Tuesday, October 30, 2007

CUMBANCHA AND ITS ARTISTS RECEIVE ACCOLADES AT WOMEX 2007

Andy Palacio & Idan Raichel nominated for BBC World Music Awards, Cumbancha receives #2 label of the year award and Andy Palacio receives prestigious WOMEX Award

OCTOBER 30, 2007 – After less then two years in existence, the record label Cumbancha and its small roster of artists received outsized accolades at the annual World Music Expo (WOMEX), held this October in Seville, Spain.

At the Womex Awards ceremony, which is held on the last day of this important music industry conference, Cumbancha was acknowledged as one of the top three world music labels of the past year. The award is based on the playlists of the 50-plus radio programmers that report to the World Music Charts Europe, a monthly barometer of the hottest world music titles airing on key radio stations across the continent. Thanks to the positive reception to Cumbancha releases The Idan Raichel Project, Andy Palacio & the Garifuna Collective’s Wátina and Habib Koité and Bamada’s Afriki, Cumbancha was selected as the number two world music label of the year. UK-based label Sterns received the top label honor.

In addition, the Andy Palacio & the Garifuna Collective album Wátina was selected as the number 1 world music album of 2007 by the World Music Charts Europe DJs. Wátina ranked ahead of other highly feted albums by Angelique Kidjo, Ali Farka Toure, Tinariwen and Ibrahim Ferrer, among others. The Idan Raichel Project was selected as the number 15 album of the year.

The nominees for the BBC Radio 3 Awards for World Music were also announced at the ceremony, and Cumbancha artists were nominated in three different categories. Andy Palacio & the Garifuna Collective received a nomination in the Americas category. The Idan Raichel Project received nominations in both the Middle East and Culture Crossing categories. The nominees for the BBC Radio 3 Awards are selected by the attendees of WOMEX, who include almost 3000 record labels, artists, producers, booking agents, managers, festival promoters and other movers and shakers in the world music industry.

Cumbancha/Stonetree artist Andy Palacio received the prestigious WOMEX Award, which he shared with producer and Stonetree founder Ivan Duran. The award is presented every year at WOMEX to an individual or organization that represents the best the world music community has to offer. After a heartwarming introduction by legendary world music producer Ben Mandelson, Andy and Ivan delivered moving and emotional acceptance speeches that brought tears to the eyes of many in the audience at the Al-Andalus Theater at the Palacio de Congresos. The presentation of the award was followed by a rousing performance by Andy Palacio and the Garifuna Collective who were joined by two singers from Umalali, the Garifuna Women’s Project that will be released by Cumbancha/Stonetree next year.

The awards ceremony culminated with ample amounts of Belizian rum. While everyone in attendance was marveling at the tremendous success of Cumbancha and its artists after less then two years in business, no one was more surprised and awed by the positive reception then Cumbancha founder Jacob Edgar. “It is a tremendous honor to receive such recognition for the label and the wonderful artists I am blessed to be working with,” stated Edgar as he downed yet another glass of Belizean rum. “Hopefully, the best is yet to come!”

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