Essaouira Gnaoua and World Music Festival

All photographs strictly © 2010 Peter Bennett. See Practical information below for credits.
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Country and Region MoroccoMarrakech - Tensift - Al Haouz
Type of Festival Music
Location of Festival Essaouira; Medina, Marrakech - Tensift - Al Haouz, Morocco
Festival Contact Information

Essaouira Gnaoua and World Music Festival
Phone: (212) 22-36-34-05
Fax: (212) 22-95-07-69

Festival Description

For four days the festival reveals its unique spirit in which enchantment touches the public as well as the guest musicians as it has done every year; the culture and spirituality of the Gnawa of Morocco exert their magnetic power in a series of wonderful musical encounters. The Gnawa masters, with their guembris and metal castanets perform with foreign jazz, rock and world musicians, creating original fusions on stage in Essaouira, where the artists share their musical cultures—the merging of music which becomes richer every year.

Festival Dates June 20 - 23, 2013
Festival Links

Festival Events:

Artist feature 2013:
  • Mokoomba (Zimbabwe)
    • Formed in 2007, Mokoomba is made up of six Zimbabwean dudes, hailing from Victoria Falls. The locals are part of a minority group, which speaks Tonga, different to the nation’s main languages. Yet their music has brought together so many disparate nationalities, in the players and in the songs, that the 2012 LP, Rising Tide, is a very African album.
      Mokoomba create a distinct hybrid of modern and traditional sounds, embracing Latin rhythms along the way. Lead singer Mathias Muzaza was born to Angolan and Zambian parents and gathered together the songs and sounds of southern Africa through his travels. Guitarist Trustworth Samende helps flesh out the music with lines reminiscent of Oliver Mtukudzi. Abundance Matori is on bass, Donald Moyo is on keys, Ndaba Coster Moyo is on drums and Miti Mugande on percussion. All of the players sing backing vocals. It was in 2008 when the group was launched to fame on the back of a stellar performance at the Music Crossroads InterRegional Festival in Malawi. Mokoomba recorded a debut album Kweseka, and undertook a European tour in 2009, to strong notices, necessitating a return in the following year. The celebrated Manou Gallo (The Ivory Coast) produced the album Rising Tide, which made many Best Of 2012 lists. She also played keyboards and brought in more than a dozen guest musos. The challenge for the members of Mokoomba now is to maintain their energy and a true band sound, without being too influenced by outsiders.
    • For additional information visit


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Photo slideshow photo credits:
  • In order of appearance
    • Afternoon stage at Essaouira Gnaoua World Music Festival 2010 (photo: Peter Bennett)
    • Nightime audience at Sauti za Busara 2010 (photo: Peter Bennett)
    • Audience at Essaouira Gnaoua World Music Festival 2010 (photo: Peter Bennett)
    • Audience at Essaouira Gnaoua World Music Festival 2010 (photo: Peter Bennett)


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