Zimbabwean Afro-Soul singer and songwriter Chiwoniso will grace the stage at the prestigious WOMAD festival in Spain this November. This year the WOMAD festval returns to the Canary Islands for another weekend of music, arts and dance from around the globe - all in the beautiful beachside city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Chiwoniso will perform along side with other world class artists including Eliades Ochoa, of Buena Vista Social Club fame, funk vibraphonist Roy Ayers, and the great Malian singer Oumou Sangaré.
Chiwoniso's musical influences range from soul and R&B to reggae and rock, the entrancing sounds of the mbira serve as a central underpinning for her personal and ground breaking take on Zimbabwean music. Originating in the ancient Shona civilization of southern Africa, the mbira is a musical instrument made of metal tines attached to a wooden board. The player plucks the tines with their thumbs to create captivating interlocking melodies, which have accompanied ceremonies and celebrations for countless generations. While variations of the mbira exist across Africa, it is an essential element of Zimbabwean music tradition and carries deep historical, cultural and spiritual symbolism.
Cumbancha released Chiwoniso's Rebel Woman to critical acclaim last year. The album was praised by the New York Times, the Village Voice and the Observer Music Monthly who said, "There is something miraculous about this album." Rebel Woman was also a favorite among radio DJs and topped CMJ New World chart and the World Music Charts Europe for two weeks running.
The venue, as in previous years, will be the Parque de Santa Catalina - a city square close to the centre of Las Palmas, and just 200 metres from the Playa de las Canteras, one of the island's longest and most spectacular beaches.
Womad Las Palmas De Gran Canaria
12th-15th November 2009
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
Full Artist Performance List:
Justin Adams (United Kingdom)
Juldeh Camara (Gambia)