Category Archives: Music

WOMADelaide: Ramzi Aburedwan


© Georges BARTOLI. Al Kalmanjati le violoniste en arabe est une association franco palestinienne soutenue par le conservatoire d Angers qui a pour but de faire connaitre et d enseigner la musique classique dans les villes et les camps palestiniens. Elle est animee par Ramzi Abredwan gamin de la premiere intifada qui est devenu un virtuose du violon alto en France et qui revient regulierement avec des musiciens etrangers en Palestine rencontrer des enfants. Ramzi Aburedwan dans les rues du camp de refugies de El Amari a Ramallah ou il a grandi.


February, 2015:  “I always dreamed to play music, but I never really had the opportunities. My family were poor, so I just kept the dream, just for me…” says Ramzi Aburedwan, the viola playing virtuoso set to perform at WOMADelaide.

He speaks to me over the phone from Brussels where he is now on tour with his band Ensemble Dal’Ouna.

Born in Bethlehem in 1979,Aburedwan grew up in Al-Amari refugee camp near Ramallah. His grandparents were forcibly relocated there in 1948, the beginning of the struggle for over 100,000 Palestinian people.

As a child, he was witness to the first intifada – the Palestinian uprising against the Israeli occupation from 1987 to 1992. A photograph of an eight-year-old Ramzi, poised to throw a stone at an Israeli tank has been immortalized through time.

It was at the aged of 16 that almost by accident he had the chance to participate in a music workshop. There he chose his instrument the viola thinking it was a violin. He started to play and later took up the bouzok, a long-necked stringed instrument he will play at this years WOMADelaide.

It is against all odds that Aburedwan has gone on to become a world-renowned musician.

“It was very difficult, especially freedom of movement… the Wall, the checkpoints, the cutting of Palestinian territory”, he says.

The desire to travel outside of Palestine left him tired, and losing energy.

Despite the challenges of being a musician in an occupied territory Ramzi has chosen to remain in Ramallah. He splits his time between his homeland and performances abroad.

But there is no normal life playing and teaching music within Palestine.

“Everything is controlled by the occupation”, he says, including the ability to bring instruments in from abroad.

He describes the camps as hard places, crushing of creativity.

“[They are] very tight, small places with no playgrounds for kids, dark colours… no green ground for the kids, no trees, no infrastructure, nothing” he says.

“Thinking that it will only last for one week, or one month and then they can return to their homes”. Sadly this is not the case.

“We were obliged to create some play, for us when we were kids”, he says.

He has clearly overcome the bleakness of this landscape with beautiful music.

His ability to move between western classical and Arabic styles of music is a testament to his mastery.

Audiences will take delight in discovering the Arabic scales in his music which he says can be surprising for Western ears.

Be sure he will woo the crowd with searing tunes and heartfelt melodies of his beloved Palestine at this year’s WOMADelaide.

WOMADelaide, Mar 6-9, 2015, Botanic Park, Adelaide,










February, 2014: With an African background, growing up in Europe and now living in Miami, Buika is World Music.

Whilst singing almost entirely in Spanish her music transcends linguistic boundaries.

Her deep and husky voice, portends a new sound to Flamenco music.

After a hectic global touring schedule, she has touched down briefly at her home pad of Miami before jetting off our way, for WOMADelaide.

This will be her first trip Down Under. On the phone, she seems humbled by the experience.

With a politically active father, her family escaped from violence prone Guinea and took refugee in, of all places Majorca just before her birth, a playground for the rich in Spain.

Unusually black amidst the fair skinned, sun tanned Majorcans, she identified more closely with the enclave of local gypsy culture and adopted their music form. She learnt flamenco styles.

Why Miami then? “It’s an easy place to work”, she says.

“I live where my music lives, well first of all because I am a nomad. My music lives everywhere. There is no place in the world that I cannot live in”, she says.

This would appear to be a natural response for someone who has led a cosmopolitan life on the road from her teenage years. Perhaps yearning for a less fluid national identity, she continues,

“I sometimes think that my music comes from my desire to belong to someone or to somewhere, sometimes I feel that my music comes from the freedom that I feel to not to belong to someone or somewhere”.

After five years of touring in the US, she believes she’s now confident in her style.

“When you sing the truth… people connect, your tribe knows what you are singing, even if you are not singing in the same language, they know what you are talking about.”

She has collaborated with some big names, including Nelly Furtado and Seal. She even performed a cameo in the hit Spanish film ‘The Skin I Live In’ released in 2013 in Australia.

Once marginalized Latino Music was popularized with the likes of Ricky Martin, Shakira, Enrique Iglesias, became a marketable global force.

Her music is not easily pigeon holed. If she is riding the Latino wave, Buika still refuses to be defined. Her roots and influences are global, not simply Spanish.

A self-defined workaholic, her only ambition is to keep doing what she does best, and keep creating new music. She claims to be a free spirit, unrestrained and open to all influences.

Metaphorically she calls this the loin in the jungle.

Buika will no doubt win hearts and minds when she takes to the WOMADelaide stage. (VP)

WOMADelaide, Mar 7-10, 2014, Botanic Park, Adelaide,


Bombino brings banned music to Adelaide


Green Left Weekly, March 6, 2015: The son of poor villagers in Niger, Bombino was set to come a long way to perform at WOMADelaide, the annual world music and dance festival held in Adelaide from March 6 to 9. His unique blend of desert blues and hardcore rock ‘n’ roll was sure to fire up this year’s main stage.

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Alt Media,  January 27, 2014: His name is Airileke. His sound is an explosion, an eclectic mix of funky beats, hip-hop grooves and a blend of traditional Islander drumming and electronic music.

If past performances are anything to go by, the now Melbourne-based producer’s upcoming WOMADelaide set is going to be hot.

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