Etran Finatawa was a blessing of an appearance at our final music festival of the summer season in Madison, the Willy Street Fair. Check out all the happenings here. Etran Finatawaâ€™s musicians come from Niger which is one of the three poorest countries in the world, it is a landlocked country in West Africabordered by Mali, Algeria, Libya, Chad and Nigeria. In Niger there are eleven different ethnic groups most of whom are farmers or pastoralists, both sedentary and nomadic. Amongst them are the Tuareg and Wodaabe, many of whom are still nomadic.The group was formed at the time of the 2004 Festival in the Desert near Timbuctou. The literal meaning of their name is â€˜the stars of traditionâ€™. They are the first group to use the songs and music of the Wodaabe in a modern context. Starting as a group of ten musicians who wanted to unite these two nomadic cultures as a symbol of peace and reconciliaton. The touring and recording band consists of six players three of whom are Tuareg and three, Wodaabe-Fulani. In Niger the Wodaabe and the Tuareg live side by side on the desertâ€™s fringes sharing pastures and water sources which sometimes leads to feuding. They work together to be strong and to give their culture a future in this changing world. The music of the two tribes is very different but the way it has been combined has produced a powerful and hypnotic sound and a new musical style of Nomad Blues.
Also appearing that night was Berlin Germany’s 17 hippies and their mix of traditional music from Eastern Europe, France and America with the groups own Berlin background. They were an amazing act that recieved many wild acknowledgments from a pleased Willy Street Fair crowd.