Women and politics are dominant themes among the artists just announced to come to New Zealand for Womad 2017.
Brazilian Bebel Gilberto brings her Grammy nominated bossa nova vibe to the festival. The daughter of bossa nova pioneer Joao Gilberto, Bebel first appeared on a record at age seven with her mother singer Miucha, and then performed at Carnegie Hall two years later. In 2015 her song “Tudo” was nominated in the Best Brazilian song category at the Latin Grammy Awards.
Grammy award winner Oumou Sangaré, sometimes referred to as "The Songbird of Wassoulou" is also coming to Pukekura Park in New Plymouth. Her political songs include social criticism with a keen focus on women’s standing in society. In 2010 she won the Best Contemporary World Music Album Grammy for Seya and in 2011 won the Grammy for best pop collaboration with vocals, with Herbie Hancock.
Political story telling is also strong in the music created by Hanoi Masters, a group of veteran Vietnamese musicians whose high high-impact songs reflect on the Vietnam War 40 years after it ended. Their music was described by the The Guardian as “intensely affecting”.
The wildcard and one to watch is the king of one string, Brushy one string from Jamaica. With just one string on his guitar, Brushy’s plucking has become a sensation thanks to cult reggae documentary RiseUp.
New Zealand artists announced for Womad 2017 include multi-instrumentalist Lord Echo; International sensation Mt Eden; RnB infused reggae band Sons of Zion; award winning Maori musician Rob Ruha; Blues/roots two man group Swamp Thing and alt-folk goddesses The Swan Sisters.
WOMAD 2017 will be the festival's 13th anniversary in Brooklands Park, New Plymouth, held from Friday 17th - Sunday 19 March 2017. RNZ Music will cover the event.