Since the introduction of the WOMEX Award in 1999, the list of extraordinary artists and professionals from our community deserving of this special praise has continued to grow. The WOMEX Award honours exceptional achievements in 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 is proud to announce the winner of the WOMEX 13 Artist Award: Los Van Van from Cuba.
They performed on Sunday morning, 27 October 2013, during the WOMEX Award Ceremony accompanied by a WOMEX Networking Breakfast, both open to WOMEX delegates only.
Cuban music visionary Juan Formell leads his legendary orchestra into its fifth decade at the top. Formed in 1969 by bassist and composer Juan Formell, Los Van Van has remained Cuba's most important and popular dance orchestra for over four decades.
WOMEX is proud to announce the winner of the WOMEX 13 Professional Excellence Award: Festival au Désert.
They received their Award on Sunday morning, 27 October 2013, at the WOMEX Award Ceremony accompanied by a WOMEX Networking Breakfast, both open to WOMEX delegates only. The laudation will be offered by the freelance writer and journalist Andy Morgan (UK).
Twelve years ago, in the deserts of northern Mali, one of Africa's most remarkable music festivals was born. It drew a veil aside to reveal a previously hidden desert culture. The spell that the festival cast on those dunes at Essakane held firm until just a few days before the outbreak of civil war in January 2012.
Already an institution in its seventh year, the annual WOMEX Label Award is hotly contested and warmly anticipated by all who value the contributions of independent record labels.
The WOMEX 13 Label Award goes to…
Riverboat Records/World Music Network (UK)
Riverboat Records/World Music Network received their Award on Sunday morning, 27 October 2013, at the Award Ceremony accompanied by a WOMEX Networking Breakfast, both open to WOMEX delegates only.
Riverboat Records is World Music Network's artist label, originally conceived in 1989 on a leaky barge on the Grand Union Canal. Over the years the label has hosted legendary artists such as Mory Kanté, Sierra Maestra, Sally Nyolo, Paban Das Baul, Bob Brozman and Syran Mbenza and has helped launch the international careers of Etran Finatawa, Nuru Kane, Krar Collective and Samba Touré, to name just a few.
The WOMEX Award statuette was created at a time when there was no such thing as Asia or Europe, black or white, First or Third World. 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. Supporting musical creativity and fertility, it is only fitting that the mother of all and everything represents WOMEX’s tributes to the Award winners.
What better symbol for our widely varied fields of music?
See our archive for more information on all WOMEX Award winners.