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Pioneer of Moroccan Amaizgh Music Dies

Rabat – One of the pioneers of Amazigh music Ammouri Mbarek passed away on Saturday morning in a Casablanca clinic following a long battle with cancer.

Born in 1951 in Irguiten, a small village located at the bottom of the High Atlas near Taroudant, Ammouri Mbarek is considered as the renovator of the Moroccan Amazigh music.

He devoted much of his life developing the Amazigh song which he helped make the shift from the classical style, such as that of Rouaiss and Ahwach, to a modern style by introducing new instruments such as the harp, violin and the accordion.

The singer of “Janbi,” a song which won the first prize at the Festival of the Modern Moroccan Song in Mohammedia in 1989, died alone and away from any media attention.

Because of his own character, Mbarek never liked to be in the spotlight. He once said to those around him in the clinic where he was being hospitalized in Casablanca that he wanted to coexist with his disease alone.

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