Madison (Wisconsin), USA – The ever popular World Music Festival will return for its third year on the
UW-Madison (Wisconsin) campus from Thursday, September 21 to Saturday, September 23, bringing with it celebrated artists and bands spanning the cultural divide. Transcending both geography and genre, with performers from Mexico to Morocco; France to Zanzibar, and musical styles reaching from Tajik to Brazilian forró; Klezmer to Zanzibar’s kidumbak, this festival promises audiences the chance to
expand their boundaries.
A festival website and sample CD for the media will be available shortly. All performances are free and open to the public. This year’s shows are being held in the Wisconsin Union Theater and the Memorial Union Terrace, with Music Hall in the Humanities Building serving as a rain location. The lineup includes the following artists:
Thursday, September 21
Tlen Huicani, 6 pm, Terrace. Hailed as one of the most faithful interpreters of the traditional folk music of Veracruz, Mexico, Tlen-Huicani, which means “the singers” in the indigenous Indian language of Nahuatl, makes the beautiful “harpa jarocha” or folk harp, the centerpiece of their music. Achievements include the title of “Best Folk Group in Mexico” by the Union of Music and
Rodrigo y Gabriella, 8 pm, Terrace. Originally from Mexico, this duo is perhaps best known for their unique approach to the acoustic guitar. With lightning speed, dynamic range and irresistible rhythmic convention, this pair of musicians redefine the rules of guitar. Total Music Magazine praises R & G as “just astonishingly beautiful, fluid, musical magic.”
Forro for All, 10 pm, Terrace. FFA pulls from traditional forró music, the social and party music of the Brazilian Northeast, and infuses it with copious improvisations, original compositions and harmonic and rhythmic innovation. Says The New Yorker, “think samba meets zydeco with a twist of merengue.”
Friday, September 22
Gjallarhorn, 4:30 pm, Terrace. This four-piece band from Finland features world music firmly rooted in traditional Swedish folk, with a modern twist. States Folk Roots, “This is the new image of world music… full-blooded, gutsy beauty.”
Son de la Frontera, 6:30 pm, Terrace. Started in 1998 and since touring Spain and Latin America, this group of nuevo flamenco musicians consists of two guitarists, a percussionist and a dancer. Following the tradition of Diego del Gastor, they achieve a creative reinterpretation of his musical legacy.
Culture Musical Club of Zanzibar, 8:30 pm Terrace. CMCZ offers two shows and two very different genres of music from the Spice Island. Kidumbak is a down-home, sexually charged, festive dance music, performed on the Terrace on Friday, 9/22. The Contemplative Swahili taarab music results from hundreds of years of musical
and poetic exchanges across the Indian Ocean. This serene, traditional orchestral performance is in the Wisconsin Union Theater on Saturday, 9/23, at 9
Curumin, 10:30 pm, Terrace. From Brazil, this artist’s genre can best be defined as Afro-Brazilian psychedelic swing. Curumin samples 1970s funk, infuses it with Sao Paulo street music, and adds a modern twist.
Saturday, September 23
Aza, 5:30 pm, Terrace. Aza’s music is a stirring journey through northern Morocco’s Berber culture, infused with a modern western influence. The six member ensemble creates a unique and powerful sound filled with gripping melodies, complex harmonies, traditional African instruments and an infectious
rhythm section that tips its hat to Rai music while creating its own original sound.
Whirling Dervishes, 7 pm, Wisconsin Union Theater. With religious, trance-inducing dance and music, these Turkish Sufi dancers and musicians can trace their roots to the 13th century. Whirling is one of the tools used by Islamic mystics to bring themselves closer to God.
Alaev Family, 7:30 pm, Terrace. A colorful family ensemble of seven musicians from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Israel, representing three generations and playing an ancient rhythmic blend of Turkish, Persian, Chinese, Russian, Gypsy and Hebrew music. Percussion master Allo Alaev, 74, has toured and performed for 50 years. Using up to nine drums at once, his virtuosity has been inherited by his children and grandchildren.
Les Yeux Noirs, 10 pm, Terrace. Equal parts gypsy and Klezmer (with plenty of jazzy flourishes to boot), this French band draws on music from Hungary down to Armenia. Says the Chicago Tribune, “Brilliant as violinists and beguiling as vocalists, the [band has] managed to re-cast age-old Jewish and gypsy musical
traditions in contemporary terms.”
The Madison World Music Festival is sponsored by the Wisconsin Union Theater, the Isthmus, WORT, 89.9 FM, the Anonymous Fund, the Evjue Foundation, Associated Students of Madison, Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission, the Division of International Studies, the International Student Services Office, and the Wisconsin Union Directorate. Organizers include members of several of these
organizations as well as community members.