[Nano Stern will perform at Womad 2018]

Two acts with a strong Jewish connection will feature in next year’s three day music festival, Womad.

Nano Stern, born Fernando Daniel Stern Britzmann, was born in Chile 32 years ago, the grandchild of Holocaust refugees who had fled Europe during World War II. The singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist is known for his passionate stage perfomances largely driven by political purpose.

Israeli vocal hip-hop star Victoria Hanna will deliver tales from ancient texts and stories of current social injustices. She was named in 2015 as one of Israel’s top 50 influential women. Her first video single, Aleph Bet, named after the Hebrew alphabet, went viral on YouTube with half a million hits.

Stern grew up in Chile during Pinochet’s dictatorship. His childhood was coloured not only by his own family’s activism and musicianship but by the legacy of the Nueva Cancion movement begun as a social movement and musical genre characterized by folk-inspired songs and socially committed lyrics. He started to play the violin at aged three and by his teenage years he was playing with a folk rock band.

He abandoned a university music degree to settle in Cologne, Germany where he met and performed with a Latin American fusion group, Ortiga, who had left Chile in the 1980s.

His music style encompasses trova, folk and rock. He has toured widely.

“Being away has a lot to do with being here, being present in absence. Chile becomes a very strong influence when you’re far away and this is clear when I’m creating,” he says.

Victoria Hanna grew up in an ultra-Orthodox household in Jerusalem. She found a way to express herself and overcame her stutter through secular music.

Jerusalem based artist, Victoria Hanna is a world-renowned composer, creator, performer, researcher, and teacher of voice and language.

The daughter of an ultra-orthodox rabbi, she has been greatly influenced by her childhood environment. In her work, she deploys a variety of vocal techniques in the performance of ancient and modern Hebrew texts, among them Sefer Yetzirah (“Book of Creation”), an early Kabbalistic treatise.

She draws inspiration from the ancient Hebrew tradition, which relates to the voice, mouth, and Hebrew letters as tools of creation. According to the Kabbalah, the world was created through the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, each one symbolizing and relating to a specific element in the universe and in the human body, each letter an exact signal, sound, and frequency in space. Stylistically, her creations span from traditional Jewish music to new music and hip-hop.

Womad 2018 is from March 16-18. Tickets are on sale now.

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