Rita Ray (chair of the jury)
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.
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
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.
Dudu Sarr is a London-based Senegalese Dj / Promoter/ Social entrepreneur who has d-jayed his way through high school in his native Senegal ( at Sangomar ..the club where Salif Keita was first recorded by the late Moussa Diallo ) before moving to France. While studying to become an interpreter he also promoted music (he organised the first Kassav concert outside Paris in 1987) and d-jayed in some of the major clubs in France, almost single-handedly starting the African music club scene in Tours ( France ) .
In 1989, he moved to London to take up a language lecturer’s post. Impossible to keep away from music, he started Afrotronic the movement which integrated so excitingly African music with more mainstream club dance sounds in order to attract younger audiences.
He now has a weekly residency at London’s exclusive Momo’s and also spins at Cargo, the Notting Hill Arts Club, the Vibe Bar and at various venues around the world.
When he is not dj-ing Dudu is a tireless cultural campaigner and social entrepreneur. He is co-founder of Aduna the charity responsible for putting Damon Albarn, Fatboy Slim and Mylo on one bill at Fabric last year in aid of african musicians. He co-curated the music jukebox for the Africa Remix exhibition and has presented a number of seminars at Womex.
In 1990, when world music first discovered David Hutcheon, he was working as a van driver and helping transport the Cambodian National Dance on their first European dates since 1964, a tour that culminated in a show at the first Reading WOMAD (and an accidental marriage to one of the dancers). Bitten by the bug, he attended every one of the 17 Rivermead festivals, picking up laminates that described him progressively as guest, crew, artist and press. Using this experience to camouflage the fact he knew nothing about music or writing, he started writing about music for Time Out. He was there 12 years before they realised, but by then he had also started writing for Mojo, The Times and The Sunday Times, for whom he also holds down a day job as editor of the television section. If you like the sound of this as a career path, just never say “no” when somebody asks you if you can do something. The chances are they wouldn’t be asking if they knew more about the subject than you do.
Robin Denselow specialises in both music and politics. He writes on world music for The Guardian and other publications, and is a regular contributor to World Routes and other music programmes. In his other role as a television correspondent, he spent many years working for Newsnight and Panorama, travelling widely in Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere. In 2007, he was the writer and producer of Brasil, Brasil, a 3-part story of Brazilian music for BBC4.
Andrew’s interest in music from other cultures was pulled into sharp focus when he queued for 10 hours to get into the first all-night Indian Prom at the Royal Albert Hall back in 1989: Imrat Khan and his sons in a remarkable concert. As part of his music degree, Andrew studied North Indian classical music and Japanese gagaku, before finding himself working at BBC World Service as a studio manager, hearing music from every part of the globe during the transmissions, and recording musicians from other countries every once in a while.
Since then Andrew’s been presenting programmes on BBC Radio 3, and was one of the people trying to persuade the station to broadcast from the WOMAD Festival in the UK…so he’s been delighted to help front every WOMAD since Radio 3 got involved, interviewing all kinds of artists, from the newcomers to established stars like Youssou N’Dour. Andrew has also broadcast from WOMAD for BBC World Service, for whom he’s presented highlights from the BBC Radio 3 Awards for World Music since they began. Favourite moments include an audience with Khaled in his dressing room, and Bulgarian wedding maestro Ivo Papasov offering to play at Andrew’s wedding, as long as he married a nice Bulgarian girl…
Other world music highlights include fronting an all-night broadcast from Peter Gabriel’s studio complex, and presenting BBC Radio 3’s annual New Year’s Day odysseys called ‘Music Around the World’. These epics involved live performances and conversations from every continent, often under extraordinary circumstances, such as the unforgettable interviews and performances live from Kabul, the first since the Taliban suppression. Andrew presented BBC Radio 3’s coverage of Africa Calling at the Eden Project during Live 8, also filing live news bulletins for BBC Five Live.
Andrew introduces world music to nocturnal audiences on BBC Five Live every week; he’s made programmes about one of his special interests: Corsican pulifunie, and is hoping one day to find time to take up the Cretan lyra.
Jamie Renton is a freelance music journalist who writes about a broad range of global musical styles (African, Latin American, Asian, Blues, Jazz, Reggae etc etc). He started writing in 1997 when he acquired a family and a mortgage and needed to find a way to feed his musical addiction. He is now a regular contributor to fRoots and Straight No Chaser and has also written for Songlines, The Beat and The Encyclopaedia of Popular Music, as well as providing sleevenotes for albums on the Luaka Bop and Nascente labels. Jamie lives in East London with his family, his mortgage and his (still raging) musical addiction.