From Tibet to Zanzibar, Sudan to Mexico, Hungary and beyond, the 13th Annual Madison World Music Festival offers many styles to explore and enjoy, each bringing something unique to the table. Enjoy dancing, meditative music and arts, and kinds of music you may not have heard before. Bring the kids, your dancing shoes and your curiosity.
The 13th annual Madison World Music Festival, sponsored by the Wisconsin Union Theater, starts on 9/13 with a mandala construction by the monks of the Mystical Arts of Tibet, who will also perform on Saturday, 9/17 at Shannon Hall; continue with performances at the Memorial Union Terrace and Fredric March Play Circle as well as the large stage in the Willy Street Fair, and a second installment on the Terrace on 9/29. As in the past, the performances and workshops are all free and open to the public. Please note: more workshops will be announced at a later date.
Enriching the Madison community with music, dance, and culture, The Madison World Music Festival lets you “travel the world” without the “travel” part! With artists from Tibet, Zanzibar, Italy, Sudan, Mexico, and more, the variety is outstanding and the options are endless.
This free festival is the perfect way to sample sounds and learn about different cultures. This is one free festival you don’t want to miss.
The festival is presented by the Wisconsin Union Directorate’s Performing Arts Committee in collaboration with the Marquette Neighborhood Association and is supported by Dane Arts with additional funds from The Evjue Foundation, Inc., charitable arm of The Capital Times, Anonymous Fund, UW Hillel & Hinenu, WORT FM, Wisconsin Public Radio, and Capital City Hues.
Madison World Music Festival Schedule
The Mystical Arts of Tibet – Sand Mandala, Shannon Sunset Lounge, Memorial Union
Sand Mandala Schedule:
9/13, Tuesday, 12pm – 1pm, Mandala Opening Ceremony
9/13, Tuesday, 1:30pm – 4:30pm, Drawing of the lines
9/14, Wednesday, 9am – 6pm, Mandala Construction
9/15, Thursday, 9am – 6pm, Mandala Construction
9/16, Friday, 9am – 3pm, Mandala Construction
9/16, Friday, 3:30pm – 5pm, Closing Ceremony and Dispersal of the Sand
Don’t miss the performance by the monks on Saturday!
Thursday, 9/15, Memorial Union:
Fredric March Play Circle:
5:30 pm, Film: Life is Waiting: Referendum and Resistance in Western Sahara, directed by Iara Lee
Directed by Iara Lee, this film documents a struggle for self-determination, life, and the pursuit of peace. Forty years after its people were promised freedom by departing Spanish rulers, Western Sahara remains Africa’s last colony. This film chronicles the everyday violence experienced by Sahrawis living under Moroccan occupation and voices their struggle for self-determination through creative resistance and non-violence.
6:45 pm: Enyedi-Salamon Ensemble, Hungary, dancing workshop (Rain: Festival Room)
8:15 pm: Enyedi-Salamon Ensemble, Hungary, performance (Rain: Play Circle)
This Hungarian band is made up of some of that country’s best musicians. Come at 6:45 to learn some Hungarian dances, then practice them when the group takes the stage at 8:15 p.m. to offer its rollicking music.
Friday, 9/16, Memorial Union Terrace:
*3:30 pm – 5:00pm, The Mystical Arts of Tibet – Sand Mandala, Closing Ceremony and Dispersal of the Sand
5:30 pm, Rajab Suleiman & Kithara, Zanzibar (rain: Shannon Hall)
Don’t miss your opportunity to listen to music from Zanzibar. Rajab Suleiman & Kithara bring a mix of sacred Muslim music and dance music from this island off the coast of Tanzania.
7:30 pm, Alsarah & the Nubatones, Sudan/USA (rain: Shannon Hall)
Sudanese singer Alsarah was called “The New Star Of Nubian Pop” by The Guardian. Her “East African Retro Pop” harkens back to the hazy sounds of 1960s and 70s Nubian music with its Eastern instrumentation, soaring vocal melodies, and pentatonic arrangements.
9:30 pm, The Dhol Foundation, India/England (rain: Shannon Hall)
A mighty Bhangra-style rhythm explosion of drum and bass, tabla and hip hop (with a Celtic twist), a powerful drumming and dancing spectacular. This show is all about thumping contemporary beats fused with super cool style. The band’s performance features an energetic line up of dhols up front, bass, drums, guitar, tabla and guest singers powering out a sound that’s as eclectic as it is forceful. The band’s music is featured in Hollywood films such as Gangs of New York and Incredible Hulk, and it has worked with Peter Gabriel on the soundtrack for films including Rabbit Proof Fence, The Last Temptation of Christ and Reluctant Fundamentalist.
Willy Street Fair, Large Stage:
Get ready for music from around the world as a part of the Madison World Music Festival at the Willy Street Fair large stage!
2:30 pm: Femina, Argentina
4:45 pm: A-Wa, Israel/Yemen
7 pm: Ótimo Dance, performing with Drum Power students and lead by Yorel Lashley and Tom Ross, Brazil/Madison
7:30 pm: The Villalobos Brothers, Mexico
8 pm: The Mystical Arts of Tibet
Endorsed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, this free performance features multiphonic singing in which the monks simultaneously intone three notes of a chord. The Drepung Loseling monks use traditional instruments such as 10-foot long dung-chen horns, drums, bells, cymbals and gyaling trumpets. Rich brocade costumes and masked dances, such as the Dance of the Sacred Snow Lion, add to the splendor.
The monks of Drepung Loseling have performed with Kitaro, Paul Simon, Philip Glass, Eddie Brickell, Natalie Merchant, Patti Smith, the Beastie Boys, and the Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart, to name but a few. Two of their recordings achieved top-10 listings on the New Age charts:Tibetan Sacred Temple Music (Shining Star Productions) and Sacred Tibetan Chants (Music and Arts Program of America, Inc.). Their most recent recording, Compassion (Milennia Music), pairs them with the Abbey of Gethsemani Schola in an encounter of Gregorian chant with Tibetan multiphonic singing.
Terrace (Rain: Shannon Hall):
9:30 pm: A-Wa, Israel
Three sisters from a small village in southern Israel near the Egyptian border have created a modern version of ancient Yemenite women’s chanting which was passed from generation to generation for centuries. Together with producer Tomer Yosef, the vocalist for Balkan Beat Box, they created a unique identity with a lot of groove, electronics and a brand new global beat fragrance: a happy, warm and genuine music that is breaking through language barriers and boundaries.
Memorial Union Terrace (rain: Shannon Hall):
7 pm: Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino, Italy
Italy’s leading and longest-standing traditional music ensemble hails from Salento, the heel of the Italian boot, in Puglia. The seven piece band and dancer are the leading exponents in a new wave of young performers re-inventing Southern Italy’s Pizzica musical and dance traditions for today’s global audience. It is said that Bandleader, fiddler, and drummer Mauro Durante and the company can make an audience shimmy with the energy of the ancient ritual of pizzica tarantata, said to cure the taranta spider’s bite with its frenzied trance dances.
9 pm: Troker, Mexico
Enjoy a blend of composed and improvised music, where metal riffage merges with powerhouse funk drumming and DJ scratching, and horn lines pull from jazz and the mariachi tradition of the band’s homeland. A contemporary expression of the Mexican music scene, Troker offers frenetic grooves and playful jam sessions.