Hello all (or should I say - Labass),
I’m a new member from England. I first went to Morocco in 1972 and have been going back from time to time ever since. On my first trip I fell in love with Essaouira and so that’s where we usually go these days.
I think it was around 2001 when I first really listened to some real Gnaoua music - not the pastiche that you see and hear around Jemma El Fna in Marrakech - and then we went to the Essaouira festival for the first time in 2002. Since then, we’ve been back almost every year.
This year - 2007 - was the 10th anniversary of the festival and our 5th, and to make it more memorable, I took a portable digital recorder with me and captured all of the concerts that I attended. There were some truly great artists this year - Gnaoui like Maalem Mustapha Bakbou and Maalem Mahmoud Guinea along with African musicians such as Ray Lema (Congo) and Baaba Maal (Senegal) and Cheik Tidiane Seck (Mali) plus some great rock and jazz musicians from Europe (Louis Bertignac and Jean-Philippe Rykiel) and the USA (Will Calhoun).
In all I recorded about 10 hours of music and have posted sample tracks on my Youtube channel. I’ve also put them on my blog together with a little more detail about the concerts. When time allows, I’ll post some more.
I have now added a sample track by Hoba Hoba Spirit that captures the excitement and vitality of the festival. (Thanks to SimplyMoroccan for the tip).
That’s all for now.
John (aka DaftNotStupid)