If you like stellar voices: One of the most legendary singers on this years Oslo World roster is not with us any longer. The Palestinian singer Rim Banna tragically passed away this spring. During our opening concert, singers such as Kari Bremnes, Solveig Slettahjell, Tania Saleh, Maryam Saleh and Marthe Valle will pay tribute to her music, supported by a band made out of musicians from Norway and the Middle East – all moved, in some way or another, by Rim Bannas music and personality.
If you want to dance: Like previous years, Oslo World collaborates with Jaeger, putting together a club program with dj’s from all over the world who will feature every night during the festival. At Victoria, you can hear Bixiga 70 from São Paulo. They are a large band who compels you to move, with equal parts Brazilian music and Afrobeat. At Mzansi Pride, both FAKA and Moonchild Sanelly will do the same, in addition to the dj duo Jozi Nights, who will play South African club music in between sets and into the night.
If you want to listen: Responsiveness is a key word in the ensemble “Time is a blind guide”, led by Norwegian drummer Thomas Strønen. It combines elements such as strings, a piano trio and a percussion group, as well as steel guitar and tablas. The music is brand new, composed with this concert in mind.
If you want something spectacular: Last years concert with the french composer and musician Chassol at Riksscenen was a high point of the festival – both visually and musically. He played “Indiamore”, based on video recordings of everyday life in India, where music suddenly reveals it self in the cacophony. He returns this year with “Big Sun”, a new work based on the same compositional techniques, based on life in Martinique.
If you can’t get enough guitar in your life: The largest name for six string afficionados this year is arguably Bombino, who for the last decade has expanded the vocabulary of the instrument with imagination and virtuosity. But he is not the only one – check out Fatoumata Diawaras subtle guitar stylings on her last album, “Fenfo”, for example. Another hot tip is Ali Güçlü Şimşek, who comes to Oslo with Gaye Su Akyol, and who plays Turkish surf guitar like no one else does.
If you can get enough of guitar: The legendary Kronos Quartet will perform with the Iranian sisters Mahsa and Marjan Vahdat at Cosmopolite. It is an obvious highlight of the festival. The quartets reputation as a live ensemble is fully deserved – this will be a memorable encounter with the possibilities of the string quartet format.
If you want to see future stars: The french-cuban twin sisters Ibeyi will perform what they have dubbed “contemporary negro spirituals” – melodies with deep roots, given eclectic and electronic contexts. At Blå, the sami electro pop talents in ISÁK will perform at the same night as Benin International Musical. We will also get glimpses of the future during Mzansi Pride, where, among other things, you can experience the boundless talent of pop wunderkid Nakhane. At Blå, Meridian Brothers and Cero 39 will do a night of Colombian music guaranteed to surprise people who thought that music from Latin America has to mean salsa, tango, samba or reggaeton. The future is far more psychedelic, electronic and varied.
If you want to delve further back in history: Many of the artists appearing at Oslo World are the descendants of rich musical families. Estrella Morente, one of the biggest names to visit us this year, comes from a family full of important flamenco artists. She is perhaps the biggest interpreter of traditional flamenco currently active. The Palestinian oud trio Trio Joubran will visit Kulturkirken Jacob with music stretching thousands of years back.
If you like everything at once: It’s hard to know where to start when you’re going to introduce the music featured at OkWorlds label night. Music and musicians from Nepal, Syria and India. Norwegian mainstays like Bendik Baksaas, Bugge Wesseltoft, Håkon Kornstad and Knut Reiersrud – and everything from synthesizers to jews harps on stage.
If you want food for thought: Oslo World is not just about music anymore. The rich seminar program seeks to discuss the theme chosen for the festival in different ways. This year, we can recommend events like Freedom to Resist, a discussion about political art in different corners of the world, as well as the Nobel seminar Freedom…but for whom?, where you will also get to hear a concert with the Lebanese underground icon Tania Saleh.