Morocco

A year of intense work, ten countries visited, more than 80 musicians interviewed and thousands of hours of footage. In this Al Jazeera Documentary Channel production, musician and documentary maker Fermin Muguruza, paints a soundscape of the Arab music scene. The result is a rhythm journey through different cultures and traditions, through the modernity, the fight, the revival, the yearning for the future and the emotion of the present. From Morocco to the Persian Gulf, from Kuwait to Lebanon, the FM team has covered a long route with the objective of increasing the mutual knowledge in a passionate and fascinating way that will bring the audience to a new fantastic soundscape.

PART I : THE SOUNDSCAPE OF MOROCCO
A musical journey lead by Oum, the sensation of the new moroccan music, who picks up Fermin Muguruza at the border city of Tanger and walks him through the cities of Tetuan, where they met the Chekara Orchestra, and then through Rabat where musician Hamid el Kasri introduces to the audience the Gnawa music style. Finally they reach Marrakech where Khadija, Karima Skalli and Oum herself, three women with very different styles, unveil the secrets of this emblematic city.

Chekara Orchestra. This orchestra brings together members of three different generations of the same family and it´s one of the milestones of the Andalusian classical music from the north of Morocco.

H. Kayne: “What´s up?” is the name of this band of rappers coming from Meknes, a city which, beyond its imperial past, it is still to be acknowledged for its cultural scene.

Hamid el Kasri is an exceptional figure of the gnawa music, a magical rhythmic expression of the black African culture brought to the Maghreb by the slaves. The gnawa music has been turned into a syncretic cult by means of the therapeutic music.

Karima Skalli is one of the main figures of the Arab classical music in all its styles. Her exceptional voice and warm appearance on stage have turned her into one of the essential voices of the Moroccan music scene.

Khadija (B’net el Hoariat) is the leader of one of the most notorious and loved troupes from Morocco. Her music accompanies very special familiar events such as births, circumcisions or weddings.

PART II : CASABLANCA



The city of Casablanca has become in the last years the cultural capital of Morocco. Casablanca holds a fertile music scene, full of energy and creativity that took in a wide range of bands that combine different styles. Traditional music and the latest music trends coexist in a melodic fuse that gets influences from everywhere. Styles such as the chaabi, Maalen Abdendi´s gnawa and to a lesser degree the rai music are combined with new music expressions and rhythms in the stages of this city, located on the Atlantic Ocean. The Boulevard Festival, devoted to urban music, is the promoter and the driving force of these emerging music expressions and awards every year the best band of young musicians in four different categories: electronic music, rap, rock/metal and fusion. The festival, which also organizes concerts of local and international artists, has become a reference of the Moroccan music scene.

Oum was born into the new generation of Moroccan musicians. Oum does r&b and soul, and flirts sometimes with rap or reggae music.

Mohamed Dirham belongs to a time in Morocco when, surprisingly and not in a very favourable context, a bunch of bands such as Jil Jilala, Nash el Ghiwane, Lemchaheb emerged influenced by rock, psychedelic music, protest songs and traditional music.

Nass el Ghiwane meant the revolution, the music stimulus for the hard seventies and eighties. Coming from the Moroccan immigration settled in the working-class neighbourhoods of Casablanca, their songs reflect the reality they were living and encourage people to make their own decisions about their lives. They are the main reference for lots of generations of North African artists.

Maalem Abdendi. Maalem is the name given to the master, the expert on his profession, with special mention to the master gnawi. Gnawa is, beyond a music style, a way of live, rethinking relations with the rest of the world. It is also a way of understanding the past and the history of Morocco, where blackness has been denied until not so long ago.

Darga is a group influenced by the biggest French bands such as Mano Negra or Gnawa Difusion. They have a trill live performance full of reggae, rap, dub, rock or pop influences as well as from any style they come up with on stage.

DJ Key emerged from the new generation of Moroccan musicians. He uses hip-hop, funk and black music global rhythms,

Emerging from the new wave scene, Hoba Hoba claims their political position as their way to make their music and as their way of living. This is how, under funny fusion rhythms, they unveil lyrics, anchored in a hard reality.

Haussa understands punk rock not as a music style but as an attitude. Haussa is a punk who claims that Islam and the sun are the two major blessings of being born in Morocco.

 

 

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