The Mohammed VI National Theatre will see flamenco, disco, jazz, and rap artists perform from June 21 to 29.
Rabat’s Mawazine festival has announced that the Mohammed VI National Theatre “will again give the stage to the stars of the Arab world and international celebrities.”
On Mawazine’s opening night, Friday, June 21, 2019, Andalusian Flamenco Ballet take the National Theatre’s stage. The dance company has been the Andalusian government’s official flamenco ambassador for 20 years and has brought the best of flamenco to stages across the globe.
The group has also been home to some of the most influential figures in Spanish dance, including Israel Galván, Isabel Bayón, Rafael Campallo, Belén Maya, Patricia Guerrero, and Rafaela Carrasco, among others.
Saturday, June 22, promises another world-class performance with Lebanese composer and pianist Ziad Rahbani on stage. Being the son of both Fairouz, one of the most iconic singers of the Arab world and famous composer Assi Rahbani, led Rahbani to begin composing music himself in 1973 at just 17 years old. Since then, he has been involved in dozens of plays and famous compositions of his own.
Following Rahbani is another Lebanese act, an indie rock band called Mashrou’Leila. The five-person group mixes electro and rock sounds with traditional oriental music. Since forming in Beirut in 2008, Mashrou’Leila has sold out shows in Paris, Amsterdam, Montreal, and dozens of other music hubs.
The following night, Monday, June 24, the French rapper of Congolese origins Abd Al Malik will perform. Al Malik, who also dabbles in slam poetry, pairs powerful lyrics with intense music. Al-Malik converted to Islam after marrying French Moroccan singer Wallen in 2001 and cites Moroccan spiritual leader Hamza al Qâdiri al Boutchichi as a great influence.
On Tuesday, June 25, France will also be represented by singer-songwriter Julien Clerc. Since beginning his studio career in 1968, Clerc has released almost 30 albums and toured the world multiple times.
The following evening, American disco group Sister Sledge will perform. The group was formed in 1971 by 4 sisters and sold more than 15 million records. Sister Sledge’s Mawazine performance is part of a worldwide comeback tour.
On Thursday, June 27, the US will be represented again by Stanley Clarke. Clarke began his career in the 1970s and became one of the most famous bassists of the jazz genre.
Bringing things closer to home for the closing weekend of Mawazine, Algerian singer Samir Toumi will perform, showcasing his Arab-Andalusian style. Following Toumi’s performance, Moroccan singer Sanaa Marahati will go on, representing the younger generation of “melhoun” and “gharnati” musicians.
Closing the festival on Saturday, June 29, is young Egyptian singer Mohamed Mohsen. Mohsen aims to preserve Egyptian culture with his mesmerizing voice and has succeeded in doing so since releasing his debut album in 2012. That same year, Mohsen won the Al-Ahram Award in the category “Best Young Singer.”
Mawazine, a festival in Rabat with six venues will take place from June 21 to June 29 and is organized by Maroc Cultures under the patronage of King Mohammed VI. Having drawn over 2.5 million attendees in recent years, Mawazine is the second largest music festival in the world, after Donauinselfest in Vienna, and the largest festival in Africa.
The festival brings in artists from countries all over the world as well as highlighting local Moroccan musicians. Last year, the festival saw major international acts perform such as Martin Garrix, Bruno Mars, Luis Fonsi, and The Weeknd.
The festival lists the democratization of culture in Morocco as one of its initiatives and provides free access to 90% of its shows each year.