Rabat - Since its inaugural year in 2002, Mawazine has grown into one of the world’s largest and best-known music festivals. 2017’s lineup offers a full spectrum of musical genres, guaranteed to please.
Rabat – Since its inaugural year in 2002, Mawazine has grown into one of the world’s largest and best-known music festivals. 2017’s lineup offers a full spectrum of musical genres, guaranteed to please.
Opening the festival this year is none other than “French Pop Deity” Charles Aznavour. Few have enjoyed a track record like Aznavour’s. Over the years, he has amassed a repertoire of over 1,200 songs, 80 films, 294 albums, performed thousands of concerts worldwide and collected hundreds of gold and platinum records by selling more than 100 million records to legions of adoring fans.
Appearing at the Mohammed V Theatre, the legendary singer will perform May 12 and 16.
Also headlining the 2017 festival, singer-songwriter and rapper Lauryn Hill will bring her “golden voice” to the Mohammed V Theatre. Be enraptured by the performer who took the music world by storm in 1998 with the release of her debut album, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill”.*
The album won five Grammy awards and sold more than twelve million copies. Before beginning her solo career, Hill was a standout performer in the Fugees. On 1996’s The Score, her rendition of classic song, “Killing Me Softly” became her breakout, signature hit.
The Rest of the Gang
Mawazine is truly a festival celebrating global rhythms. Performers and festival goers are drawn to Rabat every year to bask in the eclectic mix of sounds and imagery provided by a line up that runs the gamut from local, Moroccan performers to international superstars of music.
This year, the rest of the line up includes Anoushka Shankar, Rod Stewart, Demi Lovato, Syrian Badr Rami, Greek musician Eleftheria Arvanitaki, Peruvian singer Susana Baca, Tunisia’s Lofti Bouchnak, Spanish dancer and choreographer Rafael Amargo and Lebanese performer Jahida Wehbe. George Wassouf will have the honour of closing the festival.
A History Lesson
Established in 2001, the Mawazine Rhythms of the World Festival was created to introduce Morocco to the world as a destination of tolerance and liberal thinking, in comparison to other countries in the region. It is an eight-day musical rendezvous that takes place on eight stages set up throughout the capital city of Rabat and in sister-city, Sale, just a short tram ride away.
More than two million festival goers have attended the mostly free concerts since the festival’s inauguration. Over the years, the festival’s lineup has boasted some of the most renowned performers in music including Stevie Wonder, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez and Usher.
Not without its controversies, some critics have complained that the massive amount of money flowing into the event could be better earmarked for areas like education, healthcare and unemployment.
That being said, the festival has become an integral part of Rabat’s cultural landscape, an undeniable success and an important showcase for the diverse culture and welcoming nature of Morocco. It has evolved into an essential meeting ground for Moroccans where the cities of Rabat and Sale become a world stage for the unifying power of music.