What could be better than seeing artists from all over the world come together and perform over one glorious weekend of music, arts and culture? Perhaps getting the chance to meet these artists and get an extra special insight into their skills and talent, which WOMAD does in abundance with their wonderfully curated Workshop Programme, offering festival-goers the unique opportunity to get up close and personal with the artists they’ve seen on stage and learn the tricks of the trade. Whether it’s learning a new instrument, trying a new singing technique, or getting your dancing shoes on, there’s certainly something for everyone to experience.

Official world beatbox champions The Beatbox Collective will be giving a masterclass in the art on Saturday, guiding festival-goers through an introduction to the infinite nature and combinations of beatboxing, the voice and the imagination before their big performance at Molly’s Bar that evening. At the other end of the voice percussion scale are the Ta Dhom Project, whose sub-genre of hip-hop takes its influence from the rhythmic language of kannakol from the classical Carnatic tradition and will be showing us all how it’s done on Saturday at their interactive workshop. Meanwhile, The Iberi Choir of Georgia will  showcase their incredible talents to audiences on stage before bringing their hauntingly beautiful sound to the more intimate surroundings of their workshop, where everyone is welcome to come and give it a go.

Another artist WOMAD-ers can see on stage and then get tips from is the incredible Brushy One String; hailing from Jamaica, the veteran musician will showcase his unconventional  reggae rhythms at his workshop on Sunday before taking to the stage later that day. Other opportunities to learn weird and wonderful instrument playing include an Indonesian Gamelan workshop in the round with percussive collective Kayai Fatahillah, West African djembe masterclasses from Sidiki Dembele and Hans Sutton and Claudio Kron’s Rhythms of Brazil,bringing a taste of Latin American rhythms to the fields of Wiltshire.

Putting the D(ance) back into WOMAD is Reggaeton King and Master of RhythmsLeandro Charanga who will be performing a mass participation masterclass at the Open Air stage for the first time in the festival’s history on Saturday morning, giving everyone the chance to join in and learn the dance steps ready for Big Cuban Orchestra Akokan’s performance on Sunday night.

Other incredible dance workshops to get stuck into include hip hop and houseled by Japanese Tomoko Shiba, Egyptian belly dancingwith Michelle Pender & Majaz, traditional Aborignal Yolngu dance with Larry Gurruwiwiand Swing Patrol, who’ll be teaching everyone the Lindy-Hop, Charlston and Blues moves ahead of the Swinghoppers performance.


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