24th edition of the Gnaoua World Music Festival 2023 in Essaouira

After welcoming 120,000 people in 2022

It's official. The Gnaoua World Music Festival in Essaouira will hold its 24th edition from 22 to 24 June 2023. The appointment was given by A3 Communication, producer and organizer of the event who is delighted with the festival this year. "The four stages of the Gnaoua Festival Tour that took place from 3 to 24 June 2022 in Essaouira, Marrakech, Casablanca, and Rabat were, indeed, a success beyond expectations," announced the organizer of this event in a statement.


  According to the same source, the public responded in strength and joy, as well as the artists, with a dialogue that was played on stage, every evening, during the 30 concerts of the Festival. "Nearly 120,000 festival-goers vibrated to the enchanting rhythms of fusions, finding in four cities of the Kingdom the magic of the Gnaoua Festival," he said.

The initiators stress that the Gnaoua maâlems have once again proved the strength of their heritage and the success of the exchange, inviting musicians from all over the world to share, create a renewed dialogue and contribute to the enrichment of cultural diversity and human creativity. The Gnaoua Festival Tour, notes the same source, was a "real success with more than 150 artists, including 23 maâlems who performed during 30 concerts full of color and emotion, in addition to an exceptional artistic program thought, created and carried with passion by the two artistic directors, the great maâlem Abdeslam Alikane and the talented drummer Karim Ziad".

The organizers cited moments of pure musical magic during the fusions that will remain in the annals, such as those tinged with jazz of Avishai Cohen Trio with saxophonist Emile Parisien and accordionist Vincent Peirani in fusion with the great Hamid El Kasri at the end of the tour in Rabat, enriched by the sweetness of Nabila Maan, those charged with the energy of the Assala Trio, or the Cubans of CimaFunk with the maâlems Khalid Sansi and Ismail Rahil. They also recall that in December 2019, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which considers intangible cultural heritage as a crucible of cultural diversity and guarantor of sustainable development, granted the status of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity to the Gnaoua.

The statement said that "Gnaoui culture continues to grow in popularity and vitality, in Morocco and around the world", saying that the artists present during this exceptional tour, musicians from Morocco and the 15 invited countries, showed the power of cultural mixing when artistic encounters create bridges. In addition, the musicians, who were present in force, add the initiators, enchanted the public, and conquered the press through the performances of the two maâlemates, Asmaa Hamzaoui and the young Hind Ennaira, the Senegalese with the golden voice Kya Loum, the guardian of the temple of Moroccan song Soukaina Fahsi, the bewitching Hindi Zahra, the virtuoso flutist Naïssam Jalal, the singer Fama Mbaye from Mauritania, the American drummer prodigy of the Avishai Cohen Trio Roni Kaspi and the profound Nabyla Maan, a real link between contemporary music and the Arab-Andalusian tradition. The organization of the Gnaoua Festival Tour, notes the press release, comes to confirm it in the wake of 22 successful editions of the Gnaoua Festival and world music, thus taking up the challenge of crossing generations. After two years of interruption due to Covid-19, the tour of the festival through 4 cities came once again to demonstrate the remarkable ability of the Gnaoua to federate and participate in the promotion of the values of openness, tolerance, and sharing.

And the same source recalls that the producer of the festival, Neïla Tazi, has, during the closing evening, said that the organizers have from the beginning chosen to approach this project as if it were an inexhaustible treasure waiting to be discovered and conquered, that of "our popular culture and our youth". The Gnaoua Festival Tour was also an opportunity to allow the new generation of Gnaouis artists to "show the full extent of their talent, alongside the biggest names of the Tagnaouite, featuring the Gnaoua succession and the young maâlems, who have taken up the torch and become the guarantors of sustainability.

Read also: The Ultimate Guide to the Gnawa Festival in Essaouira, Morocco 2023

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