WOMAD Adds Rokia Traore To Lineup,

WOMAD Adds Critically Acclaimed Malian Diva Rokia Traore To Lineup, Replacing Mercedes Sosa. Argentinian diva Mercedes Sosa, who was announced as part of the WOMAD NZ 2009 line-up on 29 October, has unfortunately had to withdraw from her Australia-New Zealand tour due to conflicting recording commitments.

She will no longer be appearing at the festival. We ask you to please remove any references to Ms Sosa from any articles you may be about to submit.

WOMAD 2009 is excited to welcome Rokia Traore from Mali to join the party. By her own admission, Traore is not a "Malian traditional singer, " instead blending blues, contemporary rock and a hint of rockabilly. But that really doesn't sum up Traore's sound. She is regarded as one of the most experimental African singer-songwriters and has really just created her own style.

And the critics give her resounding praise:

"...surely one of the albums of the year."
Robin Denselow, The Guardian / BBC Newsnight, London, February 2008

"An intriguing, sophisticated and often intimate set… that manages to sound contemporary but still distinctively African. Traore has become the experimental diva of Africa."

"Arguably the most adventurous African artist around strikes gold with a huge musical leap into the guitar-driven bluesy territory usually reserved for Salif Keita. Terrific."

"It's the delicate tracery of her unique arrangements, in which Gretsch guitar, n'goni and classical harp discreetly impose themselves on silence, that make this exceptional."
Independent on Sunday


WOMAD is an international festival created by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Brooman 24 years ago. Since then 21 countries have hosted the festival and entertained millions of festival-goers.

New Zealand's pre-eminent celebration of music, arts & dance takes place at New Plymouth's Brooklands Park and TSB Bowl 13-15th March 2009. The Festival also features a new Sustainable Village, which showcases sustainable practices and merchandise. This adds to the already hugely successful Global Village (international food, arts & craft) and Kidszone.

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