Jazz Superstar and Sitar Maestro to perform in New Plymouth

Kamasi Washington and Anoushka Shankar for WOMAD 2018

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Auckland, October 3, 2017

Two critically acclaimed and exciting artistes have been secured for WOMAD New Zealand 2018.

Los Angeles saxophonist, composer and jazz superstar Kamasi Washingtonand Indian classical and progressive sitar virtuoso Anoushka Shankar have signed on to be two of the headlining acts for the popular three-day international music and dance festival.

Multi-award-winning Washington is a jazz giant who has played alongside Lauryn Hill, Snoop Dogg, John Legend and most recently, Kendrick Lamar.

Kamasi’s contemporary take on jazz have been compared to John Coltrane, Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis, and he has wowed crowds and critics at both Coachella and Glastonbury.

Hailed as one of the hottest young jazz acts in the world, Washington will perform exclusively at WOMAD New Zealand, alongside his impressive full band.

Grammy nominated sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar will also be one of the headlining acts.

An Asian Hero

The 36-year-old is the half-sister of American singer and songwriter Norah Jones and is one of the leading figures in World Music today.

Named as one of Time magazine’s Asian Heroes, Anoushka Shankar is a much-lauded musician, author and columnist, as well as a strong advocate for women’s rights.

Taught to play the sitar by her father, the famous Ravi Shankar, Anoushka Shankar has performed with a wide range of artistes, including Sting, Eric Clapton, Lenny Kravitz, and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

New Zealand Programme Manager Emere Wano said that the two critically acclaimed artistes are leaders in their respective genres, reflecting the strength and diversity for which that WOMAD New Zealand is famous.

“World Music is still our core and every year we present acts from many corners of the world, including New Zealand and Australia. We are just about being outward looking at what the world can bring to us, but inclusive and showing the world what we have here at home too.”

They join the already announced classic Kiwi band Dragon.

Full Line-Up next fortnight

The full line-up will be announced on the evening of October 18, 2017.

WOMAD New Zealand is on March 16 to 18, 2018 at Brooklands Park in New Plymouth. Tickets are on sale now from womad.co.nz

Anoushka Shankar

Grammy nominated sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar is one of the leading figures in World Music today. She is deeply rooted in Indian classical music, having studied exclusively with her father, the legendary Ravi Shankar, from the age of nine. Thriving as a composer, she has been exploring the fertile ground in the crossover between Indian music and a variety of genres, including flamenco, electronica, jazz and Western classical music, with the aim of bringing together a variety of cultural experiences and attitudes as organically as possible. She is also an impassioned supporter of women’s rights and social justice, which is reflected in her recent collaborations. Anoushka Shankar returns to New Zealand to share her musical innovation and exploration.

Kamasi Washington

Revolutionary jazz musician Kamasi Washington is an award-winning music school graduate. His session work includes the likes of Lauryn Hill, Snoop Dogg, Herbie Hancock, Chaka Khan and most recently Kendrick Lamar. His ground-breaking debut triple album The Epic released in 2015 gave jazz a contemporary reboot. The release instantly set him on the path as a torchbearer for progressive, improvisational music that would open the door for new audiences to experience music unlike anything they had heard before. The highly anticipated follow up recording Harmony of Difference EP is being released on Friday 29th September. Kamasi will be appearing at WOMAD New Zealand with his full band.


WOMAD NZ 2018 will see the festival celebrate its 14th anniversary in the stunning 55-acre Brooklands Park and the TSB Bowl of Brooklands, New Plymouth over March 16 to March 18, 2018.

Over the years, WOMAD NZ, has rightfully gained a reputation as one of the most beautiful outdoor festivals in the world and after going on sale with early-bird tickets on July 10th, 2017 WOMAD made a new record, with early-bird tickets selling out in record time!
Festival tickets are on sale now – for all ticketing info please go to www.womad.co.nz

Natural Amphitheatre

The main stage is set at the base of a natural amphitheatre and not only provides a stunning setting, but an acoustic experience second to none. The other three stages are located throughout Brooklands Park, with every square inch oozing the vibrancy of WOMAD.
The maximum capacity for WOMAD is 15,000 ticket holders per day so you will never feel like you are in a mosh pit – in fact bring a blanket and enjoy refreshments in stylish chill out areas, watch a cooking demonstration or explore the stalls and workshops. The kids will be entertained at Kidzone with workshops especially for them spread over the weekend.

More than Music

WOMAD is not just music! There’s plenty of other things on site to discover, come along and soak up the warmth of the WOMAD vibe.

The WOMAD campsite is situated next to the festival within the New Plymouth Racecourse and TSB Stadium. The festival site is also located a short distance from New Plymouth’s centre, if you book early you could even get a motel or hotel or house close enough to walk.


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