Rabat – Jazz, funk, and traditional Moroccan artists will mix their grooves and melodies in an ancient seaside necropolis, at 22nd edition of the Jazz in Chellah festival taking place from September 28 to October 1.
The opening ceremony will see artists from Austria, Spain, and Morocco perform before the city’s faithful jazz audience as the festival celebrates more than two decades of existence. The Spanish jazz ensemble Vicens Martín Dream Big Band will kick off the ceremony, followed Shake Stew, a seven-piece Austrian funk group. The group will be joined by Moroccan singer Nabyla Maan, an artist known for her modern covers of traditional Moroccan songs.
Denmark, Belgium and Luxembourg will hold down the festival’s second day by two unique musical experiences. Young Danish band Mathias Heise Quadrillon will perform a fusion between jazz, rock and funk. Later, European Jazz will meet Moroccan music when a group of three musicians, Dock In Absolute will perform with Alex Camil, a saxophonist and composer, and Mohamed Amine Elbliha, keyboardist and percussionist.
The third evening will be dedicated to Finland and Portugal. Dalindéo, a six-person Finnish group, will perform a fusion of surf, jazz and tango. Later, Portuguese jazz will meet Moroccan music when jazz singer Maria João takes the stage along with Moroccan guitarist M’hamed El Menjra.
In the last day of the festival, the Gregory Gaynair Trio from Germany will bring their touch to modern jazz, followed by a meeting of four different cultures: Morocco, Egypt, Bulgaria, and Romania. The Egyptian group Eftekasat will perform with the Moroccan women’s Gnaoua group, Asmae Hamzaoui and Bnat Timbouktou, in a fusion of Morocco, Europe, and Afro-Mediterranean sounds.
Since its creation in 1996, Jazz in Chellah has turned into a must-see cultural event, not only in the Moroccan capital but also nationwide. The festival is an initiative of the European Union in Morocco and the Ministry of Culture, in partnership with Wilaya of Rabat and Salé and Goethe Institut and in association with embassies and cultural institutes of the member states of the European Union.
The musical festival will allow jazz enthusiasts to live a global musical experience in a hallowed space, listening to European jazzmen and Moroccan musicians of diverse horizons.