Every year, WOMAD scours the planet to find the very best mix of the finest musicians to bring to us here in New Zealand.
In anticipation of the full reveal of the 2016 line up on the evening of Wednesday 21st October, WOMAD announces two fantastic artists gracing the festival stages in March, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and John Grant.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo The WOMAD festival is renowned for good vibes, relaxed atmosphere and a peaceful harmony between punters and performers. And there is no better act to personify peace than Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
Designated by Nelson Mandela as "South Africa's Cultural Ambassadors to the World", Ladysmith Black Mambazo celebrate Mandela's message of peace at every concert they perform.
The South African a cappella group formed in the 1960s by Joseph Shabalala, now have more than 50 recordings, 15 Grammy Award nominations, and four Grammy Award wins under their belt.
Despite incredible achievements throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s, a lot of Kiwis were only introduced to the group via Paul Simon's iconic GRACELAND album in 1986. This union saw Ladysmith Black Mambazo become global superstars. They have since recorded with a number of high-profile acts including Dolly Parton, Josh Groban, Stevie Wonder, Sarah McLachlan, Melissa Etheridge, Emmylou Harris and more.
They have provided film soundtracks to a number of films including The Lion King Part II, Invictus; while a documentary about Ladysmith Black Mambazo - On Tip Toe: Gentle Steps To Freedom, the Story of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, was nominated for an Academy Award. They have also appeared on Broadway and been nominated for a Tony Award.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo are celebrating more than 50 years of joyous and uplifting music. They carry a message of peace, love and harmony as they travel the world year after year and bring this message, in song and dance, to WOMAD NZ in 2016.
John Grant Making his first WOMAD NZ appearance is the deeply emotive American singer/songwriter John Grant.
Grant (who is now based in Iceland) embraces both sumptuous tempered ballads and taut, fizzing electronic pop songs. Equally at home with symphony orchestras or synthesisers, Grant takes grand melodies to a lofty plateau.
The former The Czars frontman's first two solo albums, 2010's QUEEN OF DENMARK and 2012's PALE GREEN GHOSTS achieved worldwide acclaim.
"Like a couple of similarly intense classics before it - Antony & The Johnsons' I AM A BIRD NOW and Bon Iver's FOR EMMA... QUEEN OF DENMARK sounds like a record its creator has been waiting his whole life to make," MOJO concluded.
After escaping a life of substance abuse, Grant has taken an extraordinary journey - including collaborating with Sinead O'Connor, Rumer and Hercules & Love Affair. In 2014 he was nominated in the Best International Male Solo Artist category at the BRITS alongside Eminem, Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars and Drake.
Another measure of achievement, and the journey, is Sinéad O'Connor covering the title track of Grant's ‘Queen Of Denmark' on her 2012 album HOW ABOUT I BE ME (AND YOU BE YOU)?. She also supplied goose-bumping backing vocals on PALE GREEN GHOSTS. This a far cry from Grant - two decades (and a lifetime) earlier discovering O'Connor's ‘Mandinka' for the first time in new wave clubs.
And now they share a WOMAD connection - O'Connor was a headline act at WOMAD NZ 2015 and Grant is a headline act for 2016.
Grant releases his new album GREY TICKLES, BLACK PRESSURE on October 9, giving festival-goers plenty of time to familiarise with this greatly-anticipated body of work before he graces our shores in March.
"We are thrilled to have such talented and diverse acts as Ladysmith Black Mambazo and John Grant appearing at WOMAD NZ," says WOMAD NZ festival Artistic Director Emere Wano.
"Both acts deliver music that celebrates what is so great about this festival - the diversity on offer that knows no age or boundaries.
"It is the enduring nature of the musical line-up WOMAD continually delivers that ensures this festival goes from strength-to-strength every year".
2016 takes WOMAD NZ into its 12th consecutive year at New Plymouth's picture-perfect TSB Bowl of Brooklands and Brooklands Park. The already-stunning setting is transformed further over the WOMAD weekend, with a global village built into the landscape to transport festival-goers to a vibrant all-ages and family-friendly world of music, arts, dance, crafts, and cuisine.
Featuring four stages delivering 30 hours of entertainment over three days, take a trip around the globe without leaving New Zealand!
Discounted early bird tickets are on sale from 9am Saturday October 10. With tickets on sale, accommodation throughout New Plymouth always sells out for the WOMAD weekend. It is highly recommended festival-goers book now to secure their beds.
Options include on site camping, Glamping, as well as a host of hotels and motels in the city centre - a five-minute walk from the WOMAD festival.
Limited amounts of early bird discount tickets go on sale from 9am Saturday 10th October via the WOMAD website tickets.womad.co.nz 3 day pass - Youth (13-17yrs) - EARLY BIRD $161 (Full price $215) 3 day pass - Adult - EARLY BIRD $213(Full price $255) Camping and Glamping options available.
The full line-up for WOMAD 2016 will be announced on the evening of Wednesday 21st October.
In the mid to late 90's, when grunge began to wither away and MTV strived to find the next easy to access label to attach to new batch of up and coming rock bands, global attention started to shine on the Alt Rock scene.
The I Love The 90s Tour returns to Auckland next year March 23rd at Auckland’s Spark Arena, with a completely off the chain lineup featuring classic Hip Hop crew Naughty by Nature. Vin Rock from the Grammy Award winning rap group speaks fondly of this country and love of our people.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!
Anthonie Tonnon is taking his new Extended Player and single to Australia, and to New Zealand towns that missed the first run of dates, or sold out too quickly. He’ll also be appearing at three summer festivals this February.
After a stand of three Auckland concerts that sold out in minutes in January, Connan Mockasin is hitting the road across Aotearoa for the first time in eight years this summer for a select run of headline shows.