WOMEX NEWSletter #15, 8 August 2012
Today brings some eagerly awaited news to your inboxes. Mark your calendars - the winner of the WOMEX 12 Artist Award will be performing on Sunday, 21 October...
WOMEX is proud to announce the winner of the WOMEX 12 Artist Award: Värttinä from Finland.
They will perform on Sunday morning, 21 October 2012, during the WOMEX Award Ceremony accompanied by a WOMEX Networking Breakfast, both open to WOMEX delegates only. The laudation will be offered by Fiona Talkington (UK), BBC Radio Presenter, Curator.
Let's go back nearly 30 years to a small town in Karelia in Eastern Finland where a mother is teaching her young daughters ancient Karelian poetry and songs to the accompaniment of the zither-like kantele. Soon they are joined by other local children bringing their own array of instruments and ideas, accordions, saxophones, guitars, bass, fiddles and flutes. What had started as a mission simply to revive ancient traditions gathered energy and these songs and poems developed a new life in the hands of hugely talented and imaginative young people. A few years later they had a national reputation and were named Band of the Year at the prestigious Kaustinen Folk Festival, the first of what was to turn out to be a whole catalogue of awards and accolades.
Sometimes it's the case that good things don't travel so well outside their homeland but Värttinä was about to take the world by storm. They had become a band of outstanding instrumentalists, composers and arrangers fronted by three singers who ensnared us with their beguiling harmonies, voices which seemed so new, so different to anything else, and whose stage presence was brilliantly uncompromising.
They became one of Finland's greatest global ambassadors, playing to thousands at festivals and venues around the world, building a massive fan base, inspiring audiences, other musicians, directors and producers, including AR Rahman with whom they worked on music for the stage version of The Lord of the Rings. They have released 14 albums, received awards for Best Album in different countries. Yet Värttinä is far more than a 'world music hit'. They have constantly looked at their roots afresh, taken their music in many different directions, never afraid to test their traditions out against new musical backdrops taking on board ideas and sounds from the new members who've joined over the years. But they have always remained simply Värttinä, a band which has cast its ancient spell upon our hearts for 30 years.
One of the highlights of last year's event is back, with a special programme dedicated to those professionals with a foot in both camps: WOMEX is delighted to announce that a World & Jazz programme will take place at WOMEX for the second year running, with a Conference Session, Networking Meeting, and performances by top jazz artists.
This year Francesco Martinelli (Italy), Jazz History Lecturer/Researcher, will expand our musical horizons with a Conference Session entitled: A Night in Tunisia or Jazz as World Music - Oriental music influences on jazz origins and development.
In addition, the Jazz & World Networking Meeting, coordinated by Europe Jazz Network, is back by popular demand; if you are a jazz professional with an interest in world music, or a world music professional with an interest in jazz, then don't miss this annual gathering of WOMEX artists, media and professionals.
And the icing on the cake is the WOMEX 12 Showcase Festival line-up, which includes the Ricardo Herz Trio (Brazil) and Toni Kitanovski & Cherkezi Orchestra (FYR Macedonia) among others, who will be offering us their take on world & jazz.
Don't miss your chance to explore the space where improvised and world music meet at WOMEX 12.
USArtists International (USAI) is committed to ensuring that the impressive range of expression of the performing arts in the United States is represented abroad, and that the creative and professional development of American artists is enhanced through participation at significant international festivals.
Through USAI, grants are available to American dance, music and theatre ensembles and solo performers that have been invited to perform at international festivals and engagements that represent extraordinary career opportunities anywhere in the world outside of the United States.
For more information visit the USAI website:
IndiEarth is an online platform for India's diverse traditional and contemporary non-mainstream music and film, designed for direct communication between India's non-mainstream, independent Artists and worldwide Media. The platform assists Artists to reach new audiences through media exposure, and provides Media an organized system to explore and discover India's less known non-mainstream content.
IndiEarth, an EarthSync initiative, strives to empower the independent Artist by offering solutions to some of the many challenges of the non-mainstream Indian film and music industry. Developing infrastructure for independent musicians, filmmakers and Media, IndiEarth's partnerships and collaborations create larger resource networks for tools, services, knowledge, and new markets for independent musicians and filmmakers. www.IndiEarth.com
Kind regards from your WOMEX team.
WOMEX 12 Thessaloniki, Greece | 17 - 21 October 2012
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