Last year, after hosting a full-digital edition of WOMEX 20 feat. Budapest Ritmo, this year, the event producer Piranha Arts along with AMG Music, the local partners for 2021, is engaged in making the 27th edition of WOMEX, the 5-day event in Porto, Portugal, the most diverse meeting of music professionals worldwide.
As countries across the world are slowly opening up their borders, and allowing music and cultural events to take place once again, the WOMEX team believes it is their mission to serve, help, and bring as many of the global music community together as possible. More than ever, it is essential to continue providing their platform for the creative and cultural sector, for artists and music business operators. The on-site event will take place considering all the safe boundaries of health and safety regulations, and taking all the measures into account based on the most current health regulations from the host city council of Porto.
WOMEX 2021 Opening: Porto ReFolk Express
Every year, WOMEX kicks off with an Opening night, highlighted by the Opening Concert, which focuses on the host country or musical region and is curated and produced by experts from that area. It celebrates the start of five bustling days bursting with music, networking and cultural exchange and sets the standard for the rest of the expo.
Portugal can easily be stated as one of the world's most influential countries for its music and culture. Its musical traditions and contemporary popular music is reflected in its diverse historical, cultural, and political background. For this special WOMEX 2021 Opening: Porto ReFolk Express, we research, experiment with, and reinterpret the roots of traditional Portuguese music in all directions.
Porto ReFolk Express aims to present itself as a showcase of folk music made in Portugal and its intersection with different artistic languages; reinventing and uniting the sonorities, voices, styles, imagination and instruments from Portuguese popular culture. This year's Opening is presented by Revolução d’Alegria and Why Portugal.
The confirmed artists for WOMEX 21 Opening: Porto ReFolk Express are (in alphabetical order):
Galandum Galundaina (Portugal) performing with Galician artist Pauliteiros de Miranda (Portugal) Retimbrar (Portugal) performing with special guest, Uxía (Galicia) Seiva (Portugal) Sopa de Pedra (Portugal)
Retimbrar (Portugal) performing with special guest, Galician artist, Uxía
Retimbrar is a musical collective from Porto exploring deep Portuguese rhythms, songs and instruments, resulting in a characterful repertoire of originals and reinterpretations. The group was founded in 2008 by Andres' Pancho' Tarabbia, an Uruguayan percussionist based in Portugal, and later joined by António Serginho. For this Opening performance, they will also invite one of the most renowned ambassadors for Galician-Portuguese music and poetry, Uxía, to join them on-stage.
Sopa de Pedra (Portugal)
Sopa de Pedra stands out for their complex, challenging and intertwined vocal arrangements, stripped to its essence. The sophistication of their harmonies resembles the dissonances of the 'Bulgarian voices' vocal choir. Sopa de Pedra is a unique musical project: they reinterpret the traditional Portuguese songbook with an original repertoire of their own folk-inspired accappella singing, with the power of their exposed voices combined with a minimal yet choice use of percussion.
Seiva started their career in 2014, with a mission to make a musical project based on the Portuguese oral tradition, mainly from the Beira-Baixia region in the east of Portugal. The trio uses a wide range of acoustic percussion following the heartbeat of the adufe drum, and songs with special emphasis on women who protect, welcome and know all evils. Their rich live sound breaks new ground, mixing tradition with electronics and performance electricity.
Galandum Galundaina (Portugal) performing with special guest Pauliteiros de Miranda (Portugal)
From the region of Miranda do Douro, award-winning Galandum Galundaina are a living part of a region's genealogy and cultural heritage, where roots music merges with the Mirandês language, giving rise to an exquisite musical universe. They build many of their instruments, and modify and transform the others that they use to produce sounds, tunings and tones that give them their unique style and approach. On stage they will be joined by Pauliteiros de Miranda - eight dancers who perform a dynamic stick-clash dance: one of the cultural symbols of the Portuguese folkloric universe.
WOMEX 21 Lusofónica Stage
Since WOMEX 09 in Copenhagen, the WOMEX Showcase programme has included a special stage to highlight the host county's musical and cultural scene and give our delegates a deeper introduction to the artistry, musical and linguistic traditions of the host country. This Regional Stage provides a platform for artists and music professionals within this cultural sector, giving them exposure and impacting the local music industry in the years to come.
It has a very high visibility factor within WOMEX: its programme is promoted alongside the Official Selection, and, during the event, the stage is an integrated and essential part of the full programme. These factors have led to the Regional stage consistently being rated - based on our survey and delegates' feedback - as an influential, valuable and enjoyable aspect of the WOMEX Programme.
This stage builds and reinforces local and international business, cultural and personal connections while attracting local audiences to the showcases and developing diverse awareness for music from around the world, leading to the production of follow-up concerts and establishing new networks. This year's Regional Stage: Lusofónica will focus on the music, richness and culture of the Lusophone communities worldwide who share the Portuguese language WOMEX 21 Regional Stage: Lusofónica is supported by our cultural partner SPA, Sociedade Portuguesa de Autores
Ayom (Brazil/Italy/Spain/Portugal) Bandé-Gamboa (Guinea Bissau/Cabo Verde/Portugal) Miroca Paris (Cabo Verde/Portugal) Lina_Raül Refree (Portugal/Spain) Lucas Santtana (Brazil) Lucia de Carvalho (Angola/France) O Gajo (Portugal) Tanxugueiras (Spain) Vitorino (Portugal)
WOMEX 21 Showcase Artists
Al Bilali Soudan (Mali) Alogte Oho & His Sounds of Joy (Ghana) Antonio Castrignanó & Taranta Sounds (Italy) Aragaki Mutsumi (Japan) Bab L'Bluz (Morocco/France) Boi Akih (Indonesia/The Netherlands) Bokanté (Guadeloupe/USA/Canada) Brìghde Chaimbeul (UK) Chalanes Del Amor (Chile/Mexico) Cimafunk (Cuba) Dongyang Gozupa (South Korea) Ebo Krdum (Sudan/Sweden) Echoes of Zoo (Belgium) Ghetto Kumbé (Colombia) Hudaki Village Band (Ukraine) Kobo Town (Trinidad & Tobago/Guyana/Canada) Kosy (Poland) Lova Lova (DR Congo/France) Manou Gallou (Cote d’Ivoir/Belgium) Mateus Aleluia (Brazil) Mazaher (Egypt) Nakibembe Xylophone Troupe (Uganda) Naïssam Jalal & Rhythms of Resistance (Syria/France) Neuza (Cabo Verde) Northern Resonance (Sweden) Pongo (Angola/Portugal) Rangamatir Baul (India) Rodrigo Cuevas (Spain) Sahib Pashazade Duo (Azerbaijan) Scúru Fitchádu (Cabo Verde/Portugal) Sofía Rei (Argentina/USA) Tolgahan Çoğulu & Sinan Ayyıldız Duo (Turkey) You can listen to all the WOMEX 21 Jury-selected Showcase artists on our Spotify playlist.
Photo Credits: (1) Womex, (2) Galandum Galundaina, (3) Seiva, (4) Sopa de Pedra, (5) Tanxugueiras, (6) Naïssam Jalal, (7) Bab L’ Bluz, (8) Hudaki Village Band, (9) Northern Resonance (unknown/website).