x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Womad to merge world's richest styles of music

Bob Marley's son Damian is to headline an ensemble of acts for three days of performances at Womad in Abu Dhabi next month.

The Malian group Tinariwen have been confirmed for this year's Womad in Abu Dhabi.
The Malian group Tinariwen have been confirmed for this year's Womad in Abu Dhabi.

ABU DHABI// Damian Marley, the youngest son of the reggae legend Bob Marley, will perform in the UAE for the first time next month. Marley - who is also known as Junior Gong - and the Malian group Tinariwen were among seven acts confirmed yesterday by Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (Adach) for the second Womad Abu Dhabi festival.

Marley and his backing musicians will headline the third and final night of the festival in Abu Dhabi. Tinariwen, a band of Tuareg musicians from the Sahara desert in Mali, will perform alongside Kyp Malone and Tunde Adebimpe of the American band TV on the Radio. Tinariwen's distinctive music merges blues guitar rhythms with traditional instruments like the shepherd's flute. The mixing of styles and musicians is part of the vision of the festival, organisers said.

Abdulla al Ameri, the director of arts and culture for Adach, said: "It is a part of our strategy to improve the knowledge of audiences as well as local bands by hosting these sorts of collaborations. We also want to give the audience something different. This is a special festival and this fusion music can only be seen here at Womad." Mr al Ameri also said Adach will record all the live performances during the three-day festival and hopes to produce a CD.

"After the shows, the only way for anyone to see or hear the music will be through a CD or DVD," he said. "We are putting measures in place to make a recording and to produce a CD so that more people than just the audience on the day can enjoy it." The other acts confirmed for April 24, a Saturday, are Amparo Sánchez, a Spanish folk singer; Debashish Bhattacharya, one of the most famous Indian slide guitarists who was nominated for a Grammy award and won a BBC Award for World Music; a singer-songwriter from Cape Verde named Mayra Andrade; and Ilham al Madfai, an Iraqi musician who merges classical Arabic traditions with modern beats.

On April 23, Sierra Maestra, a band from Cuba, will perform. The line up for the Al Ain concert will be announced at a later date, Adach confirmed today. @Email:aseaman@thenational.ae