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Morocco’s top music festival ends but not without glamour, glitz

The Gnaoua festival has already worked its magic on Essaouira. The city of wind has vibrated on the sound of magical Gnaoua music coming from Moulay El Hassan Place for the first evening of the Gnaoua World Music Festival

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The Gnaoua festival has already worked its magic on Essaouira. The city of wind has vibrated on the sound of magical Gnaoua music coming from Moulay El Hassan Place for the first evening of the Gnaoua World Music Festival.

From June 21 until June 23, the 21st Gnaoua World Music Festival is a musical communion full of emotions, as much for the artists as for the public. This year’s festival has followed the tradition, starting with a colorful opening parade from Maâlems (Gnaoua singers) in Essaouira’s Bab Doukkal.

The ceremony was attended by André Azoulay, adviser to the King and founding president of the Essaouira-

Mogador Association, and Neila Tazi, the event’s producer.

The show kicked off with a mesmerizing encounter between the legendary American jazz fusion band Snarky Puppy and the unbeatable Maâlem Gnaoui Hamid El Kasri, who together delighted the festival-goers with fresh and resounding melodies, the fruit of a four-day artistic residency in Essaouira.

Through exclusive compositions, Snarky Puppy, a collective accustomed to collaborating with artists of all stripes, conquered the music lovers who danced and sang relentlessly to the new rhythms brought to the most famous songs by Maâlem Hamid El Kasri, such as “La Illaha Illa Lah”, “Bania,” or “Assalat Ala Nabi.”

“Being able to play, like tonight, alongside great musicians and spend several days learning new things from them is an incredible opportunity,” said Snarky Puppy’s bassist and composer Michael League to the MAP.

“Gnaoua music has a particular spiritual significance that submerges the body and makes it go into a trance,” the three-time Grammy award winner added.

A new generation of maâlems from Casablanca, made up of Ismael Rahil, Brahim Hamam and Khalid Sansi, were then invited to the mythical scene, located between the beach and the old medina of the port city, to give a warm show, shouting loudly that a Tagnaouite (Gnaoua) youth is there to ensure the succession of this oral heritage.

Following the energetic band, the Moroccan group of fusion rock, hip hop, funk and folklore, Hoba Hoba Spirit took the stage to present their latest 13-track “Kamayanbaghi,” released in January 2018, reflecting the richness and diversity of the festival which always has new music in the program.

This unique musical event in Morocco began in 1998. Its purpose is to connect people with music and to allow listeners to forget life’s reality for a moment and indulge in spirituality.

“Since the birth of the festival, its unique character has given it a place of choice in cultural events that have confirmed to the world that Africa is more than ever a land of dialogue and creation,” said Neila Tazi.

The Gnaoua festival attracts an audience of 300,000 visitors each year. It offers a varied program to celebrate the Gnaoua heritage and to invite the best global jazz artists to come and perform in Essaouira.

At the festival, the singers, called maâlems, begin to chant in Arabic or Gnaoui. The message is usually spiritual.

Culture

Nigerian singer, Kizz Daniel’s Buga video breaks new bounds, hits 3.6 million views on YouTube in 48 hours

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Nigerian songwriter and music sensation, Daniel Anidugbe, popularly known as Kizz Daniel, has set a new record after the video of his successful single, ‘Buga,’ hit 3.6 million YouTube views just 48 hours after it was released.

The success of the video on streaming platforms also revealed that it had raked in excess of over N2.5 million during the same period while also trending at number two for music on the streaming platform.

The Buga music video was also the first from Africa to hit two million streams in 24 hours of its release on Thursday, according to music aficionados in the country.

Kizz Daniel who announced the release of the visual of the song on his verified Instagram page on Thursday, later took to the platform to share the good news.

“Wow!! 2m in 24hrs THANK YOU WORLD VA’22 #BUGA,” he wrote.

Before the release of the Buga video, Kizz Daniel had also announced that the audio of the song which was released in May, had recorded 17 million views on TikTok.

The popular Buga song which which featured another Nigerian star, Tekno, is now a raging like wild fire across the country and is taking the music world by storm with different covers and challenges attributed to it.

The song is currently number 8 on the top 10 Billboard’s U.S Afrobeats Song Charts and also became the first song to hit 1 million streams within 24 hours on Boomplay.

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Culture

Senegal: Thousands of explorers visit as African arts dazzle at Dakar Biennale 2022

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The 2022 edition of the Dakar Biennale, an art festival in Senegal has come to an end after a month of exhibition of some art pieces from the West African country.

The Biennale, which opened last month and runs through June 21, is the zenith of the city’s ebullient cultural calendar, drawing in artists, collectors and trendsetters from across the world.

This year’s edition featured artists like Johanna Ziemer works as a playwright, translator, Serigne Boyer is a graffiti artist, Zhang Yanzi, Stephanie J. Woods, Ytasha L. Womack amongst others

The Technical Director of Dakar Biennale, Abdou Diouf said that the edition lived up to expectation as it was widely attended with visitors numbering almost half of a million.

“The Dakar Biennale this year has kept all its promises. We had between 450 and 460 thousand visitors unlike in 2018. We had over 180 thousand visitors at the main expo site. So I think it is truly a great success.,” said Abdou Diouf.

“I think that it is also a challenge, a stake. We must manage to maintain this course, so that the universe, the environment, and I would even say the world of art can consider Dakar the capital of plastic arts,” said Diouf.

The Biennale has been established by the State of Senegal since 1989 with a first edition dedicated to literature in 1990, it was later reserved for contemporary art during the second edition in 1992 before being definitively devoted to contemporary African creation from 1996.

 

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