Preview: WOMAD Las Palmas de Gran Canaria 2018

WOMAD returns to Las Palmas in Gran Canaria between the 15th and 18th of November 2018 featuring a wonderful line-up of artists from across the globe. The main events take place at Parque de Santa Catalina, and there will also be a wide variety of parallel activities, such as vocal and instrumental workshops for adults, gastronomic tasting sessions, and courses for children, along with cabaret shows, conferences and audiovisual presentations. Ahead of the festival, we've picked out a few of the artists on the bill that we think you should check out:

  • BCUC

    South Africa

    BCUC, which stands for Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness, are a seven-piece band from Soweto in South Africa who blend African gospel and contemporary rock influences. They state that they make music “for the people by the people with the people.” BCUC are on a mission to shake things up with the sound they describe as ‘afropsychedelic’ and ‘africangungungu’. They were chosen as one of the highlights of WOMAD Charlton Park 2018 by The Guardian and Financial Times for their wild, immersive live show on the Siam tent.

  • Noga Erez


    Noga Erez is a Tel-Aviv based singer and producer who creates politically-charged electronic pop music. Early in her career, Erez served as a military musician in the Israeli army, and following her conscription she began working with producer Ori Rousso to develop an atmospheric, beat-driven sound that underpins the strong socio-political messages conveyed through her lyrics. Covering issues such as gang rape, and the guilt of entitlement and privilege living in contemporary Israel, her debut album Off The Radar was released in 2017 to critical acclaim.

  • Ladysmith Black Mambazo

    South Africa

    South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo was founded in the early 1960s by Joseph Shabalala, then a teenage farm boy living on the lands just outside the small town of Ladysmith, in the province of kwaZulu Natal, half way between Johannesburg and Durban. The group sings from a traditional music called isicathamiya (is-cot-a-ME-Ya), which developed in the mines of South Africa. In the mid-1980s, American singer/songwriter Paul Simon visited South Africa and incorporated the group’s rich harmonies into the famous Graceland album— a landmark recording that was considered seminal in introducing world music to mainstream audiences. In addition to their work with Paul Simon, Ladysmith Black Mambazo has recorded with Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton, Sarah McLachlan, Emmylou Harris and many others.

  • Oumou Sangaré


    Respected as one of the greatest African stars of her generation, the majestic and gifted Oumou Sangare is endearingly referred to as the ‘Songbird from Wassoulou’. Her music is funky and vibrant but her lyrics open people’s consciousness by challenging convention, from bold expressions of sensuality to advocating for women’s rights. Her 2017 album, Mogoya, was her first eight years and marked a major change in direction for the Malian singer. Collaborating with French production team, A.l.b.e.r.t (who previously worked with indie rock band Franz Ferdinand), the album presents Sangaré’s music with a fresh contemporary way, and includes a guest appearance by legendary afrobeat drummer Tony Allen.

Live Review: WOMAD Charlton Park 2018

'The world's festival' delivers another excellent musical feast amid artist visa difficulties.

  • Analog Africa


    Analog Africa releases unusual African music from the 70s, music with a certain twist that will surprise you or that you didn’t expect to hear from Africa, and that often had a strong impact on its country of origin. The label started in November 1999 when founder Samy Ben Redjeb came across a recording by the Green Arrows whilst digging for vinyl records in Zimbabwe. After a long break, Ben Redjeb has started DJing again. Together with his partner Pedo Knopp he forms the Analog Africa Soundsystem, bringing the label’s unique vintage catalogue to live festival audiences worldwide.

  • Talisk


    Talisk are a Scottish folk trio comprising Mohsen Amini (concertina), Hayley Keenan (fiddle) and Graeme Armstrong (acoustic guitar). Their unique, high-energy approach to Scottish instrumental folk music blends traditional and contemporary elements, and their electric live performances have captured the attention of audiences at major festivals across the world, including Celtic Connections, Tønder Festival, and Cambridge Folk Festival. They released their second album, Beyond, in November 2018.

  • Delgres


    Delgres are a Caribbean blues trio, a genre mainly sung in Creole nowadays, and they came together four years ago after frontman and guitarist Pascal Danaë met drummer Baptiste Brondy and sousaphone player Rafgee. They essentially represent a personal adventure, an inner journey for which music acts as the imaginary, although vibrant, vehicle of private experience and family history as well as, more broadly speaking, the destiny of a part of the world marked by its rootlessness and identity struggles. The fascinating music they produce is that of a unique power trio, akin to the Black Keys and Hanni El Khatib’s work, somewhere between hypnotised rock, earthy soul and caustic garage.

WOMAD Las Palmas de Gran Canaria 2018 takes place between 15th and 18th November at Parque de Santa Catalina. For further information on the festival and full details of this year’s programme, visit the festival’s Facebook page.

Recommended Listening

  • 30 – Real World at WOMAD

    Various Artists

    Released 29 July 2012

    The symbiotic relationship between WOMAD and Real World Records was apparent from day one. When, in 1989, the record label was born, it immediately joined its seven-year-old big sister in the vanguard of introducing the world's finest music to our ears.

By Online Editor

Published on Mon, 05 November 18

Further reading

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