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Like every year since 1998, the Gnaoua and World Music Festival is celebrating traditional Gnaoua music, a mixture of Sub Saharan and Berber African music in the town of Essaouira, in Morocco.
Here the Maâlems feel at home. Between the 20th and 23rd of June 2013, a get together in Essaouira for a new edition will take place. The magic of music, the strength of dialogue and communion of cultures : that is what the 16th Gnaoua and World Music Festival is promising. This edition will see the celebration of music in all its forms: Gnaoua, Jazz and World Music.
With its fifteen years existence, the Gnaoua and World Music Festival is still renewing itself, getting a new breath and preparing to live a new spring in symbiosis with the world. As the years go by, this quite unique musical gathering has come to take an important place in the Moroccan and international cultural calendar. It has been able to transcend all frontiers to preserve and transmit an ancestral heritage: that of the Gnaoua.
Every year and for the past sixteen years there have been thousands of music lovers getting together in the Medina of Essaouira to enjoy exceptional moments where the greatest Gnaoua maâlems and their worldwide guests have merged their talent and their music.
A true crossroads, Essaouira, like the whole of Morocco, has always been a land of dialogue between cultures, between regions and between civilizations. Rooted in African soil and open to the world, this town will pay tribute to the cradle of man through its festival. Still inspired by the land of Africa and embracing world jazz, the program of the 16th edition of the Gnaoua and World Music Festival of Essaouira will encompass Moroccan, African and international tones.
Remember last year : Oumou Sangaré, while merging his music with the Gnaoua, called for peace and dialogue and issued a vibrant appeal for Mali; “Please, join us to reestablish peace in Mali. I am suffering; my country is torn apart…”
For this 16th edition, other committed voices from Africa will come and charm the public of Essaouira while delivering their message. In fact, besides the Gnaoua masters from various Moroccan towns, the stages in Essaouira will welcome stars of African music like the great Youssou N’dour and also young talents who have already taken over to enrich this repertoire. Big names from the jazz world will be there to create the original musical blending which has become the undisputed mark of the Gnaoua and World Music Festival.
The 2013 edition will be marked by the vibrant tribute paid by the organizers to three great Gnaoua figures who have passed away this year. The maestro from the legendary group Nass El Ghiwane, Abderrrahmane Paca and the great masters Cherif Regargui and Abdellah Guinea will be celebrated posthumously in their native town of Essaouira.
The Gnaoua Maâlems of Morocco will dedicate the best of their music to the memory of these masters, in lilas charged with feeling thus perpetuating the tradition and making sure the memory of their famous companions lives forever. The Maâlem Paca’s children will join the celebration and will pay a last tribute to their father by singing on the stage of Essaouira.