30 artists to take part in Womad

Egyptian singer Hakim, left, with Abullah Al Ameri, Director of Arts and Culture, Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage. (SATISH KUMAR)

More than 30 artists from around the world will appear at the Womad Abu Dhabi music festival next month, with an exceptional line-up of global talent, boasting an eclectic mix of music from Mali to Mongolia.

"We wanted to establish a world music festival that would reflect the multi-cultural society of the UAE and we approached Womad on the basis of the global reputation to explore possibilities. Fortunately the vision matched ours and we found a true partner," Isadora Papadrakakis, Performing Art Advisor, Adach, told Emirates Business when asked about the vision behind the festival.

The event will take place on the Corniche from April 22 to 24, with other shows being staged at Al Jahili Fort, Al Ain, on April 22 and 23.

The show begins with the pulsating rhythms and infectious energy of the Drummers of Burundi, followed by a special performance by children who participated in the Womad Beyond workshops. Folk music group Hanggai will be bringing sounds from the Mongolian grasslands, followed by the Palestine ensemble, Le Trio Joubran, French musicians Babylon Circus and then an exciting collaboration between Pakistani singer Faiz Ali Faiz and French musician Titi Robin.

Nigerian male vocalist Femi Kuti will continue the entertainment and the finale will be performed by Egyptian folk singer Hakim.

The next night will start with Egyptian/Sudanese musicians Rango, who will be followed by the UAE's Abri with their blend of Jazz and R&B. British act Transglobal Underground and Algerian rocker Rachid Taha will also make an appearance.

When asked about the achievements of Womad Abu Dhabi 2009 and expectations from this year, Papadrakakis said: "The 2009 festival far exceeded our expectations not only in visible numbers – 80,000 attended the event, which was a phenomenal number – but it also had an impact on the city, like the way it influenced people's perception of Abu Dhabi as a truly multi-cultural hub."

 

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