The curtain fell on the 2019 Jazzablanca festival on Sunday, July 7, bringing the 6-day festival to a close. In a press release, Jazzablanca organizers reported that the festival recorded nearly 79,000 festival-goers – up from the 75,000 attendees in 2018.
Rabat – The vast majority of Jazzablanca’s listeners attended the BMCI Stage, open to the public and located by Casablanca’s United Nations Plaza downtown. The same press release shared that “more than 65,000 people [attended] the 12 concerts of the BCMI Stage.”
On another side of the city, nearly 14,000 people attended the 40 concerts hosted at the Casa-Anfa Hippodrome.
Headlining the event was Grammy-nominated Scottish rock group Franz Ferdinand.
Michael Kiwanuka, a Ugandan-British artist played on Thursday, July 4, serenading Casablanca with his soulful, politically engaged songs like “Black Man In A White World.”
Metronomy, an electronic band also hailing from the British Aisles, played their electronic anthems on the Anfa Stage, on Friday, July 5.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Calypso Rose performed calypso ballads from her 6-decade long career, bringing Afro-Caribbean music to Casablanca. Meanwhile, Al McKay’s Earth Wind & Fire performed funk classics such as “Let’s Groove” and “Boogie Wonderland.”
Jazzablancaalso welcomed 76-year-old saxophone virtuoso Maceo Parker who blew Casablanca away on Saturday, July 6. Parker’s virtuosity on saxophonist earned him collaborations with Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, and James Brown.
Jazzablanca made official calls for Moroccan performers in March 2019, a call answered by Gnawa musician Mehdi Nassouli and the Moroccan DJ, Daox, among others.
Despite being bolstered by a 4,000-person margin, Jazzablanca 2019’s numbers are still dwarfed when compared to those of Rabat’s festival, Mawazine, which is currently the largest festival in the world to date, with a whopping 2,750,000 concert-goers in 2019. On Saturday, June 29, some 200,000 people attended on a single night, to hear a performances of reggaetón stars Maluma and Karol G.