The second largest festival in the world will gather 8 international artists to perform at its Chellah stage this year.
Rabat – Mawazine festival has announced that its Chellah stage “will pay tribute to the great musical traditions of the Roma people.”
The stage at the Chellah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, will “invite fans to explore the rhythms of the Roma people: from the confines of India and Afghanistan, its musicians migrated to Iran, Turkey and more to the east, through the Balkans and Andalusia, giving rise to the repertoires kathak, flamenco, gypsy and klezmer.”
The festival will kick off at the Chellah stage on Saturday, June 22, with the Hindustani classical music group Kawa Generation. The group is a family ensemble, bringing together three generations of great musicians.
The next day, June 23, the Turkish group She’Koyokh will take the stage. The 7 person group perfectly combines musical traditions from Jewish Eastern Europe, Turkey, and the Balkans. The band formed in 2001 and has since released 4 globally acclaimed albums.
Monday, June 24 will bring the sounds of Slovakia with Marcela & The Murchales, masters in Slovak gypsy music thanks to their lead singer and dancer Marcela Cisarova.
In a change of pace, Spanish Flamenco artist Alba Molina will perform on Tuesday, June 25. Daughter of the famous Spanish duo Lole Montoya and Manuel Molina (better known under the name of Lole y Manuel), Alba Molina is naturally gifted in Flamenco. Along with flamenco jazz composer Rycardo Moreno, Molina combines the classic genre with jazz, hip hop, and rock influences.
On Wednesday, June 26, India will be represented again with the Sharmila Sharma Company, an artist born in Jaipur who has been practicing classic Hindustani singing and Kathak, one of the eight major forms of Indian classical dance, since the age of 14. Since then, she has gone on a world tour and performed dozens of shows in India and internationally.
Iran will be featured next on Thursday, June 27, with a performance from dancer Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam. Ghalam’s choreography is based on Persian classical music that brings myths, poetry, and dance together. The Iranian artist works with 5 musicians: the singer Aïda Nosrat, a virtuoso player of tar and musical director, Sogol Mirzaï, kanoun player Christine Zayed and the percussionist Saghar Khadem.
On Friday, June 28, the Chellah stage will feature the sounds of Eastern Europe again with the Dan Gharibian Trio. The group mixes free jazz with klezmer music, the music Eastern European Jewish people. In the mix is also Gypsy, Armenian, Greek, and Russian influences.
Mawazine will finish with a bang on Saturday, June 29, with a performance from Luis de la Carrasca, one of the icons of Spanish flamenco music. The self-taught Granada artist made his name in the 1990s thanks to his unique style and taste for stage production.
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 percent of its shows each year.