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Another Record-Breaking Year For WOMEX - The World Music Expo


The world's biggest trade fair for world-, folk-, roots-, ethnic and traditional music will open its gates in Rotterdam from 25th to 28th of October 2001. The seventh edition of WOMEX is invited to the Cultural Capital of Europe 2001 by the Dunya Foundation, organizer of the Western Union Dunya festival in Rotterdam (audience 2001: 285.000), as well as by DUCOS/ACR, producer of the local Solero Summer Carneval (audience 2001: 800.000). In close cooperation with these partners the Berlin-based WOMEX team presents the most important cultural salon and networking-platform for music from all over the world.

With more than 1.200 delegates from over 70 countries, more than 200 journalists, 240 artists, more than 150 exhibitors and 60 speakers in 34 conference sessions last year's WOMEX in Berlin was the most successful edition so far. But WOMEX is heading for another record-breaking year: already now nearly 1.400 delegates are registered, which is more than the total for the year 2000. The WOMEX jury invited 37 acts to SHOWCASE, out of an incredible number of 500 proposals. During three nights they will bring together professional visitors and a local audience for the big preview of the festival summer 2002.

In the TRADE FAIR section of WOMEX 2001, you will find more than 200 exhibitors from all over the world. The CONFERENCE offers a far-reaching variety of topics from practico to philosophico, amongst many others: Music and Human Rights - the Fight Against Censorship, Is Your Festival Safe?, Indonesia - From Gamelan to Grunge. This year's FOCUS will venture on the world music activities of the BeNeLux region with its wide range of global styles. The area between Bruxelles and Amsterdam offers a fascinating variety of musical languages that are shaped by immigrants from former colonies as well as by new residents from North Africa, Cape Verde and the Mediterranean countries. The Focus 2001 is presented in close cooperation with the Rotterdam Arts Council and the Rotterdam Conservatory, and WOMEX will be opened by the Dutch State Secretary of State of Education, Culture and Science Rick van der Ploeg.

Besides various conference sessions touching topics from the BeNeLux and a great number of trade fair stands from that area, this year's Focus will also be reflected in the showcase section with concerts of artists who are either based or produced in the BeNeLux: Eléyó (Cuba), Farida & The Iraqi Maqam Ensemble (Iraq/NL), Fernando Lameirinhas (Portugal/NL), Fra Fra Big Band (Surinam/NL), Petro-Loukas Chialkas (Greece), Yulduz Usmanova (Uzbekiztan) and Zuco 103 (Brazil/NL). A daily offWOMEX-Programme will feature even more artists in the De Doelen Café and the Rotown Club.

Being a travelling trade fair, WOMEX stands for the continuity of changes. This accounts equally for the WOMEX JURY, the "Seven Samurai", who are different each year. The Jury is also responsible for the WOMEX AWARD which honours the lifetime achievement of artists and producers in the world music scenes all around the globe. In 1999 it was Juan de Marcos and Nick Gold for their 'Buena Vista Social Club' project while in the year 2000 it was South Africa's township legends Mahotella Queens. The Award 2001 pays tribute to Pakistan's Qawwali-giant Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (1948-1997), who strangely never received any award during his lifetime. As part of the ceremony there will be a special performance by one of the great spiritual voices of Pakistan Ustad Gulam Hassan Shagan - coming directly from Lahore for this occasion.

During this ceremony the nominations for the new BBC 3 Radio Awards will be announced as well. These awards are called into life in close cooperation with WOMEX, fRoots, the Rough Guides and Songlines. The "Academy" of the BBC 3 Radio Awards will be made up by the WOMEX delegates, they will cast their ballots through virtualWOMEX, the world's first music trade fair on the internet. virtualWOMEX was launched during WOMEX2000 and it has become one of the most important global networking-platforms for world music. Almost 1,000 exhibitors showcase themselves with a virtual stand in the expo halls of virtualWOMEX, gaining access to a worldwide audience.

For a A - Z list of all SHOWCASE ARTISTS go to

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