WOMAD takes to the National Theatre’s River Stage this weekend

On Friday 11 August WOMAD, the world’s festival, will take to the stage at the National Theatre for the first time. Join WOMAD as they a host a range of acclaimed international acts and artists and take over the NT’s River Stage festival for a weekend of beats, harmonies and the very best in world music.

The National Theatre’s River Stage Festival is in its second year and offers audiences five free weekends of the best and brightest entertainment from some of the UK’s leading arts and culture organisations. The 2017 River Stage Festival sees The Glory, HOME, Manchester, WOMAD, Rambert and the National Theatre each ‘take over’ the River Stage for a weekend throughout July and August.

Chris Smith, Global Festival Director of WOMAD, said “WOMAD celebrates diversity, togetherness and sharing cultures across borders so it is perfect for us to collaborate with the NT’s River Stage, showcasing some of the best global acts in the most varied, buzzing and colourful city on the planet. We are delighted to be bringing a splash of colour and the funky festival vibes from WOMAD to central London and to work with such a prestigious institution as the NT”.

Msafiri Zawose, Tanzania’s charismatic Gogo innovator said: “When I’m at WOMAD I feel like I’m on a global journey amongst friends and family. I’m happy to be in a place sharing art with the world and I’m sure this weekend at NT River Stage will be exactly the same.”

Grace Savage, Female Beatbox Champion, said “Really looking forward to performing on the NT River Stage this weekend. It’s gonna be a banger!”

Join WOMAD in London for free this weekend 11- 13 August 2017:

Friday 11 August

Afro Cluster

7.00pm – 8.00pm

Afro Cluster, a Cardiff based band that meld authentic sounds and rhythms of afro-funk and hip-hop with impassioned, politically conscious lyrics atop bold melodies, afro-beat aural acrobatics, rich harmonies and complex rhythms.

Mr Benn ft. Souls Liberation and Bongosan

8.30pm – 10.30pm

Reared on a tasty diet of Aswad, The Specials and King Tubby, 90s hip hop, plenty of jungle and hi-life rhythms, the musical influences behind DJ / producer Mr Benn’s sound are always rooted in a passion for the heavy bass that his home town of Bristol is renowned for.

Saturday 12 August

Jus Dance Workshop

1.00pm – 1.45pm

Facilitated by Jamaican dancer and choreographer, Ripton Lindsay, these family workshops combine a mix of his traditional Jamaican dance moves as well as reggae, calypso and creative movements. The workshops are based around fun and energetic steps leading into a routine at the end of the session.

Beatboxing vocal workshop

2pm – 2.45pm

UK beatboxing champion Grace Savage invites you to join an immersive beatboxing experience where you can learn the basic skills, jam with Grace and even have a go at beatboxing into a microphone and hearing your beats blasting out of an amplifier!

Msafiri Zawose

3pm – 3.45pm

Tanzania’s charismatic Gogo innovator Msafiri Zawose and his five-member group draw on dozens of hand-wrought instruments to unfold complex compositions. They turn cyclical pieces into choruses, bridges, and intriguing moments of arresting, tight harmonies. Layers build, repeating elements overlap and turn to grooves.

NIMBA workshop & performance

4 – 5pm

This is an energetic, at times highly acrobatic display of West African dance. The accompanying musicians don’t disappoint either, whether delivering furious percussive work-outs or undulating melodies of the balafon and Fulani flute. Nimba’s focus is on recounting the mythologies and history of Guinea through choreography. It’ll be the most frenetic and physical history lesson you’ve ever sat in on.

AKA George

5.30pm – 6.30pm

AKA GEORGE is a young, British multi-instrumentalist who writes, sings, produces and above all, performs. From headlining the Silver Hayes stage at Glastonbury to his own packed-out secret gigs around London, this August he brings his reckless, passionate and inspiring stage presence to the River Stage.

Bollywood Brass Band feat. Jyotsna Srikanth: Carnatic Connection

7 – 8pm

The Bollywood Brass Band is the UK’s pioneering Indian-style brass band. The band tours UK, Europe and beyond. Their previous CD (Chaiyya Chaiyya) was nominated for a Songlines Award, and was a Sunday Times top 10 world music album. ‘Joyous…. Electrifying horn riffs and percussion… irresistible’ Sunday Times, ‘Improbably funky’ Songlines.

Gypsy Hill

8.30pm – 9.30pm

Gypsy Hill play an intoxicating mix of Balkan brass, Mediterranean surf rock, ska and swing. Featuring guitars, horns, tuba, a scratch DJ and a mix of live and electronic beats, Gypsy Hill effortlessly mix the traditional with a uniquely modern sound.


9.45pm – 10.45pm

Cal Jader is one of the musical activists, founders and original ‘dancehall caballeros’ behind Movimientos and Love Carnival. With his trademark blend of red hot ‘classico’ Latin beats, uptempo carnival rhythms, tropical bass and fresh global sounds, he is helping to soundtrack London’s alternative club scene in the UK and Europe.

Sunday 13 August

Jus Dance Workshop

12pm – 12.45pm

Facilitated by Jamaican dancer and choreographer, Ripton Lindsay, these family workshops combine a mix of his traditional Jamaican dance moves as well as reggae, calypso and creative movements.

Beatboxing vocal workshop

1pm – 1.45pm

Join an immersive beatboxing experience with UK beatboxing champion Grace Savage. Learn the basic skills, jam with Grace and even have a go at beatboxing into a microphone and hearing your beats blasting out of an amplifier!

Amira Kheir

2.15pm – 3.15pm

Hailed as the ‘Diva of the Sudanese desert’ (BBC World News) Sudanese-Italian singer Amira Kheir has been enchanting audiences around the world with an experimental sound inspired by traditional music from her homeland Sudan and anchored in experimental jazz and soul. The result is a unique style of Sudani-Jazz.


3.45pm – 4.45pm

A proven and unstoppable force on the UK music scene for over a decade, Soothsayers have added their mouth-watering afrobeat and dubalicious flavours to an impressive list of festivals, venues and theatres around the world.


WhatsOnStage is NT River Stage Media Partner for 2017

Philips Lighting is partner of the NT’s River Stage Festival 2017

Walter Nicoletti
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Walter Nicoletti

Founder at Voce Spettacolo
Walter Nicoletti fonda Voce Spettacolo nel 2011. Si laurea in Giurisprudenza. In qualità di Attore lavora in fiction televisive, film italiani ed internazionali. Nel 2016 produce TEK, primo cyberpunk western italiano. Nel 2018 produce MIA selezionato da Rai Cinema. E' portavoce italiano del "60th Anniversary of Foreign Language Film" by TheOscars® (2017) e della Notte degli Oscar® di Londra (2018).
Walter Nicoletti
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