Aleppo in Syria has a great tradition of Sufi music dating from the 12th century that was also enriched by the caravan routes passing through from Anatolia, Iran and Mesopotamia. Tonight's concert at Bab al Makina was an example of a spiritual concert called samaa. The performance moves from sung suites, to anashids dinyia (chants), to qacidas and ibtihals (vocal improvisations) until the singer achieves a sense of ecstasy called wajd that he can transmit to the audience.
Much loved by Moroccans and indeed people from all over the Muslim world, the crowd was appreciative. The orchestra, led by oud-player Kadri Dalal, played a spirited introduction before the first of a series of six Aleppo singers.
Unfortunately, not only was Sabah Fakhri unable to attend, but Sheikh Habboush was also missing from the line-up. But on the programme was Mustafa Hilal, Ahmed Azrak, Ahmed Boudour, Mohatasim Billah, Fouad Maher and Omar Sabouni, all from Aleppo.
Bab al Makina looked splendid!
SEEN IN THE CROWD
Festival founder Faouzi SkaliTo see all the Fez Festival 2010 stories from Morocco, on The View from Fez, click HERE!