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In Music

Global Union festival gives a new meaning to "world music"


Milwaukee's summer festivals are for the most part spent, but there's still an opportunity to hear live music outdoors this weekend. Alverno College is putting on Global Union, a two-day display of music from around the world at the Humboldt Park Bandshell. Alverno Presents, the performing arts series of the college, is officially in charge of the event.

Alverno Presents Director David Ravel thinks Global Union could be a great way to show Milwaukeeans something they might not get to see very often.

"We're throwing a party with a guest list from the four corners of the planet," he says.

The artists at Global Union form an incredibly diverse and eclectic lineup. But while most associate the term "world music" with centuries-old sounds from other countries, the sound at Global Union is, well, more global. The musicians on the bill seem to have their own influences, often from outside their homeland.

Dengue Fever, a six-piece band comprising musicians from East Asia and America, draws just as much from Cambodian pop songs as from the American surf-rock and classic R&B that American troops imported during the Vietnam War.

Seattle-based Kultur Shok takes Balkan wedding music and gives it a trash metal treatment. Rodrigo y Gabriela started out in a Mexican hard rock band and now travel the United Kingdom and Ireland playing acoustic instrumentals.

Ravel thinks this changing face of world music is another sign of globalization making the world a little bit smaller.

"Maybe 30 years ago, music was more ethnographic," he says. "But with the Internet and satellite radio, new ideas are available from all over. The creative process really hits warp speed."

Ravel says there haven't been as many problems organizing the event as one might think. Even though the acts for Global Union are coming to Milwaukee from all over the world, Global Union was booked in conjunction with a world music festival in Chicago that featured many of the same artists.

Keeping with the theme of a changing world, there will also be a panel discussion on the impact on globalization. Dubbed "Global Economies/Global Lives: Who Benefits?," the debate asks for audience participation and discussion of how globalization has affected the world's economy. It is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14 at Alverno Conference Center on the corner of 41st Street and Morgan Avenue.




Talkbacks

OMCreader | Sept. 15, 2006 at 8:35 a.m. (report)

Joe said: Leave it to Alverno to do something like this - without them, and of course Crawford at WMSE, Milwaukee would be a very different cultural landscape. More like Fargo.

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OMCreader | Sept. 13, 2006 at 2:41 p.m. (report)

Tyler Casey said: The link at the end of the story has showtimes and a list of who is playing.

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OMCreader | Sept. 13, 2006 at 12:33 p.m. (report)

MICHAEL said: DO YOU KNOW THE TIME FOR THE HUMBOLT PARK CONCERTS EACH DAY?

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