Opening this week, the Andalusian Music Festival seeks to promote an appreciation for cultural heritage and the arts.
Rabat – The 24th annual Andalusian Music Festival will take place in the old city of Fez from April 6 to 13. The festival is organized by a partnership between the municipality of Fez and the Fez-Meknes regional council.
The festival will host more than 30 orchestras from Fez, Tangier, Tetouan, Rabat, Meknes, Casablanca as well as a number of other Moroccan regions and a group from Seville, Spain.
Under the theme “Moroccan Andalusian Music: A Changing Heritage,” the festival organizers hope to celebrate tradition and cultural heritage while also appealing to new generations.
In recent years, the organizers have made it a concrete goal to promote Andalusian music and art among young people. They have been increasingly successful in this aim, as the 2018 festival saw a massive youth turn out.
The first night of the festival, April 6, opens with performances from the Andalusian Music Orchestra of Fes led by Mohamed Otmani and the Andalucia Choir of Morocco led by Abdelhamid Essbai.
In addition to musical performances, the festival boasts a wide variety of activities which relate back to Andalusian music.
In partnership with the City Heritage Foundation, this year these activities will include an exhibition on the history of Al-Ala—the structure of Andalusian music, a conference on the topic of “Andalusian Music and Psychic Quietness,” a tribute to Moroccan scholar Abdelmalek Chami, a number of book signings, and a masterclass on Andalusian music.
Andalusian music is associated with the Jews and Muslims who fled Spain after the fall of Al-Andalus at the end of the 15th century but likely has its origins anywhere between the 9th and 15th centuries.
It is considered the classical music of Morocco as it is notably one of the region’s oldest musical genres. At the heart of Andalusian music is a spirit of cultural exchange and collaborative creativity.