The outdoor Sufi concerts at Dar Tazi are open to all, and give a glimpse into Islamic culture through the richness and creativity of its artistic and spiritual dimensions. The first of the free evening concerts from the Festival of Sacred Music was a treat.
The wide, carpeted courtyard of Dar Tazi hosted Tariqa Hassania, a Sufi Brotherhood from the far south of Morocco formed by members of 'Association Azawan pour la Musique Hassani'. The splendidly attired group - five men and five women musicians from Guelmeme - presented Madih (poetic praises to the Prophet) and Ghazal (songs of love and life).
As pioneered by internationally renowned Malian group Tinariwen, they accompanied their traditional resonant polyrhythmic percussion, strong voices and ululations, with electric guitar and keyboard .
A special feature of this night was the presence of the women, who formerly would only have danced at home for weddings or holy days.
Meanwhile, a few minutes away in Bab Boujloud Square, enthusiastic crowds of youth and family groups warmed up a chill night by dancing and singing along to a full production pop-style concert by Rachida Talim and Hatim Ammor.
WIth up to 20 musicians on stage, including a string section , percussion from traditional Maghreb instruments to congas, backing singers and powerful accordion, this was a great start to bringing world music to the people.
Coming up at the Sufi Nights
Sunday June 9th: : Tariqa Habibia (Taza)
Taza, in Arabic: تازة) is a city in northern Morocco, which occupies the corridor between the Rif mountains and Middle Atlas mountains, about 120 km east of Fes.
Text and photograph: Gabe Monson