Every year, the 7 Samurai, a small group of esteemed members of the global music community, come together to put the WOMEX programme together. Five Jury members focus on selecting the Showcase artists, while the other two members collaborate on the Conference Sessions.
The Seven Samurai who will curate the WOMEX 18 programme are:
Riitta Huttunen (Finland)
Riitta Huttunen comes with a long and diverse range of experience across music industry organisations, educational institutions, record labels and varied projects. Riitta’s strength and passion lies in sales and networking. A graduate from the Folk Music Department at The Sibelius Academy, she is currently teaching Music management and entrepreneur skills there for the Global music students.
Sonya Mazumdar (India)
Sonya Mazumdar, founder/CEO of EarthSync India (2004), a film and music production house and a global, cross-cultural collaborator based in Chennai, India. Deeply committed to diversity and development, Sonya founded IndiEarth XChange (2012), India’s annual trade event for independent music, film and media, which has given a platform to over 2,000 artists and industry. EarthSync India partners with institutions and professionals worldwide for skills development programmes for current and next generation industry.
Paula Abreu (Brazil/USA)
Paula Abreu, is the associate director of programming, of City Parks Foundation’s SummerStage,responsible for music curation and educational programs. Abreu has also worked at Red Hot Organization and Lincoln Center. Inspired to pursue music after working in Angola, she holds a MA in Performing Arts Administration from NYU. Originally from Rio de Janeiro, Abreu has been calling NYC home since 2010.
Chris Eckman (USA/Slovenia)
Chris Eckman is an American musician, record producer and label owner. Eckman has lived for many years in Europe, first in Lisbon, Portugal and currently in Ljubljana, Slovenia. He has a long history playing music (The Walkabouts, Dirtmusic) and helming studio productions (Tamikrest, Aziza Brahim, Damir Imamović). In 2013, with co-owner Peter Weber, he founded Glitterbeat Records. Glitterbeat has won the WOMEX Label Award the past four years.
Katch Holmes (UK)
Katch Holmes is an independent creative producer who has worked in programming, promoting and researching folk and international music for 20 years. She is the co-programmer of the Knockengorroch World Ceilidh Festival in South West Scotland and director of her own promotions and production company Off Site.
Antonio Vizcaya Larios (Spain)
Originally from the Canary Islands, Antonio Vizcaya Larios has traveled a road full of music, wirh three decades of professional practice in various areas of culture (highlighting music and literature), as a specialised consultant in the creation of networks and external promotion in the cultural field. Promoter, cultural producer, and founder of Producciones Mirmidón, a company dedicated to management, international booking and discographic production. Artistic director of the Tránsitos Festival (Tenerife) and the Tránsitos Forum for cultural diversity and mobility, co-artistic director of the Mumes Festival (Tenerife), Frigiliana 3 cultures festival (Málaga), and the Brazil-Spain cultural exchange program Câmbio Sonoro Festival (Brazil).
Piotr Pucylo (Poland)
Piotr Pucylo is an international music industry professional with over 20 years experience working as a producer, booker, project coordinator, promoter, journalist and is the co-founder and longtime artistic director of legendary Polish world music label – Orange World. In 2005, he co-founded GLOBALTICA World Cultures Festival – now one of the biggest and best world music festivals in Poland – he is programming and artistic director of this exceptional event. Piotr is also a graphic designer, with ethnic patterns and world music the main themes appearing in his works, his graphics and designs have gained worldwide reputation for their cross cultural atmosphere.
The WOMEX Jury was first invented for the fifth WOMEX edition in 1999. See a full list of our past Jury members in our archives.
Photos: Showcase Nights, by Eric van Nieuwland;Riitta Huttunen by Hanna Kinnunen, Sonya Mazumdar by Moving Pictures, Chris Eckman by Jaka Babnik, Katch Holmes by Alan Gignoux, Piotr Pucylo by Iwona Wojdowska
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