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First 20 acts revealed for WOMADelaide 2020


WOMADelaide has announced its first 20 acts for 2020, with the line-up led by Grammy-winning American R&B and gospel legend Mavis Staples, the ‘golden voice of Africa’ Salif Keita and Australian party band The Cat Empire.

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Other acts revealed today include Cuban big band Orquesta Akokán, Australian future soul quartet Hiatus Kaiyote, New Zealand indie singer Aldous Harding, UK jazz/Afrobeat/hip-hop group Ezra Collective, and US “master of lo-fi underground rock” Bill Callahan (who performs under the band name Smog).

Staples, a civil rights activist and Rock and Roll and Blues Hall of Famer, has been touring and recording for more than 60 years and earlier this year released her latest album, We Get By, produced by Ben Harper. She has performed at WOMADelaide only once before – in 2008.

Mali musician Salif Keita – dubbed “the golden voice of Africa – will play in Botanic Park with an eight-piece band as part of a farewell tour celebrating 50 years of his music, while The Cat Empire, who have just returned from a European tour, will make their fifth appearance at the festival and close the main stage on the opening night (Friday, March 6).

Also taking to the stage in 2020 will be Spinifex Gum, a collaboration between The Cat Empire’s Felix Riebl and Ollie McGill and Gondwana Choirs featuring the Marilya collective of young Indigenous singers (Spinifex Gum performed a sold-out show in the 2018 Adelaide Festival).

“We are thrilled to be announcing a program which includes artists at the peak of their craft, exemplified by Salif Keita and Mavis Staples, as well as Orquesta Akokán – a stunning tribute to the Cuban big band era – and a powerful call to arms on climate change in As the World Tipped,” WOMADelaide director Ian Scobie says of the initial line-up.

As the World Tipped, to be presented nightly in Frome Park, is an aerial performance by UK company Wired Aerial Theatre which combines dance, theatrics and projections to illustrate the “immediate realities” of climate change.

As the World Tipped.

Other 2020 WOMADelaide acts announced are singer-songwriter Odette (Australia), Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita (Wales/Senegal), Kikagaku Moyo (Japan), L Subramaniam (India), Liniker e os Caramelows (Brazil), Sleaford Mods (UK), Muthoni Drummer Queen (Kenya/France), Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi (US/Italy), Trio da Kali (Mali) and Tuuletar (Finland).

The next line-up for the March 6-9 festival will be released in late November.

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