If this country is a melting pot, Wisconsin makes the fondue. The Madison World Music Festival is sifting through that proverbial cheese to celebrate some of the most talented musical artists from around the globe. Thirteen countries are represented among the nine sets, providing modern twists of traditional cultures at every turn.
Friday night is a picturesque journey from Sweden to Tunisia as the Movits! open with their unique modern pop fused with swingin’ jazz. Later, Zeb and Haniya from Pakistan exercise smooth, swinging tunes with an indescribably Eastern vocal flavor. And finally, the night gets going as Delhi 2 Dublin and MC RAI speed things up with a more modern blend of bass and electronic ambiance to raise the atmosphere.
Come Saturday, once everyone finishes their pancakes and crepes, the fest moves to the Willy Street Fair, where fans and artists both international and native Sconnie can enjoy foreign flavors in both their food and their tunes. Zeb and Haniya will again present their ambient yet alert ethnic grooves between sets from Brazilian Matuto and Taj Weekes of St. Lucia.
It will be difficult not to stop and enjoy the multicultural scenery during Weeke’s low-key reggae set, which brings a dub slow enough to affect your pace. It sends an audible message to enjoy the sights, sounds and happenings of this once-a-year Wisconsin exploration of sounds hailing from far from the state.
Saturday night, The Terrace opens up for an after-party of sorts, as the U.S.’s very own DJ Warp provides dance grooves that anyone from any edge of the globe can relate to. While cultural elements flowed and fused throughout the day, this is the chance for them to coalesce and boil together.
The Madison World Music Festival kicks off Friday at 5 p.m. at the Terrace. For more information, visit www.uniontheater.wisc.edu.
Stay tuned for a World Music Festival recap and review Monday!