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Saturday, June 15, 2024
Festival brings global sound to students

Sergent Garcia: Specializing in a fusion of French punk, indie rock, Jamaican reggae, and Carribbean and Latin groove he calls ?salsamuffin,? Sergent Garcia will be one of many international acts at the MWMF this weekend.

Festival brings global sound to students

As a member of the UW-Madison community, students have the opportunity to be exposed to cultures that are extremely different from their own. Unfortunately, not everyone has the patience to put up with the grueling time commitment of first semester foreign language classes or extra ethnic studies credits.

Luckily, the Wisconsin Union Theater and the Wisconsin Union Directorate Performing Arts Committee have you covered with the Madison World Music Festival, happening this Wednesday through Saturday.

""I think that part of being at the university is really expanding your horizons and your interests and your knowledge. This is the funnest imaginable way to do it,"" Esty Dinur, Director of Marketing and Communications and Chair for Artistic Selection at the Wisconsin Union Theater said in an interview with the Daily Cardinal on Monday. ""This is a way to be exposed to a lot of different cultures in a fun, interesting, danceable way. It's an exposure to something that's not available to you otherwise.""

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With four days of acts from over 10 countries across the world, the festival is sure to impress audiences. Shows are set to happen Wednesday through Friday at the Memorial Union Terrace, the Wisconsin Union Theater and in the Memorial Union Play Circle. On Saturday, the Festival takes to the streets at the Willy Street Festival, offering arts, crafts, clothing and food in addition to diverse musical performances.

The MWMF is especially pertinent to students—not only is it free, it is organized by students through the WUD Performing Arts Committee. ""As a part of [the committee's] role, they advise us on stuff that students would love,"" said Dinur, ""There will be a lot of things that were booked with students in mind.""

There will be a free shuttle service bringing people to and from Williamson Street on Saturday. The shuttle will leave from Memorial Union every hour and bring people back every half hour.

Wednesday, the film ""Cultures of Resistance"" will be showing at the Marquee at Union South. The film explores how different forms of art are instrumental in the search for peace and justice on several continents. The film will be accompanied by an introduction and Q & A with Dr. Jonathan Overby of Wisconsin Public Radio.

On Thursday be sure to catch Chai Found Music Workshop at 6:30 in the Wisconsin Union Theater. With a mouthful of a name, this band brings together traditional and contemporary Taiwanese sounds for a unique performance.

To get a taste of modern Islamic-African sounds, go to see Nawal, an artist who will be bringing her acoustic, roots-based fusion to the Terrace at 8:30 on Thursday.

Finally, don't miss Frigg, a Scandinavian-Bluegrass synthesis closing out the night at 9 p.m. The artists in Frigg come from villages across Scandinavia and from families that have long been famous for their fiddle music and are touring across the world this year.

On Friday, audiences can look forward to the traditional yet danceable act of Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino from Italy at the Memorial Union Terrace Friday at 5:30 p.m. For a truly otherworldly experience, you'll want to witness the emergence of the Dragon Knights, appearing both Friday and Saturday evenings.

""To have these amazing creatures show up, it is awesome in the true sense of the word. It is awe inspiring, especially for people who haven't seen them before,"" said Dinur of the gigantic, stilt-supported mythical creatures. Needless to say, they're worth seeking out.

""Saturday at the Willy Street Fair is pretty much an all-star day,"" Dinur said, ""Every band would be appropriate as a headliner."" As the most anticipated day of the Festival, the lineup is stacked with talented and intriguing artists from Brazil, Italy, France and Colombia.

Sergent Garcia of France will be playing two sets at the Willy Street Fair and will appeal to anyone who is into pushing the boundaries of traditional genres. With influences from Spanish-speaking cultures as well as French indie-rock, his performance is sure to be innovative.

One of the most anticipated acts, Bomba Estereo, is also playing Saturday night on Willy Street, featuring six young Colombians performing electro-tropical hip-hop.

The full Madison World Music Festival schedule can be found online at


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