high quality that unites the various lesser-known artists at Womad, it’s this feeling of adventurousness. Cuba’s Cimafunk, AKA Erik Rodriguez, switches without difficulty between salsa and African American funk. He praises Prince and echoes James Brown all over a high-energy set best possible fitted to a late-night dance membership. From the USA, Incredible Negrito mixes acrobatic soulful vocals with influences starting from Invoice Withers to Lead Abdominal; gospel, funk, blues and New Orleans jazz, whilst telling circle of relatives histories of slavery. South Korea’s ADG7 is also little identified right here, however they’re a right away luck, drawing a big and temporarily charmed crowd because of their intriguing conflict of types: they’ve all of the flash of Ok-pop, with exuberant dance routines from feminine singers in colored hats, however their incessantly thunderous songs are according to Korean folks tune, together with songs from North Korea. They’re additionally super musicians, pairing spectacular vocal harmonies with conventional instrumentation just like the gayageum zither.

Womad’s previous and provide comes in combination all over the Sunday evening set by way of Brazilian tune legend Gilberto Gil, now 80 however nonetheless taking probabilities. When he used to be final right here in 2013 he performed forró tune from the rustic’s north-east, however this time his band and singers encompass 14 participants of his circle of relatives, together with sons, daughters or even a five-year-old great-grandson working round pretending to play guitar. They selected the setlist “democratically”, he says, and it levels from the outlet Barato General (which he wrote for Gal Costa within the 70s however by no means recorded), via to a reasonably beefed-up Woman From Ipanema, the Beatles’ Get Again and the rousing reggae of Vamos Fugir. His making a song is as tough as ever and – as anticipated – his circle of relatives are all spectacular musicians. Gil is plainly over the moon to be making a song of their corporate, making for a wonderful, emotional set that stretches its hands throughout Womad’s esteemed four-decade historical past.

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