Morocco’s Jazzablanca festival celebrates 10 years

Jazzablanca presents its 10th annual festival this month in Casablanca, Morocco featuring the innovative sounds of performers from around the world. The six-day festival runs from 18-23 April 2015.

Nigerian drummer Tony Allen
Nigerian drummer Tony Allen

Six international artists will headline the event, one for each day of the programme. American guitarist, composer and singer Raul Midon takes to the stage on 18 April, performing a mix of genres including soul, jazz, blues, R&B and Latino music. He has four albums under his belt: Gracias a la vida (1999), State of Mind (2005), A World within a World (2007) and Pick Somebody Up (2009). He has worked with eminent musicians such as Stevie Wonder, Christina Aguilera, Ricky Martin, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez and José Feliciano.

British singer-songwriter and guitarist Charlie Winston performs on 19 April. He has fascinated French fans with his “rakish Anglo troubadour look – acoustic guitar, jaunty hat, weather-beaten voice – along with a streak of Gallic seen-it-all”. His 2009 album Hibo ranked number one on the French charts.

Anouar Brahem will be playing oud on 20 April. His 20-year career is marked by innovation, fusing jazz, folk music and classical genres from the oriental and Mediterranean repertoires. He started recording in 1991 after he became famous in his native country, Tunisia. He released nine albums, including Conte de L’Incroyable Amour (1991), Le Pas Du Chat Noir (2001) and The Astounding Eyes Of Rita (2009), among others. Brahem has received a number of national and international awards.

Grammy nominee Candy Dulfer is a Dutch smooth jazz and funk alto saxophonist who began playing at the age of seven. Her fourth album, For the Love of You (1997), remained in the Billboard charts for over 40 weeks. She has played with artists such as Lionel Richie and has performed all over the world from a young age. Dulfer will be performing on the Casa-Anfa stage on 21 April - the only female headliner participating this year.

On 22 April, music lovers will meet the co-creator (along with the late Fela Kuti) of the hugely popular and influential Afrobeat style, Tony Allen. Allen is one of the African continent’s most important artists. He has inspired generations of musicians worldwide and is a legendary figure amongst fans of funk, jazz, hip-hop and African music. During his 45-year career, this self-taught drummer has worked with famous names like U2, Damon Albarn, the Gorillaz and Blu. He recently released a new solo album, Film of Life.

The closing concert on 23 April will be performed by Keziah Jones. The king of “blufunk” - a fusion of raw blues elements and hard, edgy funk rhythms - Jones is a Nigerian singer-songwriter and guitarist. Heavily influenced by Jimi Hendrix and Fela Kuti, he gained popularity in England and France with singles like ‘Rhythm Is Love’ and ‘Beautiful Emile’.

Other artists on the bill include Charles Pasi, Malca, Martin Tingvall Trio, Sandra Amarie, Tristan, Jamal Thomas Band, Made in Bled, Mizano, Jamal Oussfi, Sunsparks, Othman El Kheloufi, Rachid El Garrab and others.

Since its first festival in 2006, Jazzablanca has become a key event for jazz music lovers around the world. Featuring a rich and varied programme, more than 400 musicians have performed in the festival since its inception. For more details visit the festival's website.

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