The Gnaoua Festival Tour, a growing popular success, carried by the trade winds

In December 2019, Unesco, which considers intangible cultural heritage as a crucible of cultural diversity and guarantor of sustainable development, made no mistake in granting the status of intangible cultural heritage of humanity to the Gnaoua. Because this culture continues to gain popularity, vitality, in Morocco and around the world.

The organization of the Gnaoua Festival Tour confirms this in the wake of 22 successful editions of the Gnaoua and World Music Festival. After two years of stoppage due to Covid19, this festival tour through 4 cities has once again demonstrated the remarkable ability of the Gnaoua to federate and participate in the promotion of the values ​​of openness, tolerance and sharing.

Culture is what opens people up to the universal. Music is what brings people together, transcends each other, quintessence of the ephemeral… as soon as the notes are emitted, they disappear, and yet their impact is immense…

The Gnaoua maalems have once again proven the strength of their heritage and the success of the exchange. They invited musicians from all over the world to share, to create a renewed dialogue, and thus contribute to the enrichment of cultural diversity and human creativity.

The public responded with strength and joy, a public actor, just like the artists, of the dialogue that was played out on stage, every evening, during the 30 concerts of the Gnaoua Festival Tour. He was there throughout this artistic and human adventure, in Essaouira, Marrakech, Casablanca and Rabat, in good humor and in the celebration of reunions.

The four stages of the Gnaoua Festival Tour met with success beyond expectations: 120,000 festival-goers vibrated to the enchanting rhythms of these very special fusions, rediscovering in four cities the magic of the Gnaoua Festival, which is one of the most popular and appreciated by our cultural landscape.

“Music gives soul to our hearts and wings to thought” said Plato. The artists present during this exceptional tour, musicians from Morocco and the 15 invited countries, showed the power of cultural mixing, when artistic encounters create bridges. The music then resonates with the public, the music becomes a unifier, a messenger of peace and shared complicity, values ​​so dear to our country, its echo resounding beyond our borders.

We will remember moments of pure musical magic during mergers that will remain in the annals. Like those tinged with jazz by Avishai Cohen Trio with saxophonist Emile Parisien and accordionist Vincent Peirani in fusion with the great Hamid El Kasri at the end of this tour in Rabat, enriched by the sweetness of Nabyla Maan. Those charged with energy from the Trio Assala, or the Cubans from CimaFunk with the maâlems Khalid Sansi and Ismail Rahil. The Gnaoua Festival Tour was a real success: more than 150 artists, including 23 maâlems, performed at 30 colorful and emotional concerts. An exceptional artistic program thought out, created, carried out with passion by the two artistic directors, the great maâlem Abdeslam Alikane and the talented drummer Karim Ziad.

Photo Mounir Mehimdate

The Gnaoua Festival and the Gnaoua Festival Tour have for 25 years taken up the challenge of crossing generations. As its producer, Neïla Tazi, recalled during the closing evening “the organizers have from the start chosen to approach this project as if it were an inexhaustible treasure waiting to be discovered and conquered. . This Treasure is our popular culture and our youth! Yes the world discovered the Gnaoua – and – our youth won us over! »

And if we had to retain a particularity to this tour, it is its femininity. The musicians were there in force, enchanting the public and conquering the press. The two maâlemates, Asmaa Hamzaoui who knew how to impose herself and the young Hind Ennaira promised to a great career, the Senegalese with the golden voice Kya Loum, the guardian of the temple of Moroccan song Soukaina Fahsi, the bewitching Hindi Zahra , the virtuoso flautist Naïssam Jalal, the singer Fama Mbaye from Mauritania, the American drummer prodigy of the Avishai Cohen Trio Roni Kaspi, the sweet and profound Nabyla Maan, a true link between contemporary music and the Arab-Andalusian tradition.

The Gnaoua Festival Tour was also an opportunity to allow the new generation of Gnaoua artists to show the full extent of their talent: alongside the biggest names in Tagnaouite, it featured the next generation of Gnaoua and young maâlems, who have taken up the torch and are the guarantors of sustainability.

The Gnaoua Festival Tour wishes to salute the involvement of the many media present for the media coverage which allowed the support and influence of this exceptional tour. They were 300 journalists, representing more than 90 media.

Placed under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, the Gnaoua Festival Tour is organized by A3 Communication in partnership with the Yerma Gnaoua Association and the support of public and private partners who are here warmly thanked for having enabled this exceptional project to be part of the continuity: the Ministry of the Interior and the Directorate of Local Authorities, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Communication, the Moroccan National Tourist Office (ONMT), CIH Bank, Oulmès Mineral Waters, Orange Morocco, the Noufissa Pharma5 Foundation, Risma and Accor Morocco, CDG Development, the Touria and Abdelaziz Tazi Foundation (l’Uzine), AtlantaSanad Assurance, the National Theater Mohammed V and the Hiba Foundation.

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