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Byron Bay Bluesfest

Wouter Kellerman

It’s been a long time coming, but Bluesfest is welcoming South African Globe-trotting flutist and composer Wouter Kellerman to the stage in 2017!

Wouter has travelled extensively over the last few years, performing around the globe in places like Berlin, Shanghai, Delhi, New York and Sydney, including sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall in New York City in 2014 and 2015. In 2010 he performed at the FIFA Soccer World Cup Closing Ceremony to a global television audience of 700-million people.

In 2015 Wouter won a Grammy for his album Winds of Samsara, collaboration with Indian composer and producer Ricky Kej. Winds Of Samsara reached number one on the US Billboard New Age Albums Chart and also peaked at number one on the Zone Music Reporter Top 100 International Radio Airplay Chart, winning both the ZMR ‘Album of the Year’ and ‘Best World Album’ awards.

His album Love Language was released in 2015 and debuted at number one on the World Music Billboard charts in its first week. It received a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, Kellerman’s second nomination is as many years. In May 2016 Love Language won the SAMA (South African Music Award, equivalent to the American Grammy) for ‘Best Instrumental and/or Classical Album’. This was Kellerman’s sixth SAMA award, reinforcing his status as one of South Africa’s foremost musicians. Love Language reached #1 on the ZMR Top 100 International Radio Airplay Chart and was nominated for the ZMR ‘Best World Album. From the album, the song ‘The Long Road’, a solo flute piece which Wouter wrote for Nelson Mandela, won the 2016 Global Peace Song Award in the public voted Acoustic/ Contemporary Music category.

The album draws influence from Senegal and Spain, Cuba and India, Greece and the United States, encapsulating the myriad ways that people connect on the topics of life and love — and the countless languages with which people speak of the universal connection that binds them one to another. A true crossover artist, Kellerman thrives on experimenting with the shades, textures and colours that his magic flute is capable of painting, and creatively blending them with other instrumentation and vocal sounds. In the spirit of Love Language, all proceeds from album sales go to the SOS Children’s Villages in South Africa.

Using his classical training as a foundation, Kellerman focused his attention on world music, exploring the versatility of the flute and fusing classical and contemporary sounds, resulting in a potent and thrilling musical encounter. He is taking his crossover world music to a global audience, having gained a solid following in his native South Africa. His albums have been released in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, India, North America and in Australia. Bluesfest is proud to have giant star of world music playing at the festival this year.

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