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Ninth Gnawa and World Music Festival Coming to Essaouira, Morocco in June
Published May 22, 2006

The ninth edition of the Gnawa and World Music Festival promises, once more, precious and enriching encounters in Essaouira from June 22 to 25, 2006.

THE 9TH EDITION of the Gnawa and World Music Festival promises, once more,
precious and enriching encounters in Essaouira from June 22 to 25, 2006.

As we are on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the Festival, which will be celebrated next year, it is time to look back but also forward… The 9th edition will be the continuation of the work of the previous years, but also a foretaste of the festivities in 2007. For this reason, the Festival chose to honor this year the genius of Jazz, a music present since the first editions, an ongoing source of inspiration, the perfect ingredient for a fusion with the Gnawa traditional music.

The 2006 program affirms more than ever the original philosophy of the Festival,
which consists in inviting the best international artists of the moment and confront them with the music of the Gnawa masters. Then, let the magic works and you get intense moments of musical improvisation. Mixing all styles of music, the Essaouira Festival leaves to the artists and audience with unique musical emotions, special moments of sharing through the magic of music. Keeping this incredible experience close to their hearts, the artists will never forget the City of Wind, which is now presented as a “neo-Woodstock”, an inspiring place where they can come and create new sounds.

With the experience of the 8 past years, the 9th edition of the Festival marks a
turning point and turns to new sources of inspiration, such as electro, proving that it can find new ways to move on with its times. For it is out of the confrontation of different artistic universes that the magic of the Festival arises, transforming Essaouira into a musical lab, an open-air studio where the musicians come and share their passion… Essaouira offers to those who look for spirituality, a true music and timeless references, the opportunity to meet and be enriched with words, sounds and feelings.

Besides this discovery of new forms of music, the celebration of Gnawa music
remains at the heart of this manifestation, for it is why it has been created. For
nearly 10 years now, the Gnawa and World Music Festival in Essaouira has offered
to the Gnawa music the place it deserved in the world music landscape. An
artistic fever that is actually bearing its fruits, with a new generation of Gnawa
Masters coming onto the stage, such as Hassan Boussou, son of Hamida Boussou
and Hicham Merchane, son of Abdelkébir Merchane. This symbolic takeover
bodes well for the future of Gnawa Music..
The Gnawa and World Music Festival in Essaouira has revealed itself as a pioneer
manifestation, which managed to give, almost 10 years from now, a chance
for traditional musics to convey the thousands of things they still have to teach