New Plymouth's Bowl of Brooklands will resonate to musical and cultural surprises again in 2018.

Hard to imagine but the organisers have raised the bar once more, as announced in the official Womad 2018 launch tonight in the Grand Hall in Wellington's Parliament Buildings.

Billed as a melting pot of folk, afro-funk, hip hop, classical, jazz and punk rock played on instruments familiar and less so, artists will be on their way for the Womad New Zealand festival over the weekend of March 16-18.

The line-up unveiled includes the UK's Adrian Sherwood, the pioneer of bass-dominant, dub flavoured dance tunes, Mexico's stunning metal inspired guitar duo Rodrigo Y Gabriela, and from Washington DC the DJ collective and the unique sound of Thievery Corporation.

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Brazil will be well represented by the 10-piece progressive Afro-beats of Bixaga 70 while once again Mali's scorching desert blues will blast the Bowl with Tinariwen, and an exciting culture mash up of reggae, dub and dancehall with salsa and rumba comes to WOMAD thanks to Havana meets Kingston.

Soulful classically trained Ghanda Shbeir represents Lebanon with near neighbours Israel's hip-hop star Victoria Hanna also on the bill. South America comes to town by way of Chile's political punk poet Nano Stern with Ghana's Jojo Abot's blend of electronica, indie-soul, reggae and hip hop also set to stun Womad's internationally savvy audiences.

Aotearoa comes to the Womad party by way of the delightful Aldous Harding, with the brassy boys Hopetoun Brown sure to impress, as will West Auckland's Miltones and local Taranaki outfit the Slacks also delivering classic Kiwi messages.

Throw in the already announced big names, jazz saxophonist supremo Kasami Washington, the Indian classical and progressive sitar virtuoso Anoushka Shankar, and the most classic of Kiwi bands, Dragon. Womad 2018 is another don't miss event.

See womad.co.nz for more information.