Monday, March 25, 2019

Fes Festival - Updated Programme

FES FESTIVAL OF WORLD SACRED MUSIC 2019
Fes at the confluence of cultures

Pass to all events including A seats at Bab Makina: €350

FRIDAY 14 JUNE
BAB MAKINA – 21.00 A: €60 B: €30

OPENING NIGHT - FES, MEMORY OF THE FUTURE

Idriss is settled in Fez as if it were his fiancé; his heart is so full that he does not sleep even when his eyes are closed. His country remains protected by his sacredness, like the lion cub with his father in the jungle.

An illustrated children’s book opens with this evocation of Fez.
As in the story of the miraculous birth of this city, Idriss II’s childhood is full of legends and anecdotes about his precocious genius that led him to being declared an imam at the age of 11.
Many Moroccan artists spring from a heritage that is Arab, Andalusian, Amazigh or Jewish, highlighting the cultural diversity that echoes in the labyrinthine streets of the medina, a symbolic representation of the geography of spirit and journey.
Over time, the city has been nourished and represented by pilgrims and illustrious nomadic travellers. Some experienced this prophetic force in the spirit of ziyarat, journeys that encompass the quest for sanctity, such as the Andalusian Ibn Jûbayr. Others preferred the rahla type of journey, like the great Ibn Battuta who, in the 14th century, at the age of 22, left his family in Tangier with the intention of making the pilgrimage to Mecca and visiting the tomb of the Prophet.
In their footsteps, we visit the Sufi brotherhoods of Senegal and the holy city of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) where many Fassi Sufis were established in an Islamised Andalus, and where the celebrated physician and philosopher Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon also went. He was known as Maimonides and born on 30 March 1135 in Cordoba on the banks of the Guadalquivir.
Artists from Persia, Armenia, Tunisia, Palestine and the Sultanate of Oman illustrate the spread of Islamic culture, with Fes being one of the principal cradles of knowledge, largely through the reputation of its Quaraouine University.
The representation of Maryam and her sister Fatima al Fihri Al-Qarawi, daughters of a rich immigrant originally from Kairouan (in Tunisia) as endowing the construction of the two principal mosques in Fes, marks the important role of women in the history of the city.
According to tradition, the first of these two mosques, the Quaraouine, was founded by Fatima who was also known as Umm al-Banin. With money inherited from her father, she bought the land on which the first foundations were laid in 859. The Al-Andalus mosque was endowed by Maryam, also thanks to her father, a short while after the building of the Quaraouine.
New scenographic technology allows us to penetrate deep into the heart of the medina. These streets have a memory that form the basis of the future, at once creative, spiritual and radiant.

CAST
Alain Weber: conception and direction
Ramzi Aburedwan: musical direction, composition and arrangements
Christophe Olivier, assisted by Gaël Boucault: lighting
Mapping: Spectaculaire – Allumeurs d’images (Franck Marty: artistic director)

Hassan Al Jai: comedy (Morocco)
Ensemble Taskiwin: Ahwach (Morocco)
Aïda Niati: voice (Tunisia)
Women’s Ensemble of Chefchaouen: voice (Morocco)
Sufi Women’s Ensemble from Senegal: voice
Sahar Mohammadi: voice (Iran)
Haig Sarikouyoumdjian and Georgi Minasyan: duduk (Armenia)
Walid Ben Selim: voice (Morocco)
Haroun Teboul: ney flute (Morocco)
Sufi Ensemble of Jerusalem: voice (Palestine)
Mevlevi Dervishes of Istanbul: dance (Turkey)
Hamadcha Sufi Brotherhood of Fes (Morocco)


SATURDAY 15 JUNE
JNAN SBIL GARDEN – 16.30 €20
ANÚNA – SACRED SONGS OF IRELAND
Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.
The Land of Heart’s Desire, William Yeats

Despite the richness and sophistication at the heart of traditional Irish musical forms, choirs only perform a repertoire of a more recent history dating largely from the end of the 20th century. One of the prime objectives of Anúna – a vocal ensemble based in Dublin and founded in 1987 by composer and tenor Michael McGlynn – lies rightly in the exploration and redefinition of the Irish choir from ancient times to today.
The word Anúna comes from the Gaelic term An Uaithne which means three ancient types of Irish music: Suantrai (lullabies), Geantrai (songs of celebration) and Goltrai (lamentations). The eclectic repertoire of this choral group, with its vocal spectrum of great amplitude, plays around with fixed identity, extolling spatial-temporal movement in harmonies and melodies of bygone eras. The characteristic sound of the group – beyond the founders John McGlynn, Miriam Blennerhassett, Monica Donlon and Garrath Patterson – belongs to the artistic vision of the founder, Michael McGlynn. In fact, it is he who composes or arranges all the songs from the mystical music that has had a strong impact and resonates with his own sensitivity. Be it classical, Celtic, modal or contemporary music, the definition of Anúna is richer than simply these musical categories. The medieval history of Ireland as well as its literature, 12th century manuscripts and poetry are all honoured in composition. Yeats, Francis Ledwidge, Wallace Stevens … all are national symbols that are called upon. But the sources of Michael McGlynn’s inspiration come from further afield. If distinctive melodies and melismas ornamented with sean nós, the traditional Irish song, or the psalms of the Western Isles have all strongly influenced him, the exploration of his musical affinities have gone as far as the Latins, passing via Purcell, Hildegard von Bingen and even the visionary poet, Rimbaud. Following the traces of these poets in well-crafted language, Michael McGlynn begins with the idea that these old messages should be told through the beauty of the choir.
On a fine thread of emotion, the crystalline sounds of voices in unison transport us to heaven and immerse our souls in contemplation, in the solitude of the skies of these same shining stars. And with great delicacy, a state of grace makes its way across the moors of Ireland like the halo of light that shines in the dew scattered on leaves in the clearing.
Lost love, the passage of the seasons, sadness of times past, the calming sweetness of nature … all are chiaroscuro themes of Anúna’s choral music that, like an ethereal embrace, radiates with lightning, under the seal of evanescence, so that the secret of ancient times can be poured into music. Thus, in the glow of twilight, in unfathomable dusk, the enchanting contrast is brought to light thanks to phantoms shaped by prophetic grace. Esoteric mythology haunts the messages divulged a cappella to better orient us towards healing. The ancient land of Ireland delivers echoes and resonances of the past. The aura of its landscape instils in those inspired by it a subliminal understanding of the essence of life and the relationship to one’s own land … the fragility and the power of human existence. This is how Anúna, through ritualistic and theatrical performance, pays homage to sacred ancestral cults, bringing us closer to emotional reality.


BAB MAKINA – 21h00 A: €60 B: €30
SAMI YUSUF – UNITED KINGDOM
We have fallen into the place
where everything is music.
The strumming and the flute notes
rise into the atmosphere,
and even if the harp should burn up, there will still be
hidden instruments to play.
This singing art is sea foam.
The graceful movements come from a pearl
somewhere on the ocean floor.
Djalal al din Rûmi
Sami Yusuf has been dubbed ‘the most famous British Muslim in the world’ by The Guardian and as ‘Islam’s Biggest Rockstar’ by Time Magazine. Beyond this fame – somewhat exceptional for an artist inspired by Sufi culture – Sami Yusuf embodies the expression of a true artist full of humility. Despite the temptations of all-devouring celebrity, he remains inspired by the vision of universal Sufism. And beyond the stadiums and the huge international concerts, Sami Yusuf, arranger, musician and composer, seeks a spirituality close to tradition – a tradition that is harmonious and generous, full of meditation and of beautiful flights of intelligence and mystery.
Shunning the ease of globalised, formatted oriental music and the widespread complexity of western modernity, he prefers to hark back to the sources of Persian music, of Andalus samaâ or Indo-Pakistani qawwali. Sami Yusuf possesses a sense of truth and authenticity that allows him to attract to his music those who pursue the same quest for spiritual harmony throughout the world.
Yusuf is therefore the very image of new oriental music. Evoking the cultural exchanges of the Silk Road, he is musically sustained by the source of many different traditions, those many tributaries that have watered the great river of mysticism linked to the forces of nature and the universe.
Sami Yusuf is a committed artist, fulfilling his aspirations in humanitarian action. As a UN Global Ambassador Against Hunger, he continues to celebrate peace and world harmony. It is not possible to list here the multitude of interventions in the face of so many ecological and political catastrophes in such countries as Syria, Pakistan, Haiti and the Philippines.
SUFI NIGHT – DAR TAZI – 23h00 (free)

SUNDAY 16 JUNE
JNAN SBIL GARDEN – 16h30 €20
SACRED SONGS OF PERSIA
SAHAR MOHAMMADI & HAÏG SARIKOUYOUMDJIAN – IRAN & ARMENIA

Sahar Mohammadi: voice
Haïg Sarikouyoumdjian: duduk (double reed woodwind instrument)
Georgi Minasyan: duduk
Khorshid Dadbeh: tar and tanbur (long-necked stringed instruments)
Tigran Hovhannisyan: dhol (double-headed drum)

In the heart of the night, your sweet lament heals many evils.
The love and the nurturing breath of the Messiah, but, if your heart is without pain, what is there to cure?
Hafez has suffered from this fire and has never tasted sweetness and love. May a gentle breeze bring him this precious message.
Hafez

Thanks to the flexibility of its compositions, the choice of radif (melody structures) contained within the tradition of its transmission from master to pupil, Persian music has a vibrant, impressive repertoire. In addition to perfectly mastered technique, the art of all classical Persian song resides equally in the learning process of such poetry transmitted from heart to heart, and in the fact that only the greatest performers achieve extensive knowledge.
At the root of most of the musical traditions of Asia, from Afghanistan to the Caucasus, Persian music has travelled in time and space from the mountains of the Orient, from India and along the Silk Road, journeying through golden palaces as well as deserts and the vastness of nature, celebrated in Armenian melodies by the duduk.
One of the most beautiful voices of Persian classical song is that of Sahar Mohammadi, heard in 2016 in Fez. She performs alongside the astute, sensitive playing of Haïg Sarikouyoumdjian, a young master of the double-reeded duduk, an instrument that has been on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List since 2005. Sarikouyoumdjian performed with the Hesperion XXI Ensemble under the direction of Jordi Savall. Together, the singer and the instrumentalist express an infinite Orient like the path of the soul on steep landscapes, on mountain-tops or in the middle of vast plains.
Although founded on heterogeneous repertoires, the respective musical traditions of Sahar and Haig are both modal, placing great importance on improvisation and the art of ornamentation. The melodies fly away, transformed into powerful vocalisations before gently landing in an evanescent murmur, prolonged by the breath of the duduk. The pared-down musical osmosis of these two artists generates both earthly and heavenly emotion, with no mystical artifice, but rather a sweet celebration of the beauty of life in which refinement, elegance and simplicity merge gracefully.

BAB MAKINA – 21h00 A: €50 B: €25
MARCEL KHALIFE – LEBANON

The sky is far from the sea … I am far from my words
On the last evening on this earth.
Mahmoud Darwich

Marcel Khalife was born north of Beirut in 1950 into a family of Maronite Christians. He lived among the fishermen, peasants and gypsies in a community that was as much Muslim as it was Christian. Today he calls himself an Arab, ‘a Palestinian in Palestine’, and was named a UNESCO Artist for Peace for his work on musical heritage. Avoiding all fundamentalist temptation, his songs are close to the poetry of Palestinian Mahmoud Darwich and relate to the permanent quest for freedom and an interrogation of his roots.
Accompanied by a large orchestra, Marcel Khalife sings Arab songs that he usually performs with an expertly-played oud. His songs are now part of Arab musical heritage as he upholds the reputation of an artist of majestic performance. Like Mahmoud Darwich, his work is universal because it is sensitive, artistic and thoughtful, at the junction of political commitment and purely artistic approach. His most beautiful songs, full of metaphors faithfully translated into notes and rhythms, such as Montasiba Al Kamati Amchi, Ommi, Ya Bahriyé and many others, are here revisited with new arrangements and other styles that lead him into different musical worlds without letting go of the very essence of his inspiration. Respected across the Arab world, beyond political or religious affinity, everyone knows and indeed has hummed along to at least one of his songs. In Morocco, every one of his concerts is a true celebration of music that is deeply spiritual and powerfully unifying.
SUFI NIGHT – DAR TAZI – 23h00

MONDAY 17 JUNE
JNAN SBIL GARDEN – 16h30 €20
BAHARIYYA – AZERBAIJAN
The great Mugham tradition

I was wounded by the arrows of his eyelashes drawn from the arch of his brows –
Do not put these curls of hair on my wound whose blood carries me
The heart rushes towards the soul to beautify it.
Traditional poetry

The great musician Elchan Mansourov explains better than anyone else the spirituality of this type of music: The mugham expresses all of the pain of its people in their quest for goodness over the centuries. But it is also solemn, gay and even a little warlike. It can bring joy. It is like the cosmos, like the universe, like life. It is born of peace that starts to boil, reaches the final point and returns to its source, to its beginnings, to the origin, to the earth. The mugham expresses eternity; life and death, homeland and exile. In its words, it is at the same time both joy and sadness. Above all, it sings of love, a superior love that forgets the self and deifies love itself.
The origins of Azeri mugham lie at the heart of ‘erouze’-style poetry, in certain ways of reading the Qur’an, on the Silk Road that linked all of the Orient, in feelings, intelligence and ways of living in the hot climate of the mountains.
Each khanandé (mugham singer) must know how to play the kaval (frame drum). The khanandé accompanies himself or herself in singing the rhythmic mugham (tesnif). The kaval is both an amplifier of the voice as well as a vibrating drumskin.
As for the kamantcha, this is a sort of viol in strong harmony with the singer’s voice. It supports the principal instrument – the tar lute. It was the great musician Sadikhjan who adapted this to Azeri music and expanded its usage.

NIGHT IN THE MEDINA I
DAR ADIYEL – 19h00 and 22h00 €15
LES VOIX HUMAINES – CANADA
The art of the viola da gamba

The delicacy of Song is its spirit, approaching so close to the Voice that all the instruments must imitate it.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau

The viola da gamba is a bowed, stringed musical instrument in its heyday in the 17th and 18th centuries in Europe. It belongs to the viol family of instruments held between the legs. Overthrown by the violin family at the end of the 18th century, the viola da gamba again became popular with the public thanks to the intimate, warm nature of its delicate sounds.

As Jordi Savall, the instrument’s illustrious representative, tells us, in 1637 Marin Mersenne explains in his Universal Harmony the important relationship between the viola da gamba and the human voice:
Certainly, if instruments are considered in proportion to how well they imitate the voice, and of all the artifices thought of as of advantages, that which is the most natural, it seems that we cannot avoid giving the prize to the viola da gamba that mimics the voice in all its modulations, even its most significant inflections of sadness and joy.
Les Voix Humaines is the most famous piece of the Second Book of Music for Viola da Gamba, composed by Marin Marais, the renowned viol player and composer who, under Louis XIV, greatly enlarged the repertoire of this instrument. However, the name Les Voix Humaines also belongs to a duo of gambists created in 1985 in Montreal by Briton Susie Napper and Canadian Margaret Little. Specialising in a repertoire of Baroque chamber music and early music, this ensemble has become a world-wide reference point for the music of Saint Colombe. However, not content with the exploration of just one particular oeuvre, they also present a wide range of the greatest names in viol music. Known for their arrangements of a wide variety of music and their brilliant performances of ancient and contemporary works for violas da gamba, they have successfully adopted the Baroque tradition of adapting pieces originally written for other instruments, well aware that the greatest virtuosos of the time did not hesitate to do the same. If Bach could arrange Vivaldi, then why shouldn’t they arrange Dowland, Rameau, Couperin, Marais and Bach?
It is grace rather than beauty that this duo seeks in playing this instrument of kings, whose refinement is matched only by majestic silence.

JNAN SBIL GARDEN – 20h30 €20
MICHELLE DAVID & THE GOSPEL SESSIONS – USA/NETHERLANDS

African-American history, from slavery to evangelism, from segregation to the civil rights movement, is one of sorrow, injustice and revolt, but equally one of resilience, enthusiasm and relief. Faced with the vicissitudes of life, gospel music, that ode to hope, impetuous manifesto for faith in a humanity worthy of reconciliation and forgiveness, is embodied in the lucidity of the soul resistant to its rapture.
The voices of iconic divas of black music, from Odetta, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Mahalia Jackson to Aretha Franklin, have maintained the sacred depths of gospel without betraying its vehemence, with the introduction of masterful electric guitar. While between the bar and the small village church the everyday blues of no future crisscrossed, in total enmity, with the beginnings of liberating gospel – the blues of the Mississippi Delta and of Chicago, of Blind Willie McTell and Woody Guthrie, representing misery, alcohol, criminality and debauchery, Michelle David and her group decided that in the footsteps of Thomas Dorsey and Sam Cooke, they would break down the genre rifts enveloping their gospel lyrics of rhythm and blues, soul, jazz, afrobeat and funk.
‘Music that feeds the heart and soothes the soul’ is how Michelle David describes the quintessence of their music. Michelle David & the Gospel Sessions is made up of Michelle David (voice), Onno Smit (guitar/bass), Paul Willemsen (guitar/bass), Bas Bouma (percussion), Luc Janssen (trumpet), Lucas Van Ee (tenor sax) and Dirk Zandvliet (baritone sax). The group took its first steps when Dutchmen Onno Smit and Paul Willemsen went back to the origins of soul and rhythm and blues, a quest that led them to the first recordings of gospel songs. In Michelle David, who was singing in New York churches from the age of four, they recognised a vocalist with an incredible stage presence, ideal for their project.
Thus in the eternal journey from the north to the south of the US, from Detroit, city of Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross, via Chicago and ending in Louisiana, they agreed to come together. In a message of redemption, love and hope in the face of adversity, the classics of the genre – I’m a soldier in the army of the Lord, There’s a light in my life shining over me – are revisited with devastating groove, with an energetic brass section and bold arrangements. The magnetic force of this divine diva, the volcanic power and spiritual sweetness of their gospel with its retro feel, bring a new dimension to the accepted genre and surpass it in prayer swaying on a swing of alleluias.

BEN YOUSSEF COMPLEX – 22h00 €15
AREEJ SUFI ENSEMBLE – SULTANATE OF OMAN

This singing art is sea foam.
The graceful movements come from a pearl somewhere on the ocean floor.
Djalal al din Rûmi

The Sultanate of Oman is anchored in a great Arab tradition that turns majestically to the immensity of the Indian Ocean towards Zanzibar and Persia. Its high villages in ochre colours, its proud mountain escarpments, its population of mythical gazelles and leopards make this country the last ecological paradise of the Arabian Peninsula.
During the Sumerian period, Oman was known as Magan. Its incense was sold in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia and from India to Dilmun (today’s Bahrain). Oman was Islamised during the lifetime of Mohammed in the 7th century. In the following century, following the schism between Sunnis and Shi’ites, Oman was one of the rare regions that took another path, that of Khawarij, and soon became the principal region of Ibadi theology, a pacifist branch of Khawarij. The name of the school derives from that of Abdullah ibn Abbas al-Tamimi. Therefore the pupils of this school claim Jabir ibn Zaid al-Azdi, originally from Oman, as their founder.
During the time of the Ayyubid dynasty, Omanis took control of the major Swahili ports of the east African coast: Mombasa, Kilwa, Zanzibar and Pemba, which certainly explains the great similarity of gestures between the Sufi rituals of Zanzibar and of Oman during the Mawlid, the celebration of the birth of the Prophet. The influence of songs and gestures of the pearl fishers are also affirmed in this ritual.

SUFI NIGHT – DAR TAZI – 23h00

TUESDAY 18 JUNE
JNAN SBIL GARDEN – 16h30 €20
CANTICUM NOVUM – FRANCE
Emmanuel Bardon: musical direction
AASHENAYI

My orange, my pomegranate, my lemon, my candle of night,
The Egyptian pharaoh of my heart, my prophet Joseph, my everything,
My Istanbul, My Karaman, my love worth all of Anatolia and of Greece,
My Bedachan from the mines of precious garnets, my Baghdad, my Khorassan,
My woman with beautiful hair, with arched eyebrows, with sparkling eyes full of discord,
I am mad for you!
Suleiman the Magnificent

In rediscovering and interpreting early music repertoires, Canticum Novum weaves a thread between western European music and the music of the Mediterranean basin, celebrating the union of the Christian world with that of the Jewish and Moorish heritage of the East. This becomes a human adventure that continually questions identity, orality, transmission and memory. To achieve this, the ensemble draws on not only Mediterranean repertoires, but also Afghan, Turkish, Persian, Arab, Sephardic, Armenian and Cypriot music from the 13th to the 17th centuries. These forms of music, at the crossroads of paths, cultures and artistic expression, are still wondrously vibrant after 800 years of sharing, have an uplifting energy and are a true witness of diversity, respect and tolerance.
Under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire was at its height: his army and janissaries were feared across Europe and Istanbul amazed the western world. For Suleiman, the Sublime Porte not only had a privileged strategic position in trade and war, but also a vocation to bring together the cultures of East and West. Indifferent at first, these two worlds became curious about each other, seduced, fascinated and finally open to reciprocal influences. The concert Aashenayi reflects this cultural exchange and proposes a journey between East and West on the borders of ancient and traditional music. Echoes of Persia, Turkey and Europe are melded in the inspiration of the musicians – French, Turkish, Afghan, Algerian and Armenian – all inspired by the same energy.

NIGHT IN THE MEDINA II
DAR ADIYEL – 19h00 and 22h00 €15
DHRUPAD FANTASIA
HATHOR CONSORT, UDAY GHAWALKAR & PRATAP AWAD
FROM ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND TO THE COURTS OF THE MUGHAL EMPERORS

A bubble in the current,
This is your life that is passing!
It shines for a moment, then fades
Like a star at dawn.
Kabir
The Dhrupad Fantasia was born of the idea to create a marvelous universe, a visionary idea bathed in the magic of linking raga-based improvisations with polyphonic instrumental music, both of which originated in 16th-century court music, between East and West.
Sacred dhrupad song (from dhruva – the polar star, and pada – a musical composition) is the oldest genre of Hindu classical vocal music, stemming from the recitation of hymns and Vedic mantras dating back 2000 years. In the 16th century, the practice of dhrupad continued in the courts of the Mughals in northern India where it became a very popular form of classical music. Dhrupad reaches to the essence of sound and tone between worship and spectacle, encouraging meditation. The yoga of sound, its vocal breath gives us precisely the impression of wandering in the depths of the immense cosmos and tasting Amrita, the nectar of immortality.
The fantasia was a popular polyphonic composition for consort – an instrumental or vocal ensemble – during Elizabethan times in England. It was born of the art of improvisation, its form and inventiveness springing ‘only from the fantasy and skill of its author’ (Luis de Milán).

JNAN SBIL GARDEN – 20h30 €20
CARLOS NÚÑEZ, MASTER OF THE GAÏTA BAGPIPES – SPAIN
Oh, the dear and distant eyes of sailors, the salt-water eyes of Bretons, the well-water eyes of Celts! Eyes in which there are skies, vast expanses, dawns and twilights contemplated at length upon the open seas, the mountains or the plains; eyes into which have passed, and in which remain, so many horizons!
Jean Lorrain, Monsieur de Phocas

Known by the Romans as ‘the country at the end of the world’, Galicia was inhabited by Celts from the 8th-3rd century BC. It’s no wonder, then, for Carlos Núñez and Alan Stivell, as they walk along these beaches, to realise how much their fraternity is immemorial: the same legends, the same hidden villages, the same ports from which one sets sail for over there, the same washerwomen of the night … Brittany, that other Finistere, Carlos Núñez calls it his ‘second home’.
Both prince of Galicia and Celtic king, master flutist and prodigious piper, dubbed the ‘Jimi Hendrix of the gaita’ – Carlos Núñez is rehabilitating, after the Franco wasteland, the richness of the musical identity of his country: flamenco, early Galician song and the Andalus music of the Maghreb, all three with common roots. As a true musical ambassador and pioneering alchemist, he takes inter-Celtism and explores unsuspected connections in a journey of initiation to the heart of oral traditions. Mexico, Cuba, Argentina, the Basque Country – all are linked to the destiny of the Celtic story.
Like the peoples, this national instrument, the bagpipe, has also travelled from the Iberian Peninsula, spreading according to invasions or expansions: the gaita was the first instrument imported into Brazil in the 17th century. ‘The future of Celtic music is to be found in the Americas,’ says Carlos Núñez, displaying the Celtic utopia he has created in the universal imagination. During this long journey, he is surrounded by companions at arms such as The Chieftains, Sharon Shannon, Bob Dylan, Jordi Savall, Vicente Amigo, Luz Casal and even the Buena Vista Social Club.
While his fingers move at a dizzying pace on the wood of his bagpipe, a delirious, effervescent joy bubbles up and fills the lungs with an air of frenzy, leading to the crest of exaltation, exhales the breath of universal liberation and propels the pastoral traditions of Galicia and its Celtic counterparts into a mystical, intuitive and deeply intoxicating dimension.

BEN YOUSSEF COMPLEX – 22h00 €15
MEERA – INDIA
Choreographic evocation of Meera, the mystical princess poet of Rajasthan who, in the 15th century, devoted her life to Lord Krishna.
CHIDAMBARAM DANCE COMPANY
Chitra Visweswaran: choreography and stage direction
Bombay Javashri Ramnath: music

I threw off my veil
Took refuge at the feet of the grand master
Clicked my fingers and danced in the temple of life.
Meera Baï

In the heart of Rajasthan, in the bastion of fortresses perched on steep hills, between precious stones and semi-desert plains whose luminous expanse is reflected through mushrabiya, a princess, Meera, was born in the 16th century in the kingdom of Mewar. She made Lord Krishna the husband of her soul.
Seized by ecstatic passion, she became the queen of poets, the mistress of the Bakhti spiritual path that leads to jubilant liberation through godly devotion that implies renouncing the world. Meera became the Radha (consort) of Krishna in a love game embodying the search by the individual soul for union with God.
This performance also pays homage to feminine artistic creativity marked by the refinement and imagination of a gesture, a word. In this way, the expression of artists crossing other mountains and other spiritual landscapes are melded with the traditions of Rajasthan.
Today, Meera is known as one of the greatest poets of her time. The performance, choreographed and interpreted by Chitra Visweswaran, an icon of Bharata Natyam, with dancers from the Chidambaram Dance Company and set to music by Bombay Javashri Ramnath, is a true celebration of the princess-poet, of her courage, her devotion and her deep conviction.

SUFI NIGHT – DAR TAZI – 23h00


WEDNESDAY 19 JUNE
IBN DANAN SYNAGOGUE – 18h00 €15
KOL COLÉ – GERMANY
NEW FACETS OF JEWISH MUSIC

Shout unto the Lord, all the earth; break forth and sing for joy, yea, sing praises.
Sing praises unto the Lord with the harp; with the harp and the voice of melody.
With trumpets and sound of the horn shout ye before the King, the Lord.
Psalm 98

Musicians from Ukraine, Moldova, Syria and Germany founded Kol Colé in Cologne to showcase their love for the Jewish and oriental music of eastern Europe. Each musician in the group has his or her own musical background. Together, they create a new and lively form of music, based on the traditions of klezmer, Russian folk songs, tangos and Jewish songs, old Sephardic and Hebrew songs and Syrian music accompanied by the qanun. This learned and playful blend enriches their own compositions based on Jewish and Eastern tradition.
Kol Colé concerts lead the audience into hidden countries and forgotten times, into the Jewish shtetl, the Ukranian countryside and medieval Andalusia, always searching for the harmonious coexistence of Jewish, Muslim and Christian music.

NIGHT IN THE MEDINA III
DAR ADIYEL – 19h00 and 22h00 €15
SVETLANA SPAJIC VOCAL ENSEMBLE AND CHERIFA KERSIT – SERBIA & MOROCCO
Songs of the Mountains, from the Balkans to the Middle Atlas

Between the shores of the oceans and the summit of the highest mountain there is a secret road that you must travel ere you become one with the sons of earth.
Khalil Gibran

The pastoral voices of the Serbian and Berber mountains echo in this unprecedented encounter between Svetlana Spajic and Cherifa, both iconic figures in the transmission of oral heritage.
Svetlana Spajic has deep roots in the music of Balkan lands. Taking the repertoire of traditional songs of the former Yugoslavia, she represents today the revival of traditional Serbian song. Her expertise is based on demanding ethnomusicological collection research that led her to master the characteristic micro-intervals of Serbian a cappella song. Over the years, this vital quest led to losing herself in the heart of the mountains, in Serbian, Bosnian and Croat villages, where oral repertoires have been transmitted with little outside influence. It is this immersion into the daily life and into the immemorial imaginary world of these country people that transforms their artistic practice into a major act of preservation of intangible heritage. The songs tell of epics, of weddings, harvests, gatherings and religious processions through which the shadows of sadness, love, journeys and dreams all pass. Traditional Serb motifs can be found here such the green apple tree where the falcon sits on a branch, the lovers’ marigold flower, the healing of the peacock, the avalanche that snuffs out the life of mountain shepherds, the pine trees whose frozen roots gave birth to the Danube with the moon in its branches and the stars at its top, and the old zapis oak, symbol of power, memory and prayer.
Singers and dancers, the Cheikhats are from the Moroccan Middle Atlas Mountains. Some of them become solo singers in their own right, perpetuating a poetic tradition that they have appropriated over time. Cherifa was a young peasant girl of the mountains when she was discovered by the great master and singer Rouicha, with whom she sang for a long time before making her own way. The oral heritage passed from generation to generation, known as the tamawayt, is used by Cherifa, along with a lothar lute, to sing the words of village poets, of rejoicing and suffering, where both the oriental and African colours of Berber music spring up.

JNAN SBIL GARDEN – 20h30 €20
WORLD YOUTH BAROQUE ENSEMBLE
WITH THE ANDALUS MUSIC ORCHESTRA OF FES

DAMIANO GIURANNA, DIRECTION
FILIPPO MINECCIA, COUNTERTENOR
CHAIMAE MJIBLI, VOICE
MOHAMMED BRIOUEL, DIRECTOR OF THE FEZ ORCHESTRA

RELIGIOUS ASPECTS OF ITALIAN AND MOROCCAN MUSIC OF THE 17TH AND 18TH CENTURIES
The World Youth Orchestra was founded on 15 September 2001, a propitious year for the creation of a new musical project and a year that changed the history of the last thousand years. Just four days after the tragedies in New York and Washington, 75 young musicians of all colours and continents were united in Rome to learn a new way of making music.
The group was composed of young musicians from colleges, universities and conservatories who believed in a project that was founded on two elements: witnessing ideas of peace and brotherhood and the development of talented, young artists.
With their presence, their artistic and human contribution, the young members of the World Youth Orchestra had an approach that, from the very first day of this orchestra, anticipated what the arts and in particular, music, would signify in the third millennium. It was not simply a case of satisfying the individual and collective demands relative to artistic creation, but also providing a powerful tool of communication that would advocate values and ideas able to stimulate the public sphere.
The orchestra has been able to realise its principal objectives in the cultures of the Mediterranean basin, and to contribute to a world wounded by wars and political and religious conflicts. In fact, these young musicians from the five continents have borne witness to as much hatred and poverty as to beauty and emotions of brotherly humanity. They have wept and laughed through their experiences, vital for their future fulfilment – some of them now have places in prestigious orchestras – and have become, in the light of an essential chapter of the story – visual witnesses to an artistic and social process.
In cooperation with the Instituto Italiano di Cultura in Rabat; Italian Embassy in Morocco

BEN YOUSSEF COMPLEX – 22h00 €15
OBINI BATÁ – CUBA
Ritual songs and dance of the women of Santeria

As we sometimes think, in the world of percussion, it's not just strength and speed. It is above all a question of technique and taste.
Raul Fernandez

Twenty-five years ago, three women dancers from the Cuban National Folkdance Group formed Obini Batá, defying the exclusively masculine tradition of percussionists. They became the first women to play the batá: the two-headed drum made of goatskin found in Santeria, the Afro-Cuban religion. Cuba is the only country that retains these drums taken by Nigerian slaves to Trinidad and Tobago as well as to Brazil. These drums come in three different sizes: the Iya (largest), Itotele (medium) and the Konkolo (small), have an hourglass shape and must be made from one single piece of wood.
The Obini ensemble (which means women in Yoruba) tells the story of one of Cuba’s most influential instruments, to the chagrin of its detractors who are outraged that women, considered physically and emotionally unsuited, dare play these three sacred drums, the favourite drums for communicating with God outside religious ceremonies. This ensemble, then, embodies the relentless fight toward larger acceptance of the deserved place of women in the world of percussion and to redefine the stakes around the batá and its musicality.
Religious tradition has it that a week before playing in a ceremony, men were not allowed to touch a woman as their spirit would be weakened with such contact; this was part of the ritual. Obini Batá, through the power of their playing, proclaim the nonsense of such eminently sexist beliefs. Despite their affirmation of the non-religious nature of their artistic performance, despite the major musical expressiveness of the batá drum, the passage from religious to secular was very difficult to admit and female percussionists are still banned to this day, by traditional Afro-Cuban priests who perceive their practice sacrilegious.
Held in the hearts and memories of slaves brought to Cuba more than a hundred years ago, the music of the batá drum transports us to the rhythms and pulsations of conversations in African villages. Like these, the six-handed drum speaks a mysterious polyphonic language. Its voice seems to call the orishas, the spirits of Santeria: Eleggua, the link between the dead and the orishas, Yemaya, divinity of the sea and source of all life, Oya, orisha of the winds, Oshun, orisha of love, ObBatá la, orisha of harmony and of course Chango, orisha of music – to come down to talk to mankind and even to possess them, while clothing and coloured scarves spin in frenetic dance.
The multi-generational group from Havana is made up of Eva Despaigne, the sexagenarian Maestra and the last of the founding members, and five young women from various artistic and professional backgrounds which explains the extraordinary versatility of their performance, somewhere between a theatrical game, song, music and dance. Eva maintains a long-term vision of the role of Obini Batá with two precise ends: the first to constitute a creative kernel that can train new artists, and the second to represent a platform that defends women’s rights in a society faced with gender discrimination, keeping the faith with the legacy of Rumba Morena, Andrea Baro and many other women’s groups of Cuban rumba.
SUFI NIGHT – DAR TAZI – 23h00

THURSDAY 20 JUNE
JNAN SBIL GARDEN – 16h30 €20
HOMAYOUN SAKHI – AFGHANISTAN
The art of rubâb
Ustad Homayoun Sakhi: rubâb
Ustashi Siar Hashimi: tabla

If ever a pious man lets himself go to the sound of rubâb, he will abandon his prayer mat for this instrument.
Afghan proverb

Homayoun Sakhi is a musician whose destiny is tightly allied to that of the rubâb, the iconic lute of Afghanistan, whose mercurial, incisive sounds inspired the sarod of classical Indian music. Called ‘the lion of instruments’ it been written about in Persian literature since the 7th century. This plucked stringed lute features a sound box carved out of mulberry wood that is covered in goatskin. Its 11 sympathetic strings give it a certain acoustic depth that allows the artist to shape the sounds to evoke the mountain wind or a palace breeze. The rubâb family is extensive, with some differences, from Uzbekistan to Iran via Tajikistan, where it is known as rubâb-i-Pamir. The companion of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, liked to play one. In Afghanistan, historic crossroads of Persian, Indian and Asian civilisations, it is often called the Kabuli rubâb.
Homayoun lives the passion of his heritage that has given him the vocation to breathe new life into the musical instrument. Just as Zakir Hussain raised the tabla to a universal instrument, so Homayoun takes his inspiration to California where he now lives, to better serve the art that preceded him.
Homayoun’s rubâb playing is incandescent even for traditional music, a mixture of raw magic and high sophistication, reincarnating the soul of an era and turning it to the movement of today’s world.
Also including established tabla player Siar Hashimi, this concert at the peak of the art of improvisation promises to be memorable.

IBN DANAN SYNAGOGE – 18h00 €15
KOL COLÉ – GERMANY
NEW FACETS OF JEWISH MUSIC

Shout unto the Lord, all the earth; break forth and sing for joy, yea, sing praises.
Sing praises unto the Lord with the harp; with the harp and the voice of melody.
With trumpets and sound of the horn shout ye before the King, the Lord.
Psalm 98

Musicians from Ukraine, Moldova, Syria and Germany founded Kol Colé in Cologne to showcase their love for the Jewish and oriental music of eastern Europe. Each musician in the group has his or her own musical background. Together, they create a new and lively form of music, based on the traditions of klezmer, Russian folk songs, tangos and Jewish songs, old Sephardic and Hebrew songs and Syrian music accompanied by the qanun. This learned and playful blend enriches their own compositions based on Jewish and Eastern tradition.
Kol Colé concerts lead the audience into hidden countries and forgotten times, into the Jewish shtetl, the Ukranian countryside and medieval Andalusia, always searching for the harmonious coexistence of Jewish, Muslim and Christian music.

GLAOUI PALACE – 19h00 €15
HOW FAR IS IT FROM THE SUN TO THE EARTH?
In collaboration with the French Institute and the Goethe Institute, the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Young Hope Children’s Choir and other actors from Fes.

The Glaoui Palace: a timeless place; traces of centuries past and traces of the present. In each room is a different life. An enduring architecture of ancient beauty. Images from an exhibition that ended long ago are hung up again. Reflections of distant ages arise in the dull mirrors. But from the school across the way, we hear children’s voices. They ask us questions about our present: what are we doing here? How do we deal with life, with the earth and time?
The Glaoui Palace absorbs the perspectives, questions and attitudes of new generations. Their creativity, potential and questions about life define the first musical presentation. What is it we hope for, desire, live for and love? How far is the sky? How much of the earth is peaceful? Children and teenagers from Fes have written the score with poetic speeches, composed for young musicians, speakers and dancers. Through this performance, using contemporary music and dance, we see with their eyes and hear about the subjects of living together in a fragile present.
Each of the pieces at the Palace opens with the theme of a musical composition. The actors in the ensemble are children who speak to us of their world using music and dance. A composition of voice, instruments and bodies. An installation around the subject of the city, space and time.
Christina Friedrich

SUFI NIGHT – DAR TAZI – 23h00


FRIDAY 21 JUNE
JNAN SBIL GARDEN – 16h30 €20
SONA JORBATEH – THE GAMBIA
The art of the kora

I am a griot, master of the art of talking. Since time immemorial, we have been bags of words, we are the bags that keep mostly secular secrets. Without us, the names of the kings would fall into oblivion; we are the memory of men.
Niane

African society is founded on endless debate. Bearers of traditional knowledge, genealogists, historians, advisors to the powerful, mediators and arbitrators, griots are all these things in the world they help govern. Marriage ceremonies, baptisms, the ritual music associated with their oracular worlds. The origin of the kora, the sacred preserve of these storytellers and poets, is endowed with numerous legends. One of them tells that the first kora was given by the spirits of the Kabou mountain in today’s Guinea-Bissau, almost 700 years ago. Tiramakhan Traoré, a general in the service of Soudiata Keïta, left with his griot called Djélimady Oulé in order to bring back a woman hidden at the back of a cave. Throwing out a net to catch the beautiful woman, the men then put together a half calabash covered with cow skin and topped with a neck along which stretched 22 strings. The griot used this as an instrument and the woman, amazed by the beauty of the notes, came out of the cave.
Sona Jobarteh was born and lives in London, that most African of European cities. She comes from one of the five most illustrious families of griots who have glorified this instrument from the lands of the magnificent Mandinka Empire of west Africa – one of the most prosperous of the region in the 13th century. Her grandfather, Amadou Bansang Jobarteh, unparalleled in the cultural history of The Gambia, is a grand master of the kora. Her cousin, Toumani Diabaté, is an international star. Sona Jobarteh is the first woman of such lineage to become a master of this instrument. Pioneer of the genre, she learned the kora from the age of four with her older brother Tunde Jegede, and perfected the art guided by her father, Sanjally Jobarteh. Playing in public, she changed the unwritten rule, to transgress the convention, to interrupt seven centuries of exclusively male practice passed down from father to son during collective activities such as hunting. Supported by the legacy of her ancestors, and depository of oral tradition, Sona Jobarteh is a courier, convinced that each instrument has its own aura. Her fingers fly over the strings of her kora with grace, bringing forth harmonious melodies ready to transport us to the heart of the cradle of humanity. Thanks to a luminous energy printed with incandescent pulsations, relentless riffs, enameled with timeless vocal flights of unparalleled refinement, Sona Jobarteh delivers an irrepressible impulse embodied in the invitation both to jump up into a jubilant dance and to experience a soothing introspection.
Spokeswoman for The Gambia, an ambassador of tradition, Sona looks to the future of Africa and its youth, with topics such as women’s rights and emancipation. In this smallest of African countries, The Gambia, she opened the first school of traditional music in 2016, named after her grandfather. After 22 years of authoritarian rule, a place for education for new generations!

DAR BATHA – 18h00 €15
OPERA SLAM BAROQUE
Marc Alexandre Oho Bambe: voice and song
Alain Larribet: Indian harmonium, flutes, percussion
Fragments, Opera Slam
Originally, Fragments was an OLNI (ouvrage littéraire non-identifié in French, or a non-identified literary work).
A trilogy carried by the breath and words of Marc Alexandre Oho Bambe known as Captain Alexandre (poet and slammer), visuals by Fred Ebami (pop artist and graphic designer) and the blue music of Alain Larribet (singer and musician).
Poetry to relearn how to live, to escape beautifully from the world, to stay the trembling of the human soul in an incandescent language that overflows.
Sublime hope.
Fragments is also a flowing text that says, without dictating, the utopias that melt and make marchers out of some women and some men. In search of meaning, light and peace.
Poetry that stands out with all its tenderness, offering gentle vertigo and opening to clear mornings. Inside us.
Finally, Fragments is a journey, both intimate and universal, a ‘party invitation’ to everyone to dive into oneself to the rhythm and tempo of sentences and images and notes, sparks.
From souls to souls.
Capitan Alexandre, with the beautiful company of Alain Larribet, sings the possibles and the jubilation of being alive. The artists remind us of the light. It is time. Of ourselves.
This performance is both Baroque and contemporary, at the crossroads of disciplines and cultures, mixing poetry, slam, music and sacred song.


GLAOUI PALACE – 19h00 €15
HOW FAR IS IT FROM THE SUN TO THE EARTH?
In collaboration with the French Institute and the Goethe Institute, the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Young Hope Children’s Choir and other actors from Fes.

The Glaoui Palace: a timeless place; traces of centuries past and traces of the present. In each room is a different life. An enduring architecture of ancient beauty. Images from an exhibition that ended long ago are hung up again. Reflections of distant ages arise in the dull mirrors. But from the school across the way, we hear children’s voices. They ask us questions about our present: what are we doing here? How do we deal with life, with the earth and time?
The Glaoui Palace absorbs the perspectives, questions and attitudes of new generations. Their creativity, potential and questions about life define the first musical presentation. What is it we hope for, desire, live for and love? How far is the sky? How much of the earth is peaceful? Children and teenagers from Fes have written the score with poetic speeches, composed for young musicians, speakers and dancers. Through this performance, using contemporary music and dance, we see with their eyes and hear about the subjects of living together in a fragile present.
Each of the pieces at the Palace opens with the theme of a musical composition. The actors in the ensemble are children who speak to us of their world using music and dance. A composition of voice, instruments and bodies. An installation around the subject of the city, space and time.
Christina Friedrich

BAB MAKINA – 21h00 A: €50 B: €25
THE ART OF MUWASHAH FROM ALEPPO TO FES

Muwashah can take two forms: the waslâ of Aleppo, or the Andalusian nuba. It is often described as the greatest expression of sung Arabic poetry.
Arabo-Andalus Orchestra of Fes
Directed by Mohammed Briouel
Founded by Hadj Abdelkrim Rais of whom Mohammed Briouel was a pupil, this orchestra is considered the oldest and most important exponent of Moroccan Andalusian music. Created in 1946, it took over from the Andalusian Music Ensemble that had existed in Fes since 1912, Fes being one of the cities where the tradition of Arabo-Andalusian music was best preserved after the fall of Granada in 1492.
To ensure the continuity of this art, notably through teaching young musicians wanting to perform Arabo-Andalusian music, the orchestra’s mission is the restoration of this music in its historic form. Therefore, only traditional stringed instruments play in the orchestra.
Omar Sarmini and the Syrian Orchestra of Paris
Musical direction and first violin: Khalil Jerro

Despite the current crisis in this region of the Middle East, when we talk about traditional Syrian music today, we must admit that we cannot help thinking of the fulsomeness of songs from Aleppo that carry as much romance as nostalgia, love and mysticism.
At the heart of Arab culture, the city of Aleppo seemed to be some kind of jewel where the knowledge and refinement of an artistically flourishing city was resplendent, despite rivalry with the powerful Baghdad.
In the 10th century, Aleppo became the capital of the kingdom of Emir Saîf al-Dawla who notably welcomed Fârâbî, the learned musicologist of medieval Islam. Later, in the 14th century, when the Arab world had to face the Spanish Reconquista in Andalusia as well as the growing influence of the Turkish Ottomans in the Middle East, Aleppo preferred the preservation of musical heritage that inspired the Nahda, the renaissance of Arab song that started in Egypt at the end of the 19th century.
Aleppo song demonstrates above all the two styles that constantly interweave: the sung poetry of muwashah (pl: muwashahat) and the hudûd Halabîya, the spirited popular songs that Sabah Fakhrî, himself a native of Aleppo, made so appreciated across the world.
Omar Sarmini is one of the last great icons of the musical art of Aleppo. A musician and composer of a vast repertoire of sacred music, he was brought up on the ritual of dhikr directed by his father, Sheikh Muhammad Sarmini. Often in France playing alongside Julien Jalal Edin Weiss and his Ensemble Al-Kindi, Omar Sarmini is renowned for his interpretation of muwashahat dating back to the 11th century, and for his ability to perform the sacred songs of Sheikh Habboush, grand master of spiritual song.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the traditional eastern ensemble, the takht with oud, qanun, kamân (spike fiddle) and nây (flute), was augmented with a darabuka, a goblet drum, before Arab music adopted the western violin (kaman or kamandja), that gave rise to current large orchestras. Khalil Jerro, outstanding young orchestra leader and violin virtuoso, directs the Syrian Orchestra of Paris and endeavours to present one of the most precious Arab music traditions of our time.
SUFI NIGHT – DAR TAZI – 23h00

SATURDAY 22 JUNE
JNAN SBIL GARDEN – 16h30 €20
MASTERS OF THE HARP – COLOMBIA, PARAGUAY & VENEZUELA
EDMAR CASTANEDA WITH MARIANO GONZALEZ RAMIREZ AND EDUARDO BETANCOURT

You can hear that from here: the violins mimic the sound of the wind, the glockenspiel that of dancing elves, the harp that of the moon. For in the composer’s memory, playing the harp was always about evoking moonbeams!
Colette

The origins of the harp date back to Mesopotamia (Sumer, 3500 BC). It is a universal instrument that has spread across all continents in different forms, and appeared in Europe in the Middle Ages associated, in Christian iconography, with the biblical image of King David.
South American indigenous music is above all essentially vocal music accompanied by drums and flutes. The arrival in the 16th century of the Conquistadors and Spanish Jesuit priests marked the addition of new instruments such as the arpa llanera, an Andean harp or harp of the plains, constructed to be easy to carry and quick to be adapted to the location. Demonstrating the holistic vision of man with nature, this instrument, an emblem of the musical heritage of the whole Andes Cordillera, was used for rituals performed according to the indigenous peoples’ agricultural calendar and is still used at festivals and celebrations around the traditional, passionate rhythm of the joropo, evoking the gallop of racing horses.
In this Pan-American musical odyssey, Edmar Castaneda – one of the most authentic artists in New York today – carries us to the Colombian plains towards the heights of the Altiplano and to the depths of Paraguay. He invited Mariano Gonzalez Ramirez and Eduardo Betancourt to emphasise, with refinement, the evocative power of Andean music, invoking both the windswept, dizzying passes and the overwhelming silhouette of the mountains. Edmar Castaneda, a charismatic musician, takes the harp out of the secondary role it plays in western orchestras and allows it to open the doors of contemporary improvisation, while still retaining its organic Andean sound. Thus, he revolutionises the prejudices surrounding an instrument one thinks of as less rhythmic and, being at one with his favourite instrument, the thousand-year-old harp takes on unexpected colour and explores unknown sacred territories under his disconcertingly dexterous fingers. The sublime energy of these three virtuoso harpists celebrates the joy of existence, alternating between frenzy and sweetness, flights of percussive strings, cascades of innovative sounds and angelic atmospheres.

DAR BATHA – 18h00 €15
OPERA SLAM BAROQUE
Marc Alexandre Oho Bambe: voice and song
Alain Larribet: Indian harmonium, flutes, percussion
Fragments, Opera Slam
Originally, Fragments was an OLNI (ouvrage littéraire non-identifié in French, or a non-identified literary work).
A trilogy carried by the breath and words of Marc Alexandre Oho Bambe known as Captain Alexandre (poet and slammer), visuals by Fred Ebami (pop artist and graphic designer) and the blue music of Alain Larribet (singer and musician).
Poetry to relearn how to live, to escape beautifully from the world, to stay the trembling of the human soul in an incandescent language that overflows.
Sublime hope.
Fragments is also a flowing text that says, without dictating, the utopias that melt and make marchers out of some women and some men. In search of meaning, light and peace.
Poetry that stands out with all its tenderness, offering gentle vertigo and opening to clear mornings. Inside us.
Finally, Fragments is a journey, both intimate and universal, a ‘party invitation’ to everyone to dive into oneself to the rhythm and tempo of sentences and images and notes, sparks.
From souls to souls.
Capitan Alexander, with the beautiful company of Alain Larribet, sings the possibles and the jubilation of being alive. The artists remind us of the light. It is time. Of ourselves.
This performance is both Baroque and contemporary, at the crossroads of disciplines and cultures, mixing poetry, slam, music and sacred song.


GLAOUI PALACE – 19h00 €15
HOW FAR IS IT FROM THE SUN TO THE EARTH?
In collaboration with the French Institute and the Goethe Institute, the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Young Hope Children’s Choir and other actors from Fes.

The Glaoui Palace: a timeless place; traces of centuries past and traces of the present. In each room is a different life. An enduring architecture of ancient beauty. Images from an exhibition that ended long ago are hung up again. Reflections of distant ages arise in the dull mirrors. But from the school across the way, we hear children’s voices. They ask us questions about our present: what are we doing here? How do we deal with life, with the earth and time?
The Glaoui Palace absorbs the perspectives, questions and attitudes of new generations. Their creativity, potential and questions about life define the first musical presentation. What is it we hope for, desire, live for and love? How far is the sky? How much of the earth is peaceful? Children and teenagers from Fes have written the score with poetic speeches, composed for young musicians, speakers and dancers. Through this performance, using contemporary music and dance, we see with their eyes and hear about the subjects of living together in a fragile present.
Each of the pieces at the Palace opens with the theme of a musical composition. The actors in the ensemble are children who speak to us of their world using music and dance. A composition of voice, instruments and bodies. An installation around the subject of the city, space and time.
Christina Friedrich

BAB MAKINA – 21h00 A: €60 B: €30
GRAND FLAMENCO EVENING, ANDALUCIA – SPAIN
JOSE MERCE, VOICE – TOMATITO, GUITAR

The guitar makes dreams cry. The crying of lost souls escapes from its round mouth.
And like the tarantula, it weaves a huge star to catch sighs that float on its black wooden tank.
Cante Jondo Poem, Graphique de la Petenera: The Six Strings
Federico Garcia Lorca
With José Mercé and Tomatito, here we are at the heart of the flamenco epic poem. With two legendary men from two of the greatest gypsy dynasties of Jerez and Almeria. Two lives that have transcended the limits of tradition, a tradition that forged, sculpted and exhorted them to sing cante jondo with the intensity of life, of their lives!
Independently of their dazzling careers, José Mercé and José Fernández Torres – known as Tomatito – have returned to their roots and have not forgotten the difficulties that marked their paths after the enthusiasm of the first stirrings of their passion. Tomatito swiftly followed in the footsteps of Paco de Lucia – who gave his penultimate concert here at the Fes Festival in 2013 – and like him, accompanied the great Camarón. So, it is one of his pupils who is here on this magnificent stage of Bab Makina and one who has in the meantime become one of the great iconic figures of flamenco. Tomatito remembers ‘at the time where I lived, all reference was to Paco, for all of us and for those who came. As far as I’m concerned, I’m always careful not to repeat the same falsetas. I always try to do new things. To offer something new, especially when thinking about the young people who will follow me.’
Born in the well-known flamenco quarter of Santiago in Jerez, José Mercé is a great grandson of Paco de Luz and nephew of Manuel Soto ‘Sordera’, and is the patriarch of local flamenco. When he was just a child, he sang at the choir school of the Basilica de la Merced, from where he takes his stage name.
The cante jondo, more than any other vocal style, has the ability to leave us, with its brutal stop and silence, on the threshold of a chasm: this is the llanto, the first signs of the non-existent sob that precedes the ‘rolling silence’ so well described by Federico Garcia Lorca.
Masters of an indisputable variety of styles, José Mercé and Tomatito can navigate from the rumba to a zambra dedicated to Lola Flores, the great actress, singer and dancer from Jerez de la Frontera, from the fandangos of Huelva to a bulería por soleá or a siguiriya.
Their work together has been fused in a remarkable album, De Verdad (Truth): ‘We called it De Verdad because it comes from the heart, from emotion and the soul. We want to remember our origins from our time in the tablaos’ (flamenco venues). (José Mercé)
And so, through these two incontestable figures, the miracle of flamenco is perfectly expressed in their ability to retain the vivacity of that first cry directed towards the stars.

SUFI NIGHT – DAR TAZI – 23h00

Still to come: programme for the Forum on Saturday and Sunday mornings; programme for the free concerts at Boujloud Square each evening from Saturday; names of Sufi brotherhoods performing at Sufi Nights; any other events: sometimes there are art exhibitions, medina tours, film screenings, workshops and meditations.

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Friday, March 22, 2019

Book of the Week...



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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Smuggling of Moroccan Tortoises

A German man tried smuggling three tortoises through Schönefeld Airport in Berlin, according to a press release from the airport's main customs office

The 69-year-old arrived at the airport from Cairo on Feb. 3, 2019 and went through the customs line for travellers who had nothing to register.

Upon inspecting his bags, however, custom officers found a pastry box, which the man explained contained "chocolates."

Upon further inspection, however, officials discovered three living Moroccan tortoises inside the box.

The officers confiscated the animals and placed them in veterinary care in accordance with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The tortoises are protected under the multilateral treaty to protect endangered plants and animals.


If charged with breaking international species protection law, the 69-year-old man risks a fine of up to €50,000 and up to five years in jail, according to a statement released by Schoenefeld Airport last week.

The customs office said the species is under protection by the the Washington Convention on the Protection of Animals. Breaking these protection regulations can result in fines up to 50,000 euros (or about $56,700) or up to five years in jail, according to the release. It is unclear whether the man, who was left unnamed, was charged.


The Moroccan tortoise (estudo graeca marokkensis) is also known commonly as the spur-thighed tortoise.

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