Saturday, June 05, 2010

Fez Festival: Voyage to Mali

It may not have been Ben Harper, but Saturday's evening concert at Bab al Makina didn't fail to thrill the audience who were soon clapping along and dancing in the aisles.

But even before the main event, the large crowd were entertained in the forecourt by the Agadir Acrobats.

Last minute arrangements were made for a voyage to Bamako, home of Malian music. First up was Djelimady String Theory featuring the great guitarist Djelimady Tounkara (pictured below).

 Djelimady Tounkara

Djelimady grew up surrounded with traditional music played by members of his family, Griots and musicians. He played djembe drum and xalam, a banjo-like lute, as a boy. As an adult, Djelimady is now a composer, arranger and orchestra leader and has always worked to bring his ancestral musical tradition to the forefront of African music. Djelimady was accompanied by Moussa Diabate on rhythm guitar and Aboubacar Diombana on base.

In an extraordinary moment, Djelimady climbed down from the stage and continued to play in front of the first row of the audience.

 People surged forward and an impromptu Malian dance party took place with even the Festival directors on their feet clapping.

Next up were the Malian duo Amadou and Mariam who are no strangers to Morocco, having played in Marrakech. They were hugely popular with the crowd who were on their feet in no time. A pair of dancing backing singers, percussion and keyboards rounded out a great sound.

 Amadou and Mariam

The other big plus for the evening was that after complaints the previous night, the large screen was working perfectly, allowing those in the back seats to have a good view of the stage. The lighting design this year is particularly good and the organisers are to be congratulated.

The large screen in action

To see all the Fez Festival 2010 stories on The View from Fez, click HERE!

16h00 at the Batha Museum: Shakila Saidi and the Rajab Suleiman Trio (Tanzania): The art of taarab in the Swahili tradition
20h30 at Bab al Makina: Africa Spirit: Sufi Ensemble Mtendeni Maulid from Zanzibar and the Master Drummers of Burundi

No comments: