European Jazz and Moroccan music will meet again in September at the 19th edition of the Chellah Jazz Festival, which has now become a landmark event of the cultural scene in Morocco. The festival, to take place from 17 to 21 September, was initiated by the European Union in Morocco and is dedicated to the discovery of European jazz and the encounter between European and Moroccan jazz musicians
Ten European and five Moroccan bands will play together at the Festival. Alongside Moroccan musicians, jazz musicians from the Netherlands, Belgium, France, the UK, Italy, Germany, Bulgaria, Greece, Denmark, Sweden, Romania, Portugal, Spain, Finland and Poland will bring their styles and colours to the Festival.
"The European Union in Morocco imagined the Chellah Jazz festival to be the reflection of a cultural partnership between Europe and Morocco, offering musicians from different horizons a single expression platform,” said Rupert Joy, EU Ambassador in Morocco. “Brilliant Moroccan and European artists will share with us again moments of fruitful musical encounters.”
Historically, the richness of Moroccan music has always been the target of great jazz figures, to name pianist Randy Weston, probably the first musician to mix jazz with Moroccan music (Tanjah, Polydor Label 1973); percussionist Jauk El Maleh whose various academic experiments are still on the forefront; guitarist Pat Metheny considered as a special guest at Essaouira Gnawa Festival; and many others such as Omar Sosa, Wayne Shorter and recently Archie Shepp who found on the variety of Moroccan instruments and sounds interesting material to produce original jazz. Based on this idea, the festival seeks to sustain the close affiliation between jazz and Moroccan music.
Last year, over 7,000 people enjoyed listening to the music of European guest artists mixed with that of Oum, Bnet Houariyat, Driss El Maaloumi Rashid Karim Kadiri and Zeroual. This musical genre labelled ‘made in Chellah’ is offered every year in a CD.
The festival website is here: Chellah Jazz (at the moment no programme is available)