The Conference Samurai 2024

WOMEX presents a unique opportunity for learning by providing a platform with diverse perspectives around key issues affecting the global music industry. This is the essential value of the conference sessions, and I look forward to it the most each time I attend WOMEX. It is an honour to serve as a jury member this year, although it will be challenging to pick from what I know will be many excellent and worthy proposals.

- Erica K. Smith (Barbados)


Photo by Louise Haywood-Schiefer

Wozzy Brewster (UK)

Wozzy Brewster is an entrepreneur renowned for contributing to multiple creative domains, including theatre, television, digital media, and music. She is the artist manager for the future afro jazz band, United Vibrations, and the ska reggae ensemble, Chainska Brassika, expertly navigating the intersection of artistry and business. Beyond her managerial duties, Wozzy actively shapes the music industry landscape as a member of the UK Music Diversity Taskforce, BRIT Voting Academy, and BPI Music Export Growth Scheme.

Erica K. Smith (Barbados)

With over 20 years of work experience in copyright management, Erica K. Smith is an accomplished music specialist from Barbados. Beyond her expertise in copyrights, she serves as a consultant to regional and international clients, offering advisory, strategic, and training services in the music business landscape. Furthermore, Erica is deeply engaged in academic research, focusing on the digital music industry.

The Showcase Samurai 2024

I am honoured to come on board as one of the samurai this year, and I can’t wait to listen to the artists who applied to showcase for this 30th-anniversary edition. For years, WOMEX has been an inspiration, and being a jury member this year feels like a responsibility and a privilege.

- Juan Souki (Venezuela/USA)


David Agnew (UK)

Originally from Belfast, now based in Manchester, David Agnew is deeply rooted in the vibrant cultural scene of this year's host city. He is the visionary force behind the Manchester Folk Festival and serves as an artistic director for the Sound Roots/English Folk Expo, Head for the Hills Festival and The Met Arts Centre. As the Director of So It Is Arts, David offers program support and creative production expertise to festivals and venues across the UK.

Photo by Margot Luciarte

Leïla Chaibeddra (Algeria/France)

Leïla Chaibeddra is a dynamic and forward-thinking professional dedicated to celebrating musical diversity through her company, Tartine Production, for the past decade. With a commitment to maintaining an artisanal "savoir-faire" approach within the music industry, Leïla has positioned Tartine Production as a global entity. Each artist represented by the company is celebrated in their home country, and Tartine Production works tirelessly to present their talents on every continent.

Photo by Saana Tuomi

Annamaija Saarela (Finland)

Annamaija Saarela brings a wealth of experience in programming festivals, managing venues, and spearheading network-based projects. Currently, she is the director of the renowned award-winning venue G Livelab Tampere in Finland. Previously, Annamaija served as the executive director for prominent entities such as the UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra, UMO Jazz House in Helsinki, and Tampere Music Festivals, along with also having served as the president of the Europe Jazz Network.

Photo by Ram Martínez @ramfotografia

Juan Souki (Venezuela/USA)

As the Executive Director at Mid Atlantic Arts, a prominent US non-profit organization dedicated to fostering global artistic exchange through touring grants and programs, Juan Souki is pivotal in supporting artists worldwide. His leadership extends from his previous position as the director of Odelia Artists, where he supported Latinx artists aspiring to break into new markets. Born in Venezuela and later naturalized as a Canadian citizen, he is committed to facilitating cross-cultural connections and promoting artistic diversity.

Photo by Hans Speekenbrink

Danka van Dodewaard (The Netherlands)

Danka van Dodewaard comes with over two decades of experience in the cultural sector. She began her career as a creative producer and DJ and quickly evolved into a music programmer curating several leading stages in the Netherlands. In the 2010s, she embraced the artistic and general director role at the Amsterdam Roots Festival. Since 2020, Danka has also been sharing her expertise as the Chair of the 'Forum of Worldwide Music Festivals' and serves as a respected jury member and advisor for cultural funds.

The Club Summit Curator 2024

After last year's unforgettable performances ranging from electro-acholi to hardcore dancehall, it's a real honour to curate the WOMEX 20 Club Summit once again. I DJed two years ago at WOMEX so know first hand the impact it can have in showcasing your work to a new audience. It's really exciting to be able to give this opportunity to the next generation of electronic artists worldwide.

- Emily Dust
Club Summit Curator


Photo by Richard G. Medina

Daniel Fernando Wahl (Mexico/Germany)

Daniel is a Germexican DJ, also known as @daferwa, based in Cologne, Germany. In addition he is a radio journalist and music curator with WDR @cosmo where he hosts his weekly DJ show. Daniel has been a part of the global club scene since 2007 and has shared decks, hosted, and premiered countless internationally renowned club acts at his events.


WOMEX Jury Process in a Nutshell

The WOMEX Jury, established in 1999, comprises independent jury members, who change annually and who come from all over the world.

Our yearly call for proposals is open to any artist or music professional, living in any country or region globally. Based on the proposals submitted to them, the WOMEX Jury aims and strives to build a balanced programme.

WOMEX aspires to reflect the music and the music community in all fairness and equity. The Jury balances their programme by taking into account various elements of diversity and inclusivity (among them gender, culture, indigeneity, age, performance style, representation, professional readiness, advocacy, tradition, innovation, and region) that are required on stage and in the Conference sessions.

Since 2012, WOMEX has hosted the Club Summit, a series of club showcases highlighting the most exciting and breakthrough DJs, music producers and electronic sounds from the global underground. An independent curator, along with the in-house WOMEX team, curates the lineup for the Club Summit.

The WOMEX Jury's selection reflects the proposals received every year. If you, our beloved community, perceive any elements missing, then please help us by spreading the word, and help us fill any gaps with your pro-active encouragement and outreach. We are open for all input!