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Essaouira festival « Gnaoua and World Music » will take place this year between the 23rd and the 26th of June. As usual, the programming of this fourteenth festival is particularly rich in Gnaoua music ; the greatest Maalem from Morocco, now quite used to this manifestation, will meet in the beautiful Mogador.
To start with, the Maalem Kbiber will open the festival beside “ Baba Sissoko & Mali Tamani Revolution ”. Then it will be the turn of the group “ Jazz-Racines Haïti ” led by the saxophonist Jacques Schwartz-Bart which will accompany the Maalem Hassan-Boussou, son of the deceased H’mida Boussou. A third event has been planned with the 8 dancers of break-dance of the group “ La Halla KingZoo ”. They will be led by the Maalem Omar Haya.
Nearly 300 artists from Morocco and elsewhere are expected at this high in African colours festival. During the 34 concerts planned for this edition, you will hear the Maalem Mahmoud Guinea, Abdelkebir Merchane, Hamid El Kasri, Mustapha Bakbou and also Salif Keita, K’naan, Trilok Gurtu and Ribab Fusion. And to end the festival, the organizers have planned a concert which will gather “ the Maalem All Stars ” surrounded with twelve dancers and eight choirs.
“ L’Arbre à palabres ” or “ the debating tree ”, one of the Gnaoua and World Music traditions, will welcome artists and public everyday at the Alliance Française headquarters in Essaouira…for a very special forum for dialogue.
The novelty of this festival consists in “a festival within the city”. It will be a festival for and in Essaouira with a rich and multidisciplinary program aiming at having social actors, artists, sportsmen, children and adults participate fully. Elaborated by the province and the town of Essaouira, the town festival will evolve around several activities which will promote the charms of the City of the Trade Winds “through painting, nautical sports or environmental workshops”.
This year, the budget is coming to 10.600.000DH. It may seem little, but thanks to an original expertise and a well defined experience, the organizers have promised to give this festival the full visibility that it deserves. They are convinced that : “ Gnaoua music is very powerful, that it addresses all the musicians in the world. When one sees the rush of young people around this festival, we understand that it brings us something really special ” Neila Tazi concludes optimistically.
The end of this fourteenth edition will take place on Sunday 26th with a very special evening programmed around “Maalem All Stars” which will gather the most talented Gnaoua Masters from Morocco. It will be another opportunity:” to promote the values of Gnaoua art like humility, sharing and fraternity …all in the service of the music and of the public” the organizers maintain.
Venues : Place Moulay Hassan, Scène Méditel, Bastion Bab Marrakech, Dar Souiri, Zaouia Sidna Bilal