Sun March 04 2018  —  e-mail Manfred

Essaouira 2006, Gnaoua Festival, opening day.

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Land Rover 47,032km

Trekking 313km

Ferry 730km

Train 150km

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(MB207 7,208km)

Travel Blog

contains Festival/Fiesta/Art photography.

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"Photography enables you to grasp a place first time round. ... Photography is a means of exploration, it's a vital part of travel, almost as essential as a car or a plane. " - Wim Wenders.

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"Planet earth is blue and there`s nothing I can do" - This is Ground Control to Major Tom, David Bowie.

"Glory for the crazy people/in this stupid world" - Ahmed Fouad Negm. > journey > africa > morocco > 20060622-essaouira

On our journey back down south ...

Map: Journey Vienna to Essaouira.

... to Bamako, Mali we are in Morocco. Time is on our side, the Festival de Gnaoua et du musique du monde 2006, its 9th edition is about to being staged in Essaouira. Not far away from where Hasnas' large family live.

Essaouira is full of memories - as we have spent a wonderful time here last year just a month after Hasna and I had met.

Last year I made a bit of an effort describing the 2005 festival, the musicians, the instruments and the so wanted fusion thing.

As wannabe photographer then I was stuck with the crowed, with the crazy, the thieves, the faux-guides, and all those who had just come to listen to some of the best World music.

But with the experience gathered from the Mali festivals in Segou and Essakane confidence now is on my side. I step into the press office in Essaouira and demand my badge as a photographer.

And it is quite something taking pictures here - just in front of the stage - only a few metres away from the musique that I fell in love with.

Maâlem Hassan Boussou (Casablanca).

The young are taking over.

Hassan Boussou opening act
Hassan Boussou.
Hassan Boussou opening act
dry but fantastic start.
Hassan Boussou, his Gnaouas
It's really them and their castanets.
Matthieu Michel (Switzerland / trumpet).
Matthieu Michel (Switzerland / trumpet).

Just I don't know why jazzers, foremost the best of the world always hide. Like Michel, sits in front of his mate's drums. Oh yeah, Scott Kinsey (USA / Piano), plays/played with Sting, I rarely get a glimpse of him. This is like an also runs ... / hides behind his piano ...

But the opening act is absolutely fabulous. This is quality stuff, the fusion I have been hoping for is happening, wow! swinging, storming, rocking - all, especially once the Malian balafon joins in ... listened to Gnaoua music for a year, now this is real, mind blowing.

Very promising what may lie ahead these next 4 days

But where is Scott Who ?????????

P.S. 2006/10: Scott Kinsey was of course great. There is a little excerpt on his myspace page of the opening concert. "That's a groove!!!"

Hassan Boussou raising arm.
Hassan Boussou getting ...
Hassan Boussou wide angle shot.
...louder later.

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Maâlem H'mida Boussou.

Interesting page, describing the Gnaoua movement since the times of slavery and H'mida's carreer in particular.

Hmida Boussou.
H'mida Boussou ...
Hmida Boussou.
... has voice.
Hmida Boussou.
Old man ...
Hmida Boussou.
Old man / golden voice man.
Hmida Boussou anD Hassan Boussou.
with his son Hassan.
Hmida Boussou anD Hassan Boussou.
View between monitors - how much closer can I get?

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Stefano Di Battista.

The late night jazz act. Happy to be here! And he explains what might happen (Italiano) "when we mix with the Gnaoua".

Stefano Di Battista from Italy.
Stefano Di Battista, Italy.
Stefano Di Battista from Italy.
awaiting the Gnaouas to join in.
Stefano Di Battista from Italy.
Stefano Di Battista, Hassan Boussou.

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GnaouaS Craze.

Wide angle Gnaoua on stage shot.
Wide angle Gnaoua on stage shot.
Wide angle Gnaoua on stage shot.
Wide angle Gnaoua on stage shot. > journey > africa > morocco > 20060622-essaouira

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