Saturday, June 21, 2014

Fes Festival Sufi Nights ~ The Ouazzania Deliver A Superb Night of Sacred Music

Malem Fouad Ouazzani

The Ouazzani Zaouia of Ouazzane filled Dar Tazi with an energetic, warm performance Friday night. The carpeted area in this lovely courtyard filled up early and a large crowd were standing all around for this penultimate night of free Sufi music

The ensemble, lead by Fouad Ouazzani, employs ten singers and, at Mr. Ouzzani’s able command, delivered a beautiful range of vocal melodies both high and low and complemented by the incredible range of their voices. The singers are backed by a cello, violin, oud, drum and tambourine. Their harmonies are strong and each of the main singers takes a solo turn. We also have solos from the cello and oud.

The crowd was filled with families sitting side by side throughout the performance, creating a peaceful atmosphere and lending a totally different vibe to the setting than that found at the Boujloud stage, another free venue not far from Dar Tazi.

Children ran and played with their friends, though their parents had little to worry about and were able to keep an eye on them within the seated, relaxed crowd.

The front center portion of the seated audience was filled with young men devoted to the spiritual subject matter Mr. Ouzzani specializes in. The young men rocked back and forth with closed eyes, fingers pointed into the air and sang along with Mr. Ouzzani throughout the performance, their smiles reflected on Mr. Ouzzani and his ensemble’s faces.

It seems that Sufi Nights can be quite addictive for some. Each night at Dar Tazi the same joyful faces appear right up close to the stage. For some the draw is the music and a community meeting place for others where new trysts are made and old friendships rekindled.

Mr. Ouzzani’s ensemble delivered a fantastic performance that had a distinct drive and urgency in its delivery. The entire ensemble spoke as one and performed in an energetic style easy for even a Sufi novice to appreciate.

There is a feeling of noisy festival and community spirit as the Fassi sing and clap and talk and sway with the singing and the music late into the sacred night.

Hassan from Lebanon – second visit "Its good to be back here in Fez, under the stars with the Fassi and their beautiful Sufi music."

Brenda from California – first visit: "I know some of the songs of our first people and there is a similar beauty in the repetitive chants that help to build a trance-like joy in the listeners heart."

A first time visitor to Sufi Nights, Bill D. from New York, said that despite his lack of familiarity with the genre, it was a treat to see the performance and to watch the crowd respond to the highs and lows of the material. For both newcomers and seasoned veterans of Sufi Nights, it certainly was a treat!

Saturday night's final concert will feature one of the most loved Sufi Tariqas  ~ the Fes Hamadcha with Abderrahim Amrani Marrakchi. Don't miss it!

Text Joel Dowling & Larry Marshall
Photographs: Joel Dowling

Fes Festival ~  Saturday June 21

Jnan Sbil Garden 4pm: Ihsan Rmiki

Batha Museum 4pm: Mint Ely Warakane & Raza Khan

Bab Boujloud Square 6.30pm: Kadim Al Sahir

Bab al Makina 9pm: Buddy Guy

Sufi Night at Dar Tazi 11pm: Hamadcha of Fez

Weather: Much cooler - Max 28 degrees Celsius (82.4 Fahrenheit) 

Fez Medina Map

The View from Fez is an official media partner of the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music

Print Friendly and PDF

No comments: