Madison World Music Fest

The 2010 Madison World Music Festival once again had a brilliant line-up that kept the innovative movers and shakers around here very happy. The smell of foods and incense filled air coupled with mini-parades and street acts made the intermission times as easy to celebrate as the acts I went out to catch this year. I was pleased to catch two separate performances by Cimarrón. They are the most accomplished llanera group in Colombia. A seven piece led by harpist and composer Carlos Rojas, they have been working for over twenty years and have performed the world over. These musicians are immersed in the sounds of ‘los llanos’; they seek to explore and experiment with their rich heritage whilst retaining the essence of the tradition. And it really had a feel to it that was unearthly at times, too rich and true to be of here. Then, called the “Nightingale of the North”, Khaira Arby from Mali brought her rockin’ band here for some business. Her beautiful voice cements the sound of a tight, jammin’ of traditional Malian bluesy riffs (more like Vieux Farka Toure than his Father Ali), combined with a colorful modernization makes her stop her very pleasing to me. I would have to say, look on her calendar and see when\/where you might get the chance to be a witness. Her new album “TIMBUKTU TARAB” will lead you there, but it’s the live sound that really clears things up. She’s got it! The final act for me on such a night (with the local brews flowing like the Mississippi River), I was psyched to get my dose of the Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars….there was the kitchen sink for me. Filled to the rim with danceable afro-rock sounds with a message of oneness and rebel spirit….I immediately felt that connection I search for with music. Their groove is my groove and I share their celebration of culture with a breath of unity, and the sound of their music….the roots, the stems, the seeds……the whole plant and the soil is where the Sierra Leone Refugee All Star’s sound comes from, it creates.

About grnarrow

Setlist Architect/Art Scene Checker-Outer/Sound Feeler
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