Great line-up for Moshito

INFLUENTIAL: Gerald Seligman. © Unknown.
INFLUENTIAL: Gerald Seligman. © Unknown.

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

The country's leading music conference, Moshito, begins today and the list of speakers is quite impressive.

Leading the list of international experts is Gerald Seligman, director of the world's biggest and most influential world music gathering, Womex.

He will be bringing his expertise in the music industry as well as his experience in growing Womex to delegates. It will mark the start of a new relationship between Moshito and the world music expo, which is poised to significantly up the ante of the former.

Also heading for Johannesburg is Nigel Williamson, an internationally respected journalist, editor and broadcaster for 30 years.

A former news editor of The Times, Williamson now writes on a freelance basis about pop, rock and world music for a wide variety of publications, including The Times, The Guardian and The Independent.

He is also a contributing editor of Uncut magazine and of the world music magazine, Songlines.

He is the author of several books, including The Rough Guide toBob Dylan, The Rough Guide to the Blues, The Rough Guide to LedZeppelin and Rough Guide to the Best Music You've Never Heard (due for release on October 1).

Williamson has travelled widely through Africa and interviewed many of the continent's leading musicians, including Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Youssou N'Dour, Baaba Maal, Ali Farka Toure and Femi Kuti.

One of the most exciting additions to the line-up of international speakers at Moshito is Manny Mohamed Aly Ansar, the driving force behind the festival in the Desert in Mali, one of Africa's most legendary music festivals.

It is widely acknowledged as providing a global platform for Africa's Tuareg musicians.

The emphasis on live music at this year's Moshito is reinforced by the inclusion of Hans Hjorth.

Until recently chairman of the European Worldwide Music Festivals Forum, Hjorth is executive manager of the European Live Music Forum and senior producer at concerts in Sweden.

The expansion of African participation in Moshito is underscored by the inclusion of several other experts from the continent, including Charles Ruyembe Mulimba, director of Rulu Arts Promoters in Dar es Salaam.

The ever-changing digital domain is another strong aspect of Moshito's conference and this year John Ingham, an expert on the interface between the digital environment and music, is one of the international speakers.

Ingham's experience is long standing and varied and includes serving as content director at both CompuServe and music portal Worldpop, and business development at Cable and Wireless, as head of content development at UK mobile operator O2.

He also advises media and entertainment companies on their online and mobile strategies, including Syco TV, Sony BMG, EMI Music, BT, Agora (Poland) and Zonik (Saudi Arabia).

David Vodicka, managing director of Rubber Records and Rubber Music Publishing, will bring his expertise to the independent sector to Moshito, which begins today.