2011 WOMEX Awards


Since its introduction in 1999, the WOMEX Award has been honouring high points of world music on the international level. Musical excellence, social importance, commercial success, political impact, lifetime achievement – any or all of these might make one a worthy recipient.

WOMEX presents three Awards every year:

WOMEX 11 Label Award

Already an institution in its 6th year, the annual WOMEX Label Award is hotly contested and warmly anticipated by all who value the contributions of independent record labels.

The WOMEX 11 Label Award goes to…

world village / Le Chant du Monde / harmonia mundi

world village / Le chant du Monde / harmonia mundi

world village / Le Chant du Monde / harmonia mundi received their award on Sunday morning, 30 October 2011, at the Award Ceremony accompanied by a WOMEX Networking Breakfast, both open to WOMEX delegates only. 

Founded in 2001, the winner of multiple Grammy and Latin Grammy Awards and the WOMEX 10 Label Award - world village - has made an indelible mark on the international music scene. The world village catalogue is truly without borders.

WOMEX 11 Professional Excellence Award

Francis Falceto The recipient of the WOMEX 11 Professional Excellence Award this year is Francis Falceto, originator and curator of the Ethiopiques series of cds and the music of Ethiopia’s greatest champion.

He will receive his Award on Sunday morning, 30 October 2011, at the Award Ceremony accompanied by a WOMEX Networking Breakfast, both open to WOMEX delegates only. The laudation will be offered by writer and producer Joe Boyd (UK). We will let him take over from here:

Falceto has single-handedly brought Ethiopian music to the forefront of world music consciousness. In addition to the CD series that now numbers 27 volumes, he has organized concerts and tours, an annual festival in Addis Ababa, published the book “Abyssinie Swing”, created a documentary film of the same name and brought Western musicians intrigued by the music to Ethiopia.

WOMEX 11 Artist Award

Hugh Masekela WOMEX is proud to announce the winner of the WOMEX 11 Artist Award: Hugh Masekela, the trumpet prodigy, fiery denouncer of Apartheid and Afro-jazz pioneer from South Africa.

He will perform on Sunday morning, 30 October 2011, during the WOMEX Award Ceremony accompanied by a WOMEX Networking Breakfast, both open to WOMEX delegates only. The laudation will be offered by Francis Gay, Head of Music at WDR Funkhaus Europa in Cologne, Germany.

It's extremely demanding to encapsulate the remarkable career of Hugh Masekela in just one paragraph. After all, it's been more than half a century since he first picked up a trumpet and he shows no sign of putting it down yet. It was the instrument that helped him find his voice to sound out against the injustice and suffering inflicted on millions of South Africans by Apartheid and it helped him break out during those dark days to bring a musical communiqué to the rest of the world. From success in the US pop charts in the 60s, through the Afro-jazz experiments of the 70s, returning to Africa and touring with Paul Simon in the 80s and on until today, he has not stopped releasing albums, touring the world and engaging in new collaborative projects. At 72 years young, to paraphrase one of his album titles, the boy's still doin' it!

(Photo of Hugh Masekela: Mark Shoul)

About the WOMEX Award

Being the mother of all awards, and supporting musical creativity and fertility, it is only fitting that the mother of all and everything serves as the symbol for our tributes in the name of the WOMEX Award. Especially when it is represented by a statue that was created at a time when there was no such thing as Asia or Europe, black or white, first world or third. The Award figurine is an ancient mother goddess statue dating back about 6000 years to the Neolithic age. It was found in Haçilar in modern-day Turkey and bears witness to the existence of a matriarchal society. Such a female goddess appears in many ancient mythologies as an initial primal figure, representing fertility and procreation either as the earth itself or as a mother giving birth to the world and all the creatures in it.

The WOMEX Award and the figure that represents it stand for life itself. Life is what music is all about … or should that be: music is what life is all about?



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hans.mueller@dark-sun.orghans-mueller@dark-sun.orghansmueller@server.dark-sun.orgAlexander Vipach