The recipient of Tampere Music Award 2021 is Ben Mandelson, world music record producer, musician and the Founding Director of WOMEX. The award goes to Mandelson to honour his resolute work for the recognition of a non-mainstream music genre, world music.
Ben Mandelson (b. 1953) is one of the early advocates of the genre, taking part in the launching of the “world music” genre in 1987, as well as co-founding WOMEX World Music Expo in 1994. Today, WOMEX is the biggest conference of the global music scene and features a trade fair, talks, films and showcase concerts. During its 27-year history, WOMEX has been arranged in different European cities, and the 2019 edition took place in Tampere. Mandelson has worked for WOMEX in different roles, and currently he acts as Supervisory Board member for Piranha Arts, the parent company of WOMEX.
Besides his ground-breaking work at WOMEX, Mandelson is a leading freelance world music record producer and musician. He has worked with influential GlobeStyle Records label in London, among others. As a musician he has played with several bands from punk to world music. Currently he is a member of Les Triaboliques and the Yiddish Twist Orchestra.
The Tampere Music Award for Exceptional Achievement in the Music Industry is a special recognition award, presented in collaboration with the City of Tampere to honour a person, a business, an organization or an idea that has greatly influenced the music industry. The award will be handed out at the Industry Awards Gala on 8 October 2021. Ben Mandelson’s career and inspirations will be discussed in an interview by Tapio Korjus on Thursday, 7 October at 12.45-13.30, at Music & Media event in Tampere.