Sunday, September 07, 2014

Fes Festival of Amazigh Culture Wraps Up ~ Photo Essay

The Fes Festival of Amazigh Culture wrapped up last night with a final concert that was a truly Amazigh style end to what has been well staged and organised programme of music, discussion debate and cultural exchanges

The final night of the Amazigh Festival was a fun evening of music and dance, kicked off by the Imdiazen Band who performed solidly with the crowd happily clapping and singing along. 

The group's leader had no trouble engaging with the crowd and producing some interesting licks on his banjo - yes, banjo - this was not a night of traditional instruments. 

Each of their pieces started quietly and grew in volume and intensity and ending as tightly as any music critic might desire. 

The second half of the programme featured Addelaziz Ahouzar - another crowd favourite. His style and fiddle playing is similar to that of the great Alarbaoui Abdelaziz (Stati); the most popular Chaâbi performer in Morocco and the man who closed the Amazigh festival in 2013 (see story here).

While not having Stati's wicked sense of humour (or his extra finger), Ahouzar proved himself to be a master musician and quickly had the audience in the palm of his hand.

Abdelaziz Ahouzar was aided and abetted on stage by two formidable women singers, who in true Amazigh style produced some powerful backing for Abdelaziz. Not given to theatrics, they flanked him and between songs held the audience firmly in their gaze, much in the manner of a no-nonsense headmistress at a tough school!

The two backing singers (above and below) were a formidable duo 
The four dancers had the audience captivated

The four dancers delighted the crowd and kept up a frenetic pace throughout the performance.   

However the night belonged to the violin and voice of Abdelaziz Ahouzar. The audience loved him and he repaid them with a passionate performance.  It was a fitting end to a festival and in great Amazigh style.

The View from Fez would like to congratulate the team behind the festival and especially thank organisers Fatima Sadiqi and Moha Ennaji for giving us such great access to the festival. 

Moha Ennaji and Fatima Sadiqi enjoying the final concert

"The Amazigh Festival works for the consolidation of social cohesion and the values ​​of peace and intercultural dialogue." - Festival Director Moha Ennaji

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