The World Music Expo (WOMEX)) is the international trade show for all things world music. This year two of Malaysia’s leading traditional artists ‘Madeeh’ and ‘Geng Wak Long’ have been hand-picked to represent Malaysia in this prestigious year’s showcase from the 22nd – 26th October 2014 in Galicia, Spain
Galicia, Spain 22nd October 2014 – This year for the first time ever not just one but two artists from Malaysia have been hand-selected to play at The World Music Expo (WOMEX) 2014. These two spectacular artists ‘Madeeh’ from Sarawak, East Malaysia and ‘Geng Wak Long’ from Kelantan, Malaysia will combine rich traditional music with the beautiful culture and heritage of Malaysia. Already making a name for themselves in the international world music trail, ‘Madeeh’ and ‘Geng Wak Long’ came to WOMEX’s attention at the ‘Borneo World Music Expo’ and ‘Penang Island Jazz Festival’ respectively, and were encouraged to propose a WOMEX showcase. The selection process is conducted each year by a jury of esteemed members from the global music community, with the utmost stringency, to put together the programme for every World Music Expo.
WOMEX 2014 is the annual international world music expo that brings together the business of world music from across all borders to interact on a global platform. Compromising of 60 acts with more than 300 artists from 25 different it is truly a music expo like no other. Every year in celebration of the diversity and unity of world music, WOMEX is held in different locations around Europe giving each country the chance to host and showcase their destination and talents from all over the world. This year WOMEX 2014 will take place in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain from Wednesday the 22nd to Sunday the 26th of October 2014.
Ben Mandelson, Founding Director of WOMEX and an established figure in World Music has this to say “WOMEX was created with the intention of bringing the people from the world music industry together. It is one of the biggest and best places to discover music and connect with people on a global scale and I think that Malaysia has been a great addition to our expo - having the performance presence of Geng Wak Long and Madeeh this year at WOMEX reinforces the presence of Malaysian arts professionals at WOMEX over the years.”
This year the Malaysian delegation is spearheaded by Malaysia Major Events (MME) a division of the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), an agency under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture (MoTAC). MME has been attending WOMEX for the past 2 years with the sole purpose of communicating to the world the unique diversity and appeal of Malaysian home grown festivals across the international world music and jazz scene. Tasked under the Prime Minister’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) the agency’s mission is to place Malaysia on the world map as the venue of choice for major events. MME has been instrumental in identifying, supporting and marketing home grown events into achieving international stature and bidding for international arts, lifestyle and entertainment events to be hosted in Malaysia.
Tony Nagamaiah, General Manager of Malaysia Major Events says “I see world music as a medium that transcends language and culture. Malaysia offers a unique perspective in that aspect as we celebrate all races and traditions in truly spectacular environments. Malaysia is a world class location for people and what we’re doing at WOMEX this year is to create the opportunity for festival organizers and world music musicians to collaborate and showcase Malaysia on an international stage”.
With our artists having been hand-picked to play at this prestigious event it gives Malaysia amazing opportunities to not only promote our local artists but to truly showcase to the international music community the diverse talents and rich culture that Malaysia has to offer in terms of language, arts and heritage. Malaysia is not only known internationally as a rapidly growing nation of advanced enterprise, modern commerce and musical talent but also as the ideal world stage for vibrant home grown festivals, breath taking natural scenery and a rich multicultural heritage where artists and people from all over the world come to learn, appreciate and perform music.
2015 will be the ‘Malaysia Year of Festivals’, the year promises an array of events to celebrate diverse festivals unique to the country. The internationally renowned Rainforest World Music Festival in Kuching, Sarawak has been acclaimed as one of the ‘Top 25 World Music Festivals’ for the last 5 years by Songlines, a renowned world music magazine. The festival attracts nearly 25,000 visitors for a fusion of traditional roots to world beat. Sarawak also proudly presents the well-recognized Borneo Jazz in Miri, currently in its 9th year featuring Jazz musicians from across the globe and the multi-faceted Asia Music Festival in Miri held with the objective of attracting the expatriate community in Malaysia’s neighbouring countries.Throughout the year there are a variety of home grown events to be featured in Malaysia such as the ‘Penang World Music Festival’ and Penang Island Jazz Festival’ in Penang as well as the ‘Sunset Music Fest’ at the northern-most Tip of Borneo, Sabah that attracts a large number of international visitors and features artists from across continents. Tourists and global music fans alike are welcomed to celebrate these incredible music events as well as many other wonderful festivals and activities all year round. 2015 marks the ‘Malaysia Year of Festivals’ and we’re looking forward to bringing this spirit to life at this year’s WOMEX.
The Malaysian delegation to WOMEX is led by Malaysia Major Events, a division of Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), an agency under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia (MoTAC). The delegation includes ‘Penang Tourism’, the ‘Sarawak Tourism Board’, ‘JL Productions’, ‘The Capricorn Connection’ and ‘2spicy Entertainment Sdn Bhd’ as well as the artists ‘Geng Wak Long’ and ‘Madeeh’.
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article submitted by:Kaylee Kuah, Malaysia Major Events