Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fes Festival Sufi Nights - Night 5 - The Darqawiyya of Essaouira

The late night Sufi Nights at Dar Tazi continue to be  highly popular events. Philip Murphy was there for The View from Fez.

Hajj Hamid Mareen

The Darqawiyya order, like most of the Sufi orders represented this week, can be traced back to ash-Shadhili (d.1258) whose teachings were extremely informative for Moroccan Sufism.

Hajj Hamid Mareen leads this group of Darqawiyya from the seaside city of Essaouira. His teacher the great Sheikh Abdel Latif Bin Mansour, who passed away in 2010, composed the bulk of the poetry that the group sang tonight.

Initially this group looked similar to the Machichiyya group from last night. They walked on stage with instruments used in an Andalusian ensemble: ‘ud, violin, hand percussion, and a number of vocalists. However, this group also had female members on stage, and this was a first for the Sufi Nights concerts this year.

The first half of the concert consisted of poetry set to Andalusian style music. The beginning was slow and heavy, and as the songs progressed they became lighter and faster. For these faster songs one of the percussionists picked up a large two-headed drum and played rhythms that were simpler and almost dance like. This caused the audience to clap and sway in their seats.

Towards the end of the concert Hajj Hamid asked some guests to join the group, and the audience immediately stood up and started yelling excitedly as three Gnaoua musicians took the stage. The Darqawiyya switched gears to incorporate the hajhuj (bass lute) and the qaraqab (metal castanets) of the Gnaoua, and as they began to play the crowd went wild. Young and old were clapping, singing along, and even jumping up and down. A line of security formed in front of the stage, though this did not seem necessary. The energy was high but, as it was late, the group finished soon after incorporating the Gnaoua musicians, leaving an energized crowd calling for more.

Story and photographs: Phil Murphy

Tonight at 23h00 Dar Tazi
Thursday 14 June
Issawiya Brotherhood: Night of the Mkadmins (Fes)

The Sufi Night reviews
Tariqa Skalliyya
Tariqa Sharqawiyya
Hamadcha Brotherhood
Tariqa Mashishiyya
The Isawa


Festival Programme
Festival in the City
Sufi Nights
Festival Forums
Festival Eating Guide
Art during the Festival #1
Art during the Festival #2
The Enchanted Gardens of Fez
Last Minute Accommodation

The View from Fez is an official Media Partner of the Fès Festival of World Sacred Music


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