In 2002, the release of the album "African Gnaoua Blues" inaugurated a collaboration between the Moroccan musician Majid Bekkas and IGLOO Records. 20 years later, this anniversary album plunges its roots ("Joudour") into Africa, to the sources of blues, jazz and funk, without forgetting to look at the present times... A musical journey to the gates of the desert!
17/11/2022 @ 360° Music Factory - PARIS
25/02/2023 - Festival Echter Jazz - Luxembourg
Creator of the "African Gnaoua Blues" style, Majid Bekkas is still the foremost ambassador of this form of music, which comes from the spiritual music of the Gnaoua trance, mixed with jazz and blues from African sources.
Originally from Zagora at the gates of the Sahara where desert music, Aqallal or Roukba rhythms lulled his childhood, Bekkas has preciously treasured a spirit of authenticity while preserving and safeguarding Gnaoui music, whose secrets and intrinsic universality he has penetrated.
A return to his roots in the company of musicians and friends used to this musical and human adventure: Manuel Hermia on saxophone and flute; Childo Tomas, a bass player from Mozambique; Karim Ziad, an Algerian drummer and great specialist of Maghrebian rhythms and Gnaoua music; Michael Hornek, an Austrian pianist; and Khalid Kouhen, a Moroccan master of Indian, African and Brazilian percussion. Guests include Bouhssine Foulane, an Amazigh musician, virtuoso of the ribab (Berber single-string violin); Adil Chorfi, Moroccan player of the Nei de Kawala and violin; Mustapha Antari, virtuoso of oriental percussion; Biboul Darwiche, Cameroonian percussionist specialised in Bantu rhythms; and Marylène Ingremeau (choir) who has a passionate interest in the many ways of using the voice throughout the world.
The album was produced remotely due to the health crisis. Each composition recorded in Salé (Morocco) was sent to each of the musicians for their contribution. A method that left room for freedom and reveals Majid's multi-instrumentalist talents. In addition to the guembri, the guitar and the oud, we discover Majid on the n'goni, bouzouki, kalimba and the balafon, revisiting the rhythms and musical colours of Morocco, desert music and Africa. He is constantly impregnated with the forces and contradictions of the times to offer us this magnificent musical journey.