Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Chefchaouen Presents the Alegria Music Festival

On the 18th and 19th of September Chefchaouen hosts the Alegria Music Festival with an amazingly diverse programme that encompasses music and dance from Morocco, Cape Verde, Cuba and Palestine

On Friday, September 18 at 18.30, the cultural and artisiic feast begins with a concert of Rhoum Bakkali, a Samâ brotherhood in the Kasbah. Palestinian dance group Dallal will follow the Samâ.

Dallal from Palestine

Dallal is a group of young Palestinians from Bethlehem. The group was created in 1996. Brilliantly combining theatre and dance, Dallal aims to do justice to Palestinian art and its history so often marginalised by geopolitical tensions in the region.

The first session will end with Naziha Meftah, known as the "Moroccan Piaf of Chefchaouen".

Naziha Meftah - the "Moroccan Piaf of Chefchaouen"

The main stage concert begins at 22h with Nouamane Lahlou and his hymn dedicated to the blue city and Patax, a Michael Jackson tribute band.

The last concert at 01:30 is provided by Hanine Y Son Cubano, a Lebanese-Cuban group with pulsing Afro-Latin sounds.  This is a group not to be missed and for many it will be the main attraction.

Hanine Y Son Cubano was formed by avant-garde artist and producer Michel Elefteriades as a groundbreaking project of Arabo-Cuban fusion. Hanine, the lead singer, has a voice that encompasses all the Arabic Tarab tradition, while her musicians are the best of their generation in Cuba.

Star power! Hanine - draws on the Arabic Tarab tradition

Luis Gonzalez, the International Cuban singer, is accompanied by the musicians of Son Cubano who are all graduates of the High Conservatory of Music in Havana/Cuba. They formed the band a few years ago and participated in international festivals around Europe, Latin America, Japan and in international events such as Miss Europe, the IV Mercado Cultural do Bahia in Brazil. The band plays all styles of Cuban music from classical old Boleros to modern "Salsa Fuerte", passing by Cha-cha-cha, Son, Guajira, Afro-Cuban and other Latin American styles. The group has created its own personalised choreographies that they also perform on stage.

The concert on Saturday, September 19 at La Kasbah will feature Tadlaoui Karim and his lute, followed by a  flamenco duo from 18.45 before Tomatito and his septet with a show of Andalusian sounds.

On the Main Stage, concerts begin with singer Mayra Andrade from Cape Verde to 22h. Her voice is described as "gravelly" a little like the sand of the Cape Verde Islands. 

Mayra Andrade 

Mayra Andrade acknowledges her Creole heritage, while tapping into the rich musical tradition of her native archipelago, she draws upon African Batuko, Portuguese fado and Spanish flamenco and has created a new sound of Cape Verde.

Before moving to Paris, Mayra Andrade has lived in Senegal, Angola and Germany. Born in 1985, she released her first album at 21. She has won many awards including the German Record Critics and young talent prize at World Music Awards for the BBC.

The trio Mazagan, El Hamid Hadri and José Frances then take over with a multi-cultural show. To close the festival, there will be a performance Ahmed Shawki.

Ahmed is a singer from Tetouan whose success in recent years has been staggering both nationally and internationally.

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