Posts Tagged ‘charlie gillett’

WOMAD Charlton Park 2016: Artist signings with Songlines

Posted on July 25th, 2016 in News, Recent posts by .

Photography by Suzie Blake

George Clinton Parliament-Funkadelic, Buika, Baaba Maal, Anoushka Shankar and many more perform at WOMAD Charlton Park this weekend

This year’s WOMAD is shaping up to be one of the best editions yet, hosting a multitude of the biggest artists from around the globe for four days of festivity at Charlton Park in Wiltshire. Among the fantastic line-up are P-Funk pioneer George Clinton and his legendary band Parliament-Funkadelic, Cape Verdean singer Lura, Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux and flamenco fusion queen Buika. An event for all ages, the festival will also offer a range of family-friendly activities including a Brazilian carnival, tree climbing lessons and the new addition of The Physics Pavilion.

If you’re not able to make it, you can keep up-to-date with the latest news and events by following the Songlines team on Twitter and Facebook. To view the full line-up, visit or download the free WOMAD mobile app.

Once again we’ve partnered with independent record store Rise and will be hosting artists signings for the Siam and Open Air stages. Artists confirmed include Colombian electro-cumbia pioneers Sidestepper, Indian sitar star Anoushka Shankar, and Saharawi singer Aziza Brahim. You can download your own artist CD signing timetable here.


Also be sure to visit the BBC Radio 3 Charlie Gillett Stage, where we will be hosting additional signings. Artists performing here include French-Canadian folk group Le Vent du Nord, Touareg rock group Kel Assouf, and Galician powerhouse Mercedes Peón. You can download your own artist CD signing timetable here.


And don’t forget that we’ll be selling copies of The Guardian and Observer throughout the festival (Fri-Sun incl.) from both Songlines stands (next to the BBC Radio 3 Charlie Gillett Stage and inside the Rise Records shop), so be sure to drop by for a morning chat with the team!

Below are some of the acts we are looking forward to the most, and an exclusive Apple Music playlist to give you a taste of what’s to come.

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WOMAD 2015: Our 10 Recommendations

Posted on July 22nd, 2015 in Features, Live, Recent posts by .



Criolo, photographed by Caroline Bittencourt

As the Songlines team get ready for the upcoming weekend, they share some of their recommendations

With mere hours between us and WOMAD festival, all of us at Songlines HQ cannot wait to get onsite for this celebration of world music. In anticipation, editor Jo Frost, deputy editor Alexandra Petropoulos, news editor Edward Craggs, contributor Alex de Lacey and intern Elicia Casey-Winter have selected the ten bands we’re most looking forward to this weekend.

And don’t forget that we have an unprecedented number of CD signings at the Songlines stands this weekend, so don’t miss your chance to say hello to some of your favourite artists – and Songlines team members! Find out more about Songlines at WOMAD.

Molotov Jukebox 
– Friday, Open Air Stage, 1pm
This band’s own brand of ‘tropical urban Gypsy’ music is sure to bring out the sunshine this weekend… even if only metaphorically. ECW

Kapela Maliszow
– Friday, BBC Radio 3 Charlie Gillett Stage, 2pm
This family trio – made up of father Jan Malisz, son Kacper and daughter Zuzanna – breathe a delightful new life into Polish traditional music, and all on homemade instruments! AP

– Friday, Big Red Tent, 3pm
These guys mix up Middle Eastern sounds with an urban flare while their lyrics call for freedom and equality; it’s danceable music with a conscience. AP

Totó la Momposina 
 Friday, Open Air Stage, 3pm
The doyenne of Afro-Colombian song makes a long-awaited return to the UK. JF

Tal National
 – Friday, Open Air Stage, 5pm
Looking forward to checking out this band and their alternative, Nigerien take on the desert blues sound. JF

– Friday, BBC Radio 3 Charlie Gillett Stage, 10:30pm
Lots of buzz about this French-Cuban sister duo and their hypnotic Cuban electronic mix, so keen to experience them live.  JF

 – Saturday, Open Air Stage, 3pm
Having rapidly become one of the most important musicians in Brazil, the São Paolo rapper’s hard-hitting lyrics and stage prowess are not to be missed. EC

Hannah Peel 
– Saturday, Bowers & Wilkins Sound System, 6pm
I first heard Hannah Peel sing at Green Man Festival in 2011 accompanied solely by her music box. Since then she’s released a solo album, two EPs, and collaborated on The Magnetic North’s project that celebrated the music of Orkney. ADL

The Very Best 
– Saturday, Big Red Tent, 7pm
I can’t think of a better way to kick-start Saturday evening than with the euphoric groove of this duo of Johan Hugo and Malawian Esau Mwamwaya. EC

Atomic Bomb! The Music of William Onyeabor
 – Saturday, Open Air Stage, 9:30pm
This celebration of the elusive Nigerian funk maestro follows the rediscovery of his work on Who is William Onyeabor? released by David Byrne’s imprint Luaka Bop in 2013. Already confirmed to perform are legendary saxophonist Charles Lloyd and American-Sudanese artist Sinkane, with a whole host of guests still to be announced! ADL

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Songlines at WOMAD

Posted on July 22nd, 2015 in News, Recent posts by .


Photography by Susie Blake

We prepare and pack for WOMAD Charlton Park, one of the most far-reaching festival programmes the UK has to offer

With over 50 artist CD signing sessions confirmed (yes, over 50!), this year’s premier world music blast is set to be our biggest yet. If you’re not able to make it to Charlton Park, then you can keep up-to-date with all the latest goings-on by following the team on Twitter and Facebook.

We’ve put together a list of our artist recommendations for this weekend. To view the full line-up visit

In partnership with independent record store Rise, we will be hosting artist signings for the Open Air and Siam stages this year. Artists confirmed include Brazilian MC Criolo, Algerian singer-songwriter Souad Massi, and legendary Touareg group Tinariwen.

Songlines at WOMAD

If you’re heading to the festival this weekend, then be sure to visit our main stand next to the BBC Radio 3 Charlie Gillett Stage. As well as joining in with a spot of festive fun with the Songlines team, you’ll be able to watch all of the acts live and meet them afterwards. Artists performing on this stage include French-Cuban twins Ibeyi, Bolivian singer Luzmilla Carpio and Senegalese star Cheikh Lô.

The Songlines main stand will be the only place you’ll be able to pick up your copy of The Guardian and Observer, so drop by for a morning chat with the team!

Songlines at WOMAD

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Celebrating the life of Charlie Gillett

Posted on March 17th, 2015 in News, Recent posts by .


Photography by Jeremy Llewellyn-Jones

Five years ago today, radio presenter and author Charlie Gillett passed away following a long illness. In the June 2010 edition (#68) we celebrated the life of ‘Mr World Music’, with contributions from colleagues and musicians. We also included a selection of five of Charlie’s favourite tracks that were included on the free covermount CD. You can stream this playlist at the bottom of the page.

Purchase the edition here in order to read the full article.

It might be an exaggeration to describe the death of Charlie Gillett as world music’s ‘Princess Diana moment.’ But the overwhelming combination of sadness, warmth and affection that greeted the news in March 2010 of his demise at the age of 68 suggests not by much.

The simple facts of his career hardly begin to tell the story. His book, The Sound of the City (1970), was one of the earliest attempts at a serious survey of rock’n’roll history. His ‘Honky Tonk’ show on BBC Radio London in the 70s gave first airplay to such unsigned acts as Dire Straits and Elvis Costello. He managed Ian Dury for a time and ran his own label, Oval Records.

As he became increasingly disillusioned with mainstream rock in the 80s, he rediscovered the excitement that had first fuelled his youthful love of rock’n’roll in world music. Via his various radio shows he introduced us to Youssou N’Dour, Salif Keita, Mariza and hundreds of others. In the years before his death, his reach became global via the internet and his work for the BBC World Service.

Songlines asked some of those who worked with him and knew him best to share their memories of the man Mariza simply describes as “Mr World Music.”

Words by Nigel Williamson

Ivan Duran
Stonetree Records, Belize
“Charlie had been coming to Belize around Christmas for several years and he picked up a couple of our CDs. I got an email from him saying he was playing our music on the radio and the following year we met at WOMEX. It was like we had always known each other; I’m sure a lot of artists and producers felt the same way around him. He encouraged me at every opportunity and on his last trip to Belize in 2004, walking on the beach, I asked him what he thought of the Andy Palacio tracks I’d sent him. “I wasn’t impressed,” he said, and started talking about something else. I was devastated and spent another year on the arrangements. Those tracks became Wátina [reviewed in #43], and Charlie was one of the album’s biggest supporters. The album won awards and it was that moment walking on the beach that changed everything. Today I’m a better music producer because of him and he’ll always be with me when I’m in the studio.”

Fado singer
“One cannot explain friendship but I feel I’ve lost a very special friend. I think we all did – even those who didn’t know him. Meeting Charlie was one of the great privileges life has given me. ‘Mr World Music,’ I like to call him! The world of music is poorer and I feel poorer. Thank you for everything you offered us without asking for anything in return. Thank you for your friendship. It will never be forgotten. A big kiss to you Charlie Gillett.”


Joe Boyd
Producer & writer
“There’s never been a career in the music business like Charlie Gillett’s. I first encountered him as a music publisher with a small record label in the 70s. He was clever and charming as an entrepreneur and brought those qualities to the radio. His endless curiosity introduced me to so many now revered recordings and artists, that I forgave him his dislike of English folk music. Many of us imagine releasing CDs of our favourite tracks; Charlie did it every year. His output was monumental; how do you do that and never make any enemies? Adoring Charlie went without saying. Now it’s time to say it. We will all miss him terribly.”

Bassekou Kouyaté
Malian ngoni player
“I played on his radio show and I felt he loved me like a brother. The day I won the BBC Radio 3 award for world music, I went on his show and he said, ‘You deserve this! You’ve worked hard!’ He was so happy, he was crying, so I had to hug him to calm him down. I feel I’ve lost a brother.”


Alan Finkel
Radio colleague
“To be part of his radio programmes was a joy. It was impossible not to be affected by his honesty, integrity, sense of humour, spontaneity, intelligence, kindness, wisdom, warmth and humility. For two hours on Saturday night on BBC Radio London, Charlie would set the barrier impossibly high. Often there were two live sets. It felt like Charlie’s party but the listeners felt part of it too. Despite having a clear sense of what he liked to play, Charlie would allow his guests to choose their own tracks with no prior discussion. I couldn’t imagine another DJ giving up so much precious airtime. Sometimes he’d wince at their choices but at other times an unexpected listening treat would send him diving into his box to find something appropriate to follow. Nothing was predictable. Often he’d change his choice of record 20 seconds before the previously track ended. I’d desperately try to keep up, so everything could be logged. A truly wonderful broadcaster, completely at ease with live radio.”

Yasmin Levy
Israeli Sephardic singer
“Imagine an old town. In the centre of it, an open market, filled with people, stalls of fruit and vegetables, spices, fish… just another day. Suddenly, a bell rings out and everyone stops, looking for the sound. Along comes a young man, riding his bicycle, trailing a carriage behind it. He shouts: ‘All aboard, all aboard, you’re all welcome to join me on a magical journey!’
I came from Jerusalem as a scared, young woman with a dream. It was a big day for me. I was invited to a programme on the BBC with Charlie Gillett. I remember singing into the microphone. Charlie sat there with his eyes closed, listening to me sing and I waited, looking for his response as I held my breath in hope. Since that day, Charlie accompanied me throughout my career. He was one of the first who believed in me, and he introduced my music to the world. On that day in the market, many people came aboard and joined that young man’s journey. He introduced them to all kinds of music, asking them to open their hearts and listen. “What’s your name, young man?” asked one of them. “I’m Charlie Gillett,” he replied. “Welcome aboard.”


Youssou N’Dour
Senegalese singer
“Charlie was the first to play my music on English radio and two days before he died I was thinking about him and wondering what he would make of my new album. I so wanted him to hear it. Then I woke up to the bad news and sadly realised he never would.”

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