It's been 10 years since Womad first set up in Taranaki, and this week they are announcing three headlining acts for their 10th birthday bash - the 2014 festival. The large-scale, colourful celebration of world music and performance art will be held on March 14 to 16 at its usual home in the TSB Bowl of Brooklands, and looks set to be as diverse as ever.
Topping the list this year is local-girl-turned-international-pop-star Kimbra. Her eclectic style and varied influences will seem right at home among the lush surrounds of the main stage, her stunning costumes highlighting her delightful live performance, which is full of theatrics, drama and spiky dance moves and has been honed with more than 140 live shows last year. While she had great chart success with her debut album Vows, (it entered the Billboard Album Chart at No14, went platinum in both New Zealand and Australia, scooped five New Zealand Music Awards in 2012, and garnered her two awards for Best Female Artist at the Aria Awards) it goes well beyond the world of pop, influenced by jazz, hip-hop, classical, disco and soul, a strong vehicle for her unique vocal approach.
Kimbra is currently recording her next album in Los Angeles, working with many great guitarists and various instrumentalists. She is apparently fascinated by Qawwali singing, a Pakistani style made known in Western circles by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. With all these new ideas forming, you can bet her performance will be a memorable melting pot.
Also announced is Latin Grammy winner Buika, on her first visit to New Zealand. Hailing from Spain's Balearic Islands, she has been dubbed as one of the 50 best vocalists of all time by America's NPR and compared to Nina Simone by The New York Times.
Her music draws strongly from the traditions of flamenco, while breaking down genre boundaries surrounding it.
The third announcement is 30-year-old Americana artist Pokey LaFarge. Creatively mixing early jazz, string ragtime, country blues and western swing, he is signed to Jack White's Third Man Records, and was recently honoured with a second consecutive Best Americana Album win at the Independent Music Awards.
A limited number of presale tickets will be available through the Womad website from Monday and the full line-up will be announced on the evening of October 30.