WOMADelaide today announced an additional 38 artists for its 2024 festival – a celebration of music, arts and dance presented in the glorious Botanic Park/Tainmuntilla, in the heart of Adelaide, from 8-11 March. The program of newly-discovered and distinguished artists from across the world includes the enchanting Emel Mathlouthi (TUNISIA); Grammy winning singer Corinne Bailey Rae (UK); the sweet soul sounds of Thee Sacred Souls (USA), and vintage funk maestros Cymande (UK), joining the 29 previously announced artists, including Yussef Dayes, Ziggy Marley, Baaba Maal, and Arooj Aftab.
Emel Mathlouthi’s music crosses time, countries and continents, travelling between styles – experimental, electronic, North-African, Arabic – all with a cinematic sweep. The Tunisian-American singer songwriter rose to fame in 2012 with the powerful protest anthem Kelmti Horra (My Word is Free), which swiftly became an emblem for the Tunisian Revolution and saw her labeled the voice of the Arab Spring.
English Singer-songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae may be best known for her 2006 single Put Your Records on, but 2023’s Black Rainbows has been described by The Guardian as “her best work yet”. Inspired by a life-changing visit to Chicago’s Stony Island Arts Bank, a powerful ‘cathedral of Black art’, it is a majestic album that showcases her extraordinary talent across almost any music genre.
Bursting onto the San Diego scene in 2019, Thee Sacred Souls make timeless, sweet soul music; seamlessly capturing the essence of ’60s soul and ’70s groove. With notable fans including Gary Clark Jr., The Black Pumas and Timbaland, their debut single on the Daptone Records label earned over ten million streams and recognition from Billboard, Rolling Stone, and KCRW.
One of the most sampled bands in the history of hip-hop, house and dance music, 1970s British band Cymande has reached legendary status. Taking influences from their Guyanese and Jamaican roots, they fuse reggae bass lines, Afro-tinged Nyabinghi percussion, psychedelic touches, and American-style funk into a unique sound they’ve dubbed ‘Nyah-rock’.
Formed in England in the mid 1990s, atmospheric ‘trip-hop’ duo Morcheeba’s influences of hip-hop, soul, rock and electronica, and the stunning vocals of SKYE, quickly made them a household name. Ten albums and 10 million sales later, with big tracks such as Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day and The Sea under their belt, the pair still exude an effortless cool with their signature rich and mellow sound.
Rooted in cultural discovery, WOMADelaide welcomes a diverse array of international talent, including Belgian duo Charlotte Adigery & Bolis Pupul who bring punchy electro pop and timely conversations to the dancefloor, and Réunion’s AURUS, evoking the island’s traditional Maloya music with vibrant African and British pop influences.
Two of Ireland’s most exciting musicians, singer-songwriter Lisa O’Neill and instrumentalist Cormac Begley, perform both traditional and contemporary songs that tell stories of a shared humanity that is Irish, and at the same time, deeply personal. MC Yallah & Debmaster command the stage with conscious, poetic, experimental rap; renowned Portuguese fado artist Marta Pereira da Costa transports us to another time with her guitar mastery and, with roots in ancient Estonian and Võru traditions, Mari Kalkun brings an ethereal combination of folk music and innovative songwriting.
Closer to home, the strong Australian lineup includes ARIA award-winner, Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Kahu singer-songwriter and performer, Jen Cloher whose taut, terse brand of rock is charged with the static tension that comes with being an eternal misfit. Cloher and their five-piece band will be joined by T’HONI kapa haka, a Māori cultural performance group known for their energy and passion.
From Arnhem Land comes Wildfire Manwurrk, a melting pot of ancient songlines and thrashing rock guitars and from the East Coast electronic jazz artist Elle Shimada; Ethio-jazz fusion band Black Jesus Experience and celebrated Filipino/Wiradjuri artist Mo’Ju.
WOMADelaide x NSS Academy
The future of South Australian music shines bright through graduates of the WOMADelaide x Northern Sound System (NSS) Academy – a training and development program for young, emerging First Nations and culturally diverse artists presented in collaboration with City of Playford’s NSS. The Academy artists selected to perform at the festival are soulful multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter Rob Edwards and Manila-born Sofia Menguita who fuses dusty folk with pop and rock.
Around the Park
Performing throughout the majestic surrounds of Botanic Park, festivalgoers will encounter French companies Cie L'Immediat and their captivating La lévitation réelle (real levitation), where performers seemingly float into the sky; Compagnie On Off who use music, invention and humour in their delightful piece Le Chant de l'Eau and acclaimed aerialists Gratte Ciel with RoZéO, where performers dance in the air atop 10 metre poles. Canadian dance company CORPUS combine movement with theatrical imagery for Divine Interventions, featuring four singing goddesses, and Les moutons, a hilarious observation about sheep; and Melbourne physical theatre ensemble Born in a Taxi's Illuminated Angels bestow light and joy wherever they land.
“The world’s festival, returning to Botanic Park/ Tainmuntilla is a thrilling and enriching journey of cultural discovery and we invite audiences to join us to experience the best, the essential – and the surprising – in music, arts and dance from across the nation and around the globe over one glorious weekend,” said Ian Scobie, WOMADelaide Director.