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Corey Harris

Jazz and Blues to Meet Gnawa Music at the Essaouira Festival
Published April 19, 2006

This year, the Essaouira Festival celebrates Jazz and Blues, sources of inspiration since the very first editions. Great names such as Pat Metheny and Corey Harris will bring these perfect ingredients to Essaouira for a fusion with Gnawa music.

This year, the Essaouira Festival celebrates Jazz and Blues, sources of inspiration since the very first editions. Great names such as Pat Metheny and Corey Harris will bring these perfect ingredients to Essaouira for a fusion with Gnawa music. These two American guitar-players are the worthy spokesmen of a rich music, symbol of the encounter between different cultures and of the rebirth of traditional music.

The legendary guitar of Pat Metheny will be accompanied by the two gifted musicians Christian Mc Bride and Antonio Sanchez. The Pat Metheny Trio, known to every jazz lover, distinguishes itself by the musicians’ remarkable ability to fuse elements from different cultures into a graceful unity. The music created by this exceptional trio is intense and original. A master of the guitar, Pat Metheny is considered to be one of the most prolific and respected musicians today. Throughout his career, he has been acclaimed by both the critics and his peers, and has won 16 Grammy Awards. Metheny reinvented the jazz-guitar sound for a new generation of guitarists, and he continues to re-define the genre. This remarkable musician is constantly working to evolve the improvisational and sonic potential of the guitar, promising great pieces of fusion with the Gnawa musicians for a concert which will be, without a doubt, one of the most intense moments of the Festival.

Another great guitarist will take part in this celebration of Jazz and Blues: the musician Corey Harris. He will offer us a fresh, rhythmic and lively music, creating strong links between two continents: America and Africa. A truly talented musician, Corey Harris has learned from great artists such as Ali Farka Touré. Together, they recorded an album in 2003, after meeting on the set of Martin Scorsese’ film Mississipi to Mali, a beautiful documentary on the Blues. Corey Harris’ participation in the Essaouira festival this year is therefore a tribute to this sadly missed wonderful guitarist who honored us by appearing at the Festival in 2000. Young and gifted, Harris shook up the blues scene by fusing blues, African pop, rock, electro and reggae. Harris opens up to new sources of inspiration, while remaining at the heart of the blues tradition. In June, he will bring to Essaouira his blues rhythms, full of feeling and history…

This year, we can be sure that there will be magical encounters between Jazz, Blues and Gnawa music in the kingdom of Gnawa masters…