Friday, June 10, 2011

Qawwals, Arabo-Andalus and Sufis at Fes Festival

Farid Ayyaz and his party
The Fes Festival's evening concert at Bab al Makina on Friday was a rip-roaring success, much appreciated by a receptive crowd. It was a premiere - the first time that Andalous music and the sama'a tradition has been allied with Pakistani qawwali music, and it worked.

The evening began with a strong performance of the frenetic rhythms and rich ornamentation of qawwali by Farid Ayyaz and his group that delighted the audience. Then it was the turn of the Fez Orchestra directed by Mohammed Briouel, with sama'a. They were accompanied by a group of a dozen Sufi brothers who chanted along and bounced up and down.

Six Sufis sitting
 More than one member of the audience got carried away by the hadra (trance-like state) and sang and bounced too. Finally, the two groups played together, which was a jaw-dropping experience - all the musicians as well as the audience seemed to thoroughly enjoy this extraordinary synthesis.

Click images to enlarge

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