After the announcement of Womad headliners Jimmy Cliff and Hugh Masekela a few weeks back, the rest of the three-day festival's line-up was revealed last night.
It sees the return of Mali singer Salif Keita, dubbed the "Golden Voice of Africa", who played the festival in 2007, and fellow countryman Vieux Farka Toure, a guitarist who is carrying on the legacy of his legendary father, Ali Farka Toure, who died in 2006.
Then there's Seychelles-by-way-of-Australia singer-songwriter Grace Barbe, who performs what she calls Afro-Kreol and retells ancient stories from her culture; the Soweto Gospel Choir returns to New Zealand to perform traditional and contemporary songs, and, as previously announced, Nashville banjo player Abigail Washburn will perform her old-time folk and pop-inspired songs.
And it wouldn't be Womad with out a wild gypsy band or two, so please put your hands together for the Balkan rhythms of Goran Bregovic and His Weddings and Funerals Orchestra, and French "electro-gypsy" DJ Click.
The festival at New Plymouth's Bowl of Brooklands from March 15-17 features 37 acts from 21 countries across seven stages.
The international line-up also includes New York's 12-piece Afrobeat collective Antibalas, Spanish singer Amparo Sanchez, who has collaborated with Calexico and brings together Cuban-style roots reggae and Americana influences, and Malian ngoni (a stringed instrument) masters Bassekou Kouyate.
The local line-up is headed by musical collective Fly My Pretties, the psychedelic funk rock madness of AHoriBuzz led by Cairo Knife Fight and former Weta front man Aaron Tokona, and Kiwi music stalwart David Kilgour (the Clean) and his band the Heavy Eights. Also on the bill are the reformed, 80-voice Aotearoa National Maori Choir who will perform with 2012 crowd favourites the Yoots, and trippy future soul act Electric Wire Hustle.
For more details see womad.co.nz and for tickets - from $67 to $239 - see Ticketek.co.nz.
A ROCKING LINE-UP
Come February 24, Vector Arena will host two bands that all arenas dream to host, as Deep Purple and Journey kick off an Australasian tour in Auckland.
Deep Purple have just been nominated for the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame's Class of 2013, but to prove they're as hard-rocking as ever, they're also planning to release a new album once the world tour is over.
The English rockers, who were responsbile for hits like Smoke on the Water, Highway Star and Perfect Stranger with more than 100 million albums sold worldwide, were last here in 2006, but for Journey it will be their first New Zealand show.
Journey have experienced a resurgence of productivity and popularity in the past few years, hiring new lead singer Arnel Pineda (who's from the Philippines), releasing three albums, and finding fresh fans with their 1981 hit Don't Stop Believing after it featured first on the final episode of The Sopranos, and then became the theme song for Glee.
Tickets will be on sale through Ticketmaster from Monday, November 12.
Also proving that she's just as strong as ever is Bonnie Raitt, who is returning to tour New Zealand in April next year on the back of her 19th album Slipstream, released earlier this year.
The 62-year-old, nine-time Grammy-winning blues and rock legend has had artists as wide ranging as Adele and Bon Iver covering her songs of late, and was one of only two women to make it into Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists list this year. She'll perform covers, classics and new songs for fans around the country, heading to CBS Arena in Christchurch on Friday, April 5 (as part of the New Zealand Jazz & Blues Festival), Ascension Vineyard, Matakana on Sunday, April 7, TSB Arena, Wellington on Wednesday, April 10, and Claudelands Arena, Hamilton on Friday, April 12.
Another blues musician soon to be gracing our shores is 71-year-old Californian Seasick Steve.
Having been a hobo, session musician, recording engineer and sometime busker, he didn't release his debut solo album Dog House Music until 2006.
But the man who's renowned for his unusual guitars has made up for lost time in the intervening years, appearing on Later With Jools Holland, recording with KT Tunstall and Nick Cave's Grinderman, sharing stages with Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones, performing numerous sell-out tours of Britain and Europe, and releasing three albums on Warner Bros and Jack White's Third Man label.