Founded in 1996 by Jewish/Assyrian couple Yael and Robin Zirwanda, for 20 years Azadoota’s catchy originals have been rousing unsuspecting listeners to their feet and onto dance-floors. Front man Robin comes from Iraq, where the Assyrians can trace their ancestors back 7000 years. Singing in his native Neo-Aramaic language, he fronts a lineup of incredibly talented young musicians – look out for Ben Samuels on sax and clarinet, and 16-year-old Paris Freed on backing vocals. In costumes derived from Ancient Assyrian fashion, they perform an extravaganza of contemporary Assyrian dance-rock worldbeat, featuring sassy brass and punchy percussion, with an irrepressible sense of celebration.
WOMADelaide 2014 “If one were to pick a single act that sums up the WOMAD spirit, it would probably be the Australian-Iraqi party band Azadoota.” -The Guardian “The crowds at our folk festivals are up and dancing when they start. One of the best world music sounds I’ve heard!” -David DeSanti