WOMEX 2011 in Copenhagen (the World Music Expo) offered something for everyone!
In addition to Baiana System, these are selected highlights from showcases I attended:
Carmen Paris and Melissa Aldana (saxophone): Jazz jota from Spain
Represented by Doce Ideas
Élage Diouf of Senegal with his band. Check out his website
Represented in Canada by Pierre-Luc Durand
Asif Ali Khan & Party ... and it was a party! centered around Qawwali Sufi song from Pakistan
Find them at Zaman Production (France)
Hungarian Heartbeats was the sole feature of the opening night showcase.
Violist and manager Endre Liber conceived of this project featuring five distinct groups but often with overlapping personnel. The cimbalom duo with Kalman Balogh and Miklos Lukacs was my personal favorite (as a hammered string player myself). Coincidentally I first heard Balogh in Munich in the early 90s - undoubtedly on one of his first tours westward. The journey continues!
The trade fair at Forum Copenhagen -- next year we head to Thessaloniki, Greece!