Rabat dances to the rhythm of Jazz fusion in Chellah

The City of lights welcomed the Jazz of Chellah festival under a starry night with a crowd that deeply missed Rabat’s cultural celebrations, and Soukaina Fahsi teasing an Ep release.

This is the festival’s 25 edition, held inside the medieval necropolis of Chellah to celebrate Moroccan and European jazz.

The ambassador of the European Union, Patricia Llombart Cussac, gave an opening speech that stated that the EU chose this festival to be a perfect incarnation of Moroccan European bonds.

The concert opened with Arifa, the band of four members known for creating a bridge of sounds between the Orient and Oxidant.

Before they played, one of the members said that he is honored to be able to work and collaborate with Moroccan artists.

He expressed his admiration for Chaabi music.

Soukaina Fahsi joined the band to perform her most famous song, Kharboucha.

With a jazz twist, Fahsi jammed to the mixture of melodies coming from all the instruments and performed Joudia under a rainy sky.

The rain did not stop the fans from chanting every word, as Aziz Ouzous added an Amazigh dimension to all of Soukaina’s songs.

“This isn’t just a concert, this is a great experience for those who are thirsty to discover new things,” said Fahsi.

In the middle of the concert, proud of her loyal crowd, Soukaina happily declared, “Who said that Moroccans don’t have jazz in their blood?”

Aziz Ouzous thanked Soukaina for inviting him to perform at the show as the duo shared a heartfelt hug.

On working with Arifa, Soukaina said that it always makes her feel ‘hypnotized’.

For the second half of the show, the audience witnessed the perfect fusion of north African and north European music.

The Scandinavian Moroccan band composed of Majid Bakkas, Goran Kajfes, Jesper Norderstrom, and Stephan Basborg were joined by Joseph Bessan Kouassi and the Gnaoua trio, the Chaouki brothers.

The collective gave a performance of a lifetime.

The excited crowd could not contain their joy and eventually abandoned their seats to dance to the rhythms of L’Guembri, Qraqeb, and saxophone.

By the end of the show, the crowd forgot about the rain and danced the night away.

Prior to the show, the EU Ambassador to Morocco, Patricia Llombart Cussac told HIBAPRESS EN in a statement that “this is a very special event for us after 2 years hiatus due to circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“These recent years were completely empty and the return of the festival is special, which will make us let go of the reality we live in, including geostrategic, climate change, and sanitary crisis,” she added.

The European Union official also praised the efforts and the sustainable partnerships of the Ministry of Culture, the organizers of the event, the wilaya of rabat, and the media sponsors.

“Jazz of Chellah gathers the rich heritage of culture, with Moroccan and European artists speaking a single language that of music,” she further stated at the opening of the festival, noting that those artists are united by diversity and mutual tolerance.

Cussac, the ambassador, was appointed last November to the Kingdom and was honored to supervise this event for its 25th edition in the African capital of culture.

Soukaina Fahsi told HIBAPRESS EN in a statement that an EP is on the way. It’s a mixture of different genres and Aziz Ouzous is one of the articles collaborating with her.

The young artist was one of the crowd years ago, in this edition, she is beyond proud to be able to perform in front of a crowd that appreciates cultural diversity.

She only got to practice with the artists she shared the scene with for five hours, which according to her was not enough, But as soon she took over the stage, the performance ran smoothly.

“It feels really good to meet the audience of Rabat, I miss them very much,” said Soukaina before the show.

She declared that people are unaware that she used to do such culturally diverse projects ever since 2014, going on tours with international artists and performing on different stages.

“I love stages, if you want to attend something special you have to come to stages!” emphasized Soukaina.

The festival will bid farewell to Chellah on October 2.

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