Phillip Glass & Specials For Womadelaide 2017


WOMADelaide today announced the first round of 21 stars who will celebrate the events 25th anniversary festival over the weekend of 10–13 March 2017 in Adelaide’s Botanic Park; an announcement highlighted by the inclusion of seminal English ska and rocksteady icons, The Specials and the Phillip Glass Ensemble.

After numerous international number one hits and top ten singles, including Ghost Town and A Message to You Rudy, and nearly 40 years since they first hit the stage, The Specials will be returning to Australia after a five year absence to deliver their instantly recognisable British ska and Bluebeat. 

Joining The Specials is one of the world’s most successful Brazilian artists, Grammy-nominated bossa nova singer, Bebel Gilberto. The daughter of singer Miúcha and bossa king João Gilberto, Bebel keeps the family tradition alive with a modern electronic twist on the laidback sound that her father pioneered.

Also announced today is the return of France’s Cie Carabosse for their fourth WOMADelaide  creation, a nightly fire installation housed within Frome Park, The Exodus of Forgotten Peoples. Exploring themes of global migration, The Exodus of Forgotten Peoples  is an elemental work mixing fire, video projections and performance conjuring an alternative view of the worlds political and environmental concerns.

The Philip Glass Ensemble founded by the world’s master of minimalist composition Philip Glass in 1968, will present KOYAANISQATSI LIVE – Life out of Balance, marking the composer’s 80th birthday. The live musical accompaniment to the screening of Godfrey Reggio’s ‘environmental masterpiece’, the 1982 film KOYAANISQATSI, an apocalyptic vision of the collision of two worlds – urban life and technology versus the environment – is an extraordinary musical and cinematic experience.

Highlighting the Manganiyar musical traditions of Rajasthan The Manganiyar Classroom by Roysten Abel features a theatrically inspired staging where 35 boys aged 8-16, all inheritors of threatened musical traditions – battle hilariously with

the rigid conformity demanded of the classroom but where a joyous and exuberant musical celebration triumphs.

Other program highlights include Australia’s favorite folk trio The Waifs, returning after 12 years and also celebrating 25 years; Jamaica’s one-stringed guitar phenomenon Brushy One String; National Treasure Archie Roach who performed at the inaugural WOMADelaide in 1992 – and the feisty political hip-hop artists Inna Modja (Mali) and Ana Tijoux (Chile). 

Director, Ian Scobie said, “It seems like yesterday but in the 25 years since 1992, WOMADelaide has brought together a diversity of artists and audiences and evolved into a completely immersive, welcoming and accessible cultural experience where art matters and is celebrated.  It truly has become ‘the world’s festival’, all within one park, over a glorious long weekend.

“Over that time we have been fortunate to be able to share some unforgettable musical memories with literally hundreds of thousands of festivalgoers who have helped make the event an important part of Adelaide and the nation’s cultural life,” said Mr Scobie.

Artists announced today: 

  • 9Bach (Wales) – WOMADelaide exclusive
  • Ana Tijoux (Chile) – Australian premiere, WOMADelaide exclusive
  • Archie Roach (Australia)
  • Bebel Gilberto (Brazil) – WOMADelaide debut
  • Brushy one string (Jamaica) – Australian premiere, WOMADelaide exclusive
  • Cie Carabosse (France) – WOMADelaide exclusive
  • The East Pointers (Canada) – WOMADelaide debut
  • Gawurra (Australia) – Adelaide debut
  • Hanoi Masters (Vietnam)  – Australian premiere, WOMADelaide exclusive
  • Inna Modja (Mali) – Australian premiere, WOMADelaide exclusive
  • La Mambanegra (Colombia) – Australian premiere, WOMADelaide debut
  • The Manganiyar Classroom (India) – Australian premiere, WOMADelaide debut
  • Mercedes Peón (Spain) – Australian premiere, WOMADelaide exclusive
  • Philip Glass Ensemble KOYAANISQATSI Live – Life out of Balance (USA) – WOMADelaide debut
  • Sinkane (Sudan/USA) – Australian premiere, WOMADelaide exclusive
  • The Soil (South Africa) – Australian premiere, WOMADelaide exclusive
  • The Specials (UK) – WOMADelaide debut
  • Sudha Ragunathan (India)
  • The Waifs (Australia)
  • Warsaw Village Band (Poland) – WOMADelaide debut
  • Xylouris White (Greece/Australia) – WOMADelaide debut

The full WOMADelaide 2017 program will be released over the coming months. The next announcement will be November 8.

WOMADelaide, 10-13 March 2017, Botanic Park, Adelaide, South Australia.  

Brian Wise

Brian Wise was the Editor of Addicted To Noise‘s Australian site from 1997 – 2002. The site won two ONYA Awards as Best Online Music Magazine in 1999 & 2000. He has also been Editor since its reincarnation in 2013. He also presents the weekly music interview program Off The Record on 102.7 Triple R-FM ( in Melbourne. It is networked to 45+ stations across Australia on the Community Radio Network and is a four-time winner of the Best Music Program Award from the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia. In 2012, it was nominated as a finalist in the Excellence in Music Programming category. Brian was also the Founding Editor & Publisher of Rhythms Magazine and is now its Senior Contributing Editor.

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