Afropop Classic August 16, 2018
The Festival In Fes: World Sacred Music Festival, Revisited

This spring, Afropop returned to Fes, Morocco, for the 23rd annual World Sacred Music Festival, a sumptuous spread of music from across the globe that blurs the boundaries of what is sacred. Interwoven with Morocco’s ornate history and fertile fabric of daily life is a mosaic of many musics: Gnawa, Arabic pop, Amazigh ahwach, classical Andalusian, Issaoua, raï, rap, chaabi, jazz, metal and so much more. At the World Sacred Music Festival, we heard many of these sounds, as well as those of international artists from China to Mali to Kuwait. Join us as we revisit these concerts—the late night music of Sufi brotherhoods, Moroccan fusion with Taziri and Inouraz, traditional Kuwaiti pearl diving music with Salman El Ammari, a stunning bit of Mali-Spain fusion with Toumani Diabate and Ketama, and more. Beyond the festival, we sit in with a respected Gnawa mâalem in Rabat and sample the array of tunes heard in cars, shops and CD stores around Fes.

There's only so much one can cover in just an hour! Here's some more background and stories about some of the music we hear in the program. We covered Amazigh/Berber music in our programs Berber Rising I & II, including interviews with prominent Berber artists. For more on fijiri, the pearl diving music of the Arabian Gulf, check out our programs Africans in the Arabian (Persian) Gulf and African Slaves in Islamic Lands, an interview with scholar Joseph Braude or this chapter from "Music and Traditions of the Arabian Peninsula." Our program Traveling Spirit Masters takes a close look at the traditions of Gnawa and Moroccan Music Today takes on an overview of some of the more cutting edge, innovative musicians on the contemporary scene.

Field Report: Moroccan Pop at the World Sacred Music Festival

Samir Langus on Morocco’s Musical Landscape

Photo Gallery: World Sacred Music Festival

Program Tracklist:

2:41Aymane SerhaniKrite L’Message
3:30Nizar Idil
5:36FnaïreNgoul Mali
7:18Zina DaoudiaWaer Waer
9:11Fatiha Al-ArianAndou Zine
9:35Asma LmnawarAndou Zine
10:36Unknown Artist (Sufi Music)
12:07Fatima ChariiKol Lil Malihah
14:38Ensemble Slimani de Taza
17:19Mourad el Hachimi
19:15IzenzarenWa Zine
22:35Ahmad AdaweyaEilah Taihah
23:23Musicians of the Nile
27:07SonghaiDjamana Djana
32:39Mohamed Abdel WahabAna Oual Azab
33:00Salman El Ammari
36:03Salman El Ammari
36:33Salman El Ammari
37:45Maalem Abdelkader AmlilBoulila
41:04Maalem Abdelkader AmlilSoudani Manayo
44:34Maalem Abdelkader AmlilHamdouchia
45:58Nass El GhiwaneMahmouna
49:08TaziriLa Femme Ideale
53:05TaziriRih Ljanoub
56:22Rahma el BerkaniyaEllil Ellil O Hbibi Hdaya

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