Global Roots Festival


After a decade of nyckelharpas, hardangers, and the ethereal effects of northern lights on Scandinavian traditional music, the Cedar's Nordic Roots Festival exponentially expands its scope this year, not only going global, but with serious attitude. As with its Nordic predecessor, the nascent Global Roots Festival goes well beyond a simple presentation of folk traditions, fusing traditional and contemporary, mingling genres, reveling in clashes and synergies, and crisscrossing rhythms—it's ancient music on the cutting edge of the avant-garde. Kicking things off will be BLK JKS (pictured), an incendiary South African quartet that mixes up blistering rock energy, township jazz, a pan-African array of rhythms, dub, swirling experimental sound collages, and searing electric guitar solos. Next up is a pair of bands creating dramatically fresh variations on two distinct South American dance genres: Bajofondo takes its initial inspiration from tango and earlier roots forms like milonga and African-inspired candombe, while Forró in the Dark, a New York-based quartet of expatriate Brazilians, take myriad liberties with forró (pronounced fa-ha), the accordion-driven, traditional party music of northeastern Brazil's sertão. Another Brazilian band, the legendary Os Mutantes (the Mutants), will reign Saturday; a key appendage of the tropicália movement of the 1960s, Os Mutantes were on the virulently psychedelic edge, blending Brazilian roots with contemporary rock and pop like Caetano and Gilberto, but tending even more experimental and anarchic. Closing things out Sunday are French quartet Watcha Clan and Tuva's Huun Huur Tu with Carmen Rizzo. With Speaking in Tongues, the Brass Kings, Nirmala Rajasekar, Soukousize, and more. All ages. $79 for a festival pass (individual tickets also available for each performance). (Photo by Jason Nocito)
Thursdays, Fridays, 7 p.m.; Saturdays, Sundays, 1:30 p.m. Starts: Sept. 24. Continues through Sept. 27, 2009

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