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24 juillet 2007

The World of Womad, BBC Radio 4, 1.30pm July 24, 2007

The title of the musician Nitin Sawhney’s programme is partially tautologous, given that Womad is itself an abbreviation of World of Music, Arts and Dance, the first festival of which took place before a small but appreciative crowd at the Bath and West Showground in 1982. These days, of course, Womad is massive – “Womads” have now been held in 27 countries, and the latest begins on Friday. Here Sawhney looks to the past, and forward to the future, with a host of cool friends, Peter Gabriel, Billy Cobham and Charlie Gillett, the journalistic guru of world music, among them.

BBC RADIO 4 Tuesday 24 July 2007/ The World Of Womad/ Tuesday 24 July/ 1.30-2.00pm BBC RADIO 4

The World of Music, Arts and Dance, or the Womad festival as it's more commonly known, brings together artists from all over the globe, and, this year, celebrates its 25th birthday. Musician Nitin Sawhney charts the festival's history, from a small crowd of open-minded music fans at the Bath and West Showground in Somerset in 1982, to a massive cultural and musical celebration that has taken place in 27 countries worldwide.

From the very beginning, educating people about the culture behind the music was as important as the music itself. To this end, the Womad Foundation charity organises workshops at the festivals as well as other educational and outreach projects in this country and abroad, and Nitin visits one of these at a school in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. He also travels to one of Womad's international festivals, in Spain, and talks to some of the musicians performing there and the audience about their Womad experiences.

The programme includes contributions from Peter Gabriel, Thomas Brooman, Billy Cobham, Sheila Chandra, Guo Yue and Charlie Gillett.

Presenter/Nitin Sawhney, Producer/Julia Hayball

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