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2007 - week 21 from 26 May: Awards for World Music Winners

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 1:00 pm
by Charlie
Seq - Artist - Song Title - Album - Country - Label - Cat no

1 - Camille - Quand Je Marche - Le Fil - France - Virgin France - 94634771429

2 - K'naan - Until the Lion Learns to Speak - The Dusty Foot Philosopher - Canada/ Somalia - Track & Field - CD0001

3 - Debashish Bhattacharya - Aanandam - Calcutta Slide Guitar - India - Riverboat - TUGCD1036

4 - Mahmoud Ahmed - Tezeta - Eré Mèla Mèla - Ethiopia - Buda - 82980-2

6 - Ghada Shbeir - Badat Min Al Khidri - Al Muwashashat - Lebanon - Forward - 6 34479 30017 2

7 - Maurice El Medioni - Je N'aime que Toi - Descarga Oriental - Algeria/USA - Piranha - CD-PIR 2003


This weekend, BBC Radio 3 presents the sixth annual Awards for World Music at the Barbican in London, in association with Serious (the promoters who actually stage the event) and fRoots (whose idea this was in the first place).

Every year, the Awards trigger the same questions – what is world music, who decided the categories, how did so-and-so get to be a winner and why didn’t somebody else win? I usually deflect all such questions with a shrug, being glad for a moment’s attention to this music that stays unheard and unseen for so much of the rest of the year, and happy to share my pleasure with people who may be seeing some of the winners for the first time.

There’s a two-stage process to the nominations, which are first voted by delegates to WOMEX (the annual trade fair for professionals in the world music industry). The top three or four names are then filtered through a jury meeting, with the addition of a single nomination from specialist producers at the BBC World Service in the categories of Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas. Having been chairman of that jury for five years, I stepped out of the process this year.


As an ardent champion of the French singer Camille from the moment a slip-case of her album Le Fil came in the post two years ago, I was amazed to find that my enthusiasm was shared by enough WOMEX delegates to put Camille among the European nominations, but not so surprised when she was then voted the overall winner. There’s an instinct at the jury meetings to avoid returning to a previous winner, which was likely to rule out Mariza and Ojos de Brujo. Of the two remaining nominees (both French, coincidentally), Lo’jo had made a disappointing last album, whereas Camille’s Le Fil is a beguiling gem that got the jury’s support. It’s actually her second album, but like many others I was unfamiliar with her first. Having subsequently caught up with her debut, I can hear few signs of what was to come – it’s conventional and unremarkable, whereas Le Fil is extraordinarily original, using Camille’s multi-tracked voice as both background and foreground. Some feel drawn to make comparisons with Bjork, but the American performance artist Laurie Anderson would be a better parallel. Seeing Camille live only reinforced that impression – she is adventurous and funny.


If there was one other recent artist whose record pleased me as much as Camille’s, it was K’naan, the Somali-born songster now based in Toronto, Canada. So it was a double pleasure to see him nominated and then declared winner in the Newcomer category.

When health reasons caused me to stop doing my BBC London show exactly a year ago, disappointment was softened by the feeling that the eleven-year run had finished on a high point: the last show’s radio ping pong guest was K’naan, and Camille and her producer MaJiker had been my guests two weeks earlier (both shows are archived at Mondomix: ). For a while, it looked as though we would all get together onstage in the foyer of the Barbican this Sunday afternoon, ahead of the main stage performances in the evening. But Camille was rushed to hospital for surgery earlier this week, and K’naan is stranded in Canada where his second child’s arrival into the world has been delayed by a few days.

Mahmoud Ahmed

Francis Falceto [photograph by Banning Eyre for Afropop]

But two other winners will join me, ahead of their appearances on the main stage: Ethiopian legend (and winner of the African category) Mahmoud Ahmed will be accompanied by Francis Falceto, who has been his champion for more than twenty years and who is the compiler of the Ethiopiques series which has introduced the rest of the world to the priceless music that was recorded in Ethiopia during the early 1970s.

Maurice El Medioni
[photograph by Banning Eyre for Afropop]

Maurice El Medioni, who won the Culture Crossing category for his album with New York percussionist Roberto Rodrigues, will talk about his days as Algeria’s most in-demand musician in the 1950s, when he was ready willing and able to play anything from American rock ‘n’ roll and Cuban mambos to Algerian folk music.

Image Image

Also featured in this programme are the Indian slide guitarist, Debashish Bhattacharya, winner of the Asian category, and the Lebanese classical singer Ghada Shbeir, winner in the Middle East category.

[Incidentally, LaXula will play live during the foyer event in the afternoon, which will end with a ping pong session with Gilles Peterson from about 4.15.]


PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 2:14 pm
by Charlie
emails from

1: Kevin Dew, Redlynch, U.K.

First my apologies I have only just found your programme. Just to let you know I was knocked out when I heard Camille.

Will be a regular listener from now on.

thanks for being out there Charlie.



2.A Lynda Finn, waitakere, Aotearoa (New Zealand)

I hate to say this as I LOVE Charlie's programme but would someone ask him to PLEASE blow his nose before he goes live? Whether it's a constant cold or hayfever, there are products on the market to clear nasal passages, even a salt water snook and a good blow works wonders.

Yes, picky I may be but when something intrudes into enjoyment it threatens to ruin the whole programme.




I winced as I read this, Lynda, because I am uncomfortably aware of how horrible I sound. The only amazing thing is how few people complain.

If only it would go away when I blow my nose.

It's not a cold, hayfever or flu or any of the normal explanations, but a condition called Churg Strauss syndrome, which describes the auto-immune system going out of whack. It also attacked the nerves in my feet, making it difficult to walk for several months last year. The feet are slowly recovering (four more years to go!) but the congestion is harder to deal with. Normal medication makes it worse, but Chinese herbs do seem to be helping. Hopefully it will steadily improve.



2.B Lynda Finn, Waitakere, NZ

Hi Charlie,

Guess how guilty I feel now!? I've just read up on it and I'm full of admiration for how you've maintained your usual excellent humour and presentation in the face of such problems.

I wish you all the very best. I enjoy your programmes very much and will try to be much more sympathetic in future.

I started and still run Waitakere Folk Club and have recommended your show to a lot of people here, so you have many fans in New Zealand.

Kindest regards

Lynda Finn


3. Rosanna, Barcelona, Spain

Charlie, your Saturday programme shouldn't be so short! It's so good...:) I love the voice of Mahmoud Ahmed. Thank you for including it. And the CD Eré Mèla Mèla (I think there's a fantastic song as well with this title) is a classic I would have to find. Maybe on iTunes. Let me search!

All my best,