Join Stacey Kent, Ibrahim Maalouf, Joss Stone and Patti Smith to celebrate the 9th edition of Jazzablanca! Starting from tomorrow, dozens of concerts will bring together jazz, soul and world music into one of Africa’s most intriguing cities: Casablanca.
There’s no better way to spend this weekend than being in Africa! If you are in South Africa you are probably about to head to the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. If you are in Morocco, on the other hand, you should get yourself ready for a new edition the Casablanca Jazz & World Music Festival or Jazzablanca, as its known to its fans. From tomorrow, until 3 April, some of Morocco’s most popular musicians will participate to the big music celebration for the 9th anniversary of Jazzablanca.
Here Come the Stars
And they will be joined by high-profile members of the international music scene. In fact, like every top-class jazz festival, Jazzablanca also presents some of the world’s most in-demand artists.
Jazzablanca 2014 will officially kick off with a street parade filled with the horns, stomps and catchy riffs of the French brass band Le Gros Tube (3 pm). The street performances will continue with another French collaboration: Ashes to Machines (5 pm).
The star of the first day will be British soul diva Joss Stone. From 9 pm, she will bring her most popular successes on the main stage of the hippodrome Casa-Anfa. Several critically-acclaimed records, appearances in the popular TV show The Tudors and collaborations with the likes of Jeff Beck, John Legend and Van Hunt, make Stone one of the most versatile and hard-working performers. During her career, she has earned numerous awards and accolades including a Grammy Award, and two BRIT Awards. Get ready for some sexy soul, explosive funk and plenty of fun!
Speaking of successful female performers, Jazzablanca 2014 will also welcome Grammy Award and BBC Awards nominee, and receiver of the French National Order of Arts and Letters, Stacey Kent. On 30 March, the main stage will be all about this great American jazz singer’s popular songs, including tracks from her latest album The Changing Lights.
The new week at the Casablanca Jazz & World Festival 2014 will begin with star trumpet player Ibrahim Maalouf (9 pm). If you look at his resume, you kind of know that Beirut-born, Paris-based, Ibrahim Maalouf has everything to be one of the most praised contemporary jazz trumpeters. The strong musical and cultural background – he is the son of two musicians (trumpeter Nassim and pianist Nada Maalouf), nephew of writer Amin Maalouf and grandchild of journalist, poet and musicologist Rushdi Maalouf – and his passion for music paved the way for Ibrahim Maalouf to establish himself as one of the most influential jazz trumpeters, despite his young age. On the stage of hippodrome Casa-Anfa he and his band will play their famous compositions from both Wind and the new record Illusions.
With over 40 years of career, more than 10 albums and several important achievements, including the induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (in 2007) and a Polar Music Prize (in 2011), Patti Smith is one of the most iconic artists of our times. It has been almost 40 years since the release of her 1975 debut record Horses, which made her one of the most influential members of the New York City punk rock scene, but Patti Smith is still performing with an energy that is second to no one. On 2 April, music fans in Casablanca will have the chance to listen to one of the most iconic, energetic and critically-acclaimed artists of the last three decades.
African Talents Showcase and the Electrifying Finale
In addition to all these international stars and the promising German young grooving band led by saxophonist Jan Prax, which will perform more than once during the festival, Jazzablanca 2014 will present an interesting mix of prominent and up and coming local artists.
Casablanca’s own golden voice Sophia Charaï leads the roster of Moroccan performers that includes guitarist Mahmud “Mood” Choukhi and the world music of saxophonist, singer and scenographer Othman El Kheloufi. Rising star Ferdaous and virtuoso guitarist Majid Bekkas, known for his collaborations with the likes of Archie Shepp, Louis Scalvis and Joachim Kühn, will also represent Morocco at Jazzablanca 2014.
The bluesy sounds of the Blues Ramblers and drum beats of Karim Ziad complete the list of African performers that will be showcased at the 9th edition of the festival.
After five days of entertaining live music the Casablanca Jazz & World Music Festival 2014 will say goodbye to its audience with one of the most exciting European acts: Electro Deluxe Big Band (3 April, 9 pm). Established in 2001, this French ensemble of 18 talented instrumentalists bring together soul, jazz, hip hop and funk to produce an explosive and original sound that won’t make you stop clapping your hands.
If you want to see one of the most entertaining contemporary big bands, Jazzablanca 2014 is the place to be. Get ready to stomp you feet, raise your hands to the sky and dance non-stop with this incredible mix of fun, energy and joy!
Whether you are a jazz aficionado, soul lover or world music enthusiast you will find plenty of high-profile performers at Jazzablanca 2014. Make no mistake, Casablanca will be one of the world’s cities of jazz, at least over the next few days.
29 March – 3 April
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