Club and radio DJ who plays the global musical spectrum; in the 1990s revitalised the world music scene in London with the Mambo Inn; with Max Reinhardt runs the Shrine club night at Cargo and tours with the Shrine Synchro System all over Europe and Africa; creates soundscapes for Nitro theatre company and others; programmes international music festivals in London; co-presented the first two BBC Radio 3 Awards for World Music (and compiles the annual CD); Has recently co-presented an excellent documentary on Fela Kuti for BBC Radio 3 in September 2004, presented the Festival in the Desert from Mali and WOMAD 2004 for BBC4.
Mark Ellingham is the Publisher of Rough Guides, which he set up 25 years ago. He edits, with Simon Broughton, the door-stopping reference book, The Rough Guide to World Music. The first volume of a new edition of the guide, covering the music of Africa and the Middle East, was published in Autumn 2006.
Jo Frost is deputy editor of Songlines magazine. She first developed a love for world music whilst living in France where she worked at the Vienne jazz festival near Lyon and saw performances by musicians such as Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Ray Charles, Lionel Hampton and Sonny Rollins. On returning to London she decided she wanted to work in music, so got her teeth stuck into her first publishing job at Gramophone magazine. Jo has worked on Songlines since it was relaunched in 2002.
Nigel Williamson began his stellar journalistic career at Tribune, before joining The Times as the diary and home news editor. He now writes about music for a number of publications, including Uncut, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, fRoots and many others. He's written acclaimed books about Bob Dylan and Neil Young, compiled an album chronicling the career of Abdullah Ibrahim and claims to have every Dylan song on his I-Pod.
Fiona Talkington has been involved with the Radio 3 Awards for World Music from the start and was a juror in its very first year. She returns to the jury this year having co-presented the Poll Winners concert last year with Verity Sharp and Hugh Masekela. Fiona's best known as co-host, with Verity, of Radio 3's award winning show Late Junction which allows her to indulge her interests in world music as well as jazz, traditional and classical. She's been a regular presenter for Radio 3 at Womad, last year hosting the very popular Radio 3 Stage. She's also writes for the BBC Music Magazine and Songlines, DJs, and is programmer for a number of live music events. Whenever possible she heads across the North Sea and is involved in a number of long-term projects with Norwegian musicians.
Reda El Mawy
Reda El Mawy is currently working as Features and Music producer/ presenter in the Arabic Service of the BBC World Service. He joined the team of the daily magazine program "BBC Extra" since its inception in June 2005. Covering social issues and cultural events, traditional and popular music from the Middle-East and North Africa became a favorite terrain. Born in St Andrews in Scotland to Egyptian parents, his upbringing in Morocco gave him the chance to listen from an early age to a rich repertoire of Berber, Gnawa, Arabo-Andalusian and other genres of local music. Later, his long sojourn in Egypt enabled him to discover beduin music and the arab epics still thriving among rural communities. As a french speaking TV producer/ presenter in Egypt, he was reporting on the revival of mystic life and music among copts and muslim alike in rural and urban Egypt. His current activities in the BBC are enabling him to bring the World Music scene to Arab listeners, and he also contributed to the latest edition of The Rough Guide to World Music on Africa & Middle East.
Gerald Seligman is General Director of WOMEX, the World Music Expo, based in Berlin. He has worked in the music industry for nearly 25 years in the US, Brazil, the UK & Europe. Beginning as a journalist and radio programmer, he went on to hold numerous positions with independent and major labels – creative, executive and consultative – and is a sought-after speaker who has given seminars and lectures on music-related topics throughout the world. As a Grammy-nominated producer he has created or compiled over 120 releases. For EMI he founded and directed the Hemisphere world music label. He was also EMI International’s head of catalogue and strategic marketing.
Born and raised in East London DJ Ritu began her career as a 'pop' music DJ in Farringdon while studying Fine Art at Chelsea School of Art in 1986. In 1988, she attracted the attention of new 'global beats' club 'ASIA' in Islington and this propelled her into the 'world music' scene. Gaining in reputation as an 'Asian music' expert she began to tour abroad, frequently becoming the FIRST DJ to introduce Asian sounds in many countries. In 1994, she co-founded the Outcaste Records label, and as head of A&R she signed Nitin Sawhney and Badmarsh (&Shri). She also ran 'Club Outcaste' and compiled the label's first two compilation albums. On the bhangra scene she became resident at the UK's first weekly Asian club - Bombay Jungle. After performing at WOMEX 1994 and 1995, Ritu was invited to create a 'group' for Heimatklange' in Berlin. Hence her first band, The Asian Equation, formed in 1996. Sister India - Ritu's 2nd band was born out of The Asian Equation, but with a stronger female focus. With solo DJ bookings and intense band activity Ritu has toured the world. Currently, Ritu still presents her weekly show for BBC 3 Counties Radio which is also re-broadcast in Germany, Turkey, and worldwide on the net. She has now taken on the BBC London Saturday night ‘world music’ programme. She also runs three clubs in London. For the Rough Guides she has compiled a number of albums and contributed to various publications - Songlines, Eastern Eye, Rough Guide To World Music. Books, etc.. Her career has been one of many 'FIRSTS'. First Asian DJ on Kiss/World Service, first Asian DJ in Europe, first Asian woman to co-create a record label, and so on. She remains a pioneer in every respect...
DJ Ritu on BBC London
Rwandan by birth, Belgian by upbringing, British by residence and global by choice, Eric Soul is currently stirring up a fire on London's dance and lounge circuit with his blazing mixture of hip hop, soul and an array of global urban sounds. Several years on Belgium's club circuit established Eric firmly as one of the most original DJs on the scene. Drawn to London by the forceful pull of the drum'n'bass wave in the mid 90s, Eric soon became known as a DJ who played a selection of styles that was as eclectic as it was compelling. In order to broaden the mix further, he founded the seminal DJ collective 'Groov'n'Bass Movement' in 1997. In 2000, he provided the surrounding soundscapes to the Paris and London parts of Keziah Jones' tour. From 2001 onwards, Eric's artful mix-ology became a dependable part of London's biggest multicultural celebration, the annual Respect Festival. It was this event that led in 2001 to his first opportunity to spread his musical vision on CD. He compiled the RAW mix-album for the T&G workers union - a record of innovative global music that received high acclaim from world music connoisseurs such as Charlie Gillett. At the moment, Eric is devoting his energies to the promotion of popular African culture via his brand new Afrogroov clubnight - an event featuring live MCs, Fula flute and percussion over Eric's mixes that are deeply rooted in the spine-tingling alchemy of hip hop and musical gems from Africa and beyond.
Max Reinhardt is a club DJ, music writer, compiler, BBC World Service radio presenter and a composer for children's theatre (Oily Cart) and television. His work with Rita Ray has included a string of innovative club events, including the acclaimed long running Mambo Inn and Shrine nights , the world touring DJ/remix 'band' The Shrine Synchro System and the Radio 3 Fela Kuti Sunday Supplement. He is about to present his Ketubah special on Radio 4 and curates international music nights, such as the infamous Radio Gagarin, in London.
An early evangelist of World Music, Sue Steward has spread the word for three Decades through radio, TV, books and journalism. Her first work in the music industry was as press officer for the new Virgin label, after that, she mollycoddled the Sex Pistols as Malcolm McLaren's deputy PA. A long on and off relationship with publishing (editing, picture editing, writing) segued into a full-time obsession with African and Latin music, and the first articles in the mainstream UK press for the Sunday Times Magazine and Time Out. She co-edited the now cultish Collusion magazine - the first International music mag (1981-4) and began to haunt New York presenting the world music show, Bug Radio, from Manhattan, Dakar, Istanbul and London. Back in London, Sue researched and produced several programmes for BBC TV's Arena and Rhythms of the World, was World Music Researcher for Channel 4’s pioneering live world music series, Big World Café, and contributed to the Rhythms of the World book and first Rough Guide to World Music. Throughout the 80s, Sue DJ-ed in London’s burgeoning Latin and world music clubs, co-founded the Mambo Inn in Brixton, and ran Down Mexico Way's Latin nights. 1998 brought the publication of "Salsa - Musical Heartbeat of Latin America" (Thames & Hudson). It was followed by a Rough Guide to Latin music. Radio continues to be a great passion, and Sue has been a regular guest commentator on shows as varied as Peel's, Kershaw's, Gillett's and Duran's, and Womans Hour and Front Row. Following her new involvement as a photo and art critic (Evening Standard), she is currently Art correspondent for British Airway's inflight radio station, "Highlife." She is currently writing a biography of the band leader, Edmundo Ros, and working for a children’s charity called LISTEN, which launches in early 2007.
Elizabeth has a music degree and a Masters in ethnomusicology from Goldsmiths where she's co-ordinating an ongoing public lecture series for its new ground-breaking research facility, the Centre for Contemporary Music Cultures. Recent speakers include Brian Eno, David Toop, Charlie Gillett, Lucy Duran/James Parkin, Sue Steward, Ian Anderson and the producer Joe Boyd. She's a regular feature writer for fRoots magazine - in 2006 covering events in Ethiopia, Sarawak, Sarajevo and Seville - and presents and produces programmes on world music for Channel 4 radio, due to be streamed from March 2007. She’s particularly interested in how and why types of indigenous music change and develop.
Elizabeth is also a musician. She plays sax, bass and pedal steel guitar and has played on sessions for bands as diverse as Primal Scream and Belinda Carlisle; from Top Of The Pops to Radio 4. She recently ditched any chance of a lavish rock’n’roll lifestyle to join the horn section of West London-based no-hopers The Love Trousers, allegedly working hard on their "double B-side" debut single.