Music has always been unstoppable by all sorts of borders - from actual walls to cultural, social and psychological barriers. Needless to say, these are troubling times on many fronts. WOMEX is a truly global meeting of local cultures from all corners of the world. Let's continue to use it, then, as a forum of thoughts articulated in words as well as in sounds! I'm humbled and proud to serve as one of the Conference Samurai for WOMEX 19, especially as it is taking place so close to home - see you all in Tampere!!
Hinurewa (Hinu) is a strategist, advisor, implementer and creative entrepreneur. She works as head of regional arts organisation, Creative Northland, is co-chair of the Tamaki Makaurau Matariki Festival Trust, Director of Taamaki Records and is also presently working with Pacific Underground (Pos Mavaega) and Sounds Aotearoa (Emere Wano), to host the inaugural Oceania World Music Indigenous Jam Fest in 2020. As a cultural practitioner, she specialises in the cultural, social, intellectual and economic development of Indigenous people within an international context.
Virgo Sillamaa is the director at Music Estonia, the Estonian music export office and industry development center where he works with all parts of the Estonian music scene - artists, companies and organisations of various sorts - towards making Estonian music heard all over the world. He is also the Secretary General at the European Music Exporters Exchange (EMEE).
After attending about twenty editions of WOMEX and showcasing artists there a few times, I feel very honoured and humble to be involved in WOMEX Tampere 2019 and in the showcase jury. My background is the usual one: from rock fan to music journalist, DJ and then to artist manager, agent, promoter and later also indie label. From a rock fan first to reggae, then to all Caribbean music, next finding the African roots, then the rest of the World and eventually also local folk from my home country. I have worked with artists from over 40 different countries, and I am still looking forward to discover new talent, no matter wherever they are from.
Alejandra is the founder and director of Biche, a music production house based in Bogotá which focuses on the creative and executive production of international tours, event management, and strategic planning for Latin alternative music. Having previously worked with Polen Records, Alejandra has over eight years’ experience booking and managing bands, specialising in the development and internationalisation of experimental and avantgarde music. She is also a member of MMF LATAM and cofounder of the transfeminist collective Todopoderosa, focused on gender equality in the music industry.
Amandine previously worked in the music industry with several festivals and copyright societies and is now a cultural mediator for Zone Franche, the French world music network. With the aim to promote cultural diversity of music in France, Amandine coordinates over 180 international members, facilitating their work and supporting artists, labels, producers, festivals and bookers. She also works closely with the French Ministry of the Interior and Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs assisting artists with visa issues.
Divya Bhatia is an experienced, versatile arts professional based in Mumbai, India. Currently he is Festival Director of Jodhpur RIFF, Rajasthan India's premiere roots music festival; independent Artistic Consultant and Creative Producer; faculty for Financial Planning at ARThink South Asia, New Delhi. He regularly co-produces and tours national and international music and theatre projects in India and abroad.
As the Managing Director of WOMEX 19’s local Finnish partner Rockadillo, Tapio Korjus has over 40 years’ experience as an artist manager, running an indie label and as founder of Finnish music conference and showcase festival, Music & Media. Rockadillo’s artists have played more than 2000 gigs in 40 countries around the world and Tapio has promoted hundreds of international artists in Finland and the Nordics from Fela Kuti, Youssou Ndour, Salif Keita, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Cesária Évora, Omara Portuondo and Gilberto Gil to many reggae, jazz, blues and rock legends.
Zlata Holusova is the founder and director of the Colours of Ostrava, Festival in Streets, Czech Music Crossroads, curator of Meltingpot conference and principal of the company Colour Production. She is also a member of the Academy of Popular Music and Forum of Worldwide Music Festivals. She was awarded second place in Czech Republic’s ‘Top Female Awards’ in 2018 and has run a regular music programme on National Czech Radio for the past 30 years.
Playing the closing set of the Club Summit last year was really special. I’m honoured to be able to help give other artists and DJs the same opportunity. I remember filling in my application to play while on a musical excursion in West Africa, surrounded by inspirational artists. It’s so important for WOMEX to connect with the next generation of global innovators. There’s never been a more exciting time for club music across the world than now and I’m looking forward to giving a platform to some of that energy and talent at this year’s festival.
As an assured DJ, promoter and broadcaster, Emily Dust’s DJ sets have seen her play all over the world, from festival stages to intimate basement clubs. As promoter and broadcaster, Emily’s London club nights have hosted some of the world’s most exciting up-and-coming DJs, her shows on the BBC World Service, Soho Radio and Worldwide FM have become a leading platform for forward-thinking global sounds and she recently curated a showcase event in São Paulo, Brazil.