Madison World Music Festival 2008

by John Noyd
September 2008

Czech Republic's Plastic People of the Universe to play the Madison World Music festival

Czech Republic's Plastic People of the Universe to play the Madison World Music festival

Spread over two consecutive weekends in mid-September, Madison’s global gathering touches every point on the compass across Madison in every creative fashion imaginable. Syrian singer GAIDA, Indian guitarist PRASANNA and the psychedelic dub of Turkey’s BABA ZULA perform, dance, lead workshops and colorfully flavor UW’s campus, the Annex and the Willy Street Fair. From East Europe arrive Hungary’s LITTLE COW, Russia’s REELROAD, Bulgaria’s KABILE and Czech Republic’s PLASTIC PEOPLE OF THE UNIVERSE. Zimbabwe’s incredible CHIWONSIO, who comes celebrating her divine, “Rebel Woman,” CD and Niger’s ETRAN FINATAWA represent Africa, while Brazil, Germany, Mexico and Iran send talented delegates playing traditional instruments with an adventurous sense of experiment certain to open eyes and move feet. For venues, schedules and links contact UW’s Union Theater at

If you can’t see it live, tons of new discs await you. From the Columbian electro-beats of SIDESTEPPER’s groovy, “Buena Vibra Sound System,” to the banjo-kora collaboration of JAYME STONE and MANSA SISSSOKO’s weaving, dreamy, “From Africa to Appalachia,” world music proves much more than old traditions. The world is literally everywhere and right outside your door. America harbors Haitian MANZE DAYILA and her NAGO NATION whose urbanized Afro-Amazonian spirit-songs of, “Sole,” mesmerize and motivate while New York based KAKANDE’s vibrant, “Dununya,” led by West African griot, balafonist FAMORO DIOUBATEBU transports and tantalizes.  Lastly, proudly Cajun, FEUFOLLET’s hurricane-powered, “Cow Island Hop,” and musical historian CHRISTOPER HEDGE’s Irish fiddle, Congolese percussion and Native American flute in, “The Atrocious Saint,” speaks volumes to America’s own world-beat infiltrations. 

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