Reporting from the 21st edition of the Fes Sacred Music Festival

Fatoumata Diawara at the 21st Fes Sacred Music FestivalIn May 2015, I was fortunate to be invited to be part of the team at The View From Fez, the official English language media partner of the Fes Sacred Music Festival. Alongside editor Sandy McCutcheon (editor, reporter and photographer); Suzanna Clarke (sub-editor and photographer); Vanessa Bonnin (reporter and photographer) and Fatima Matousse (reporter), I reviewed the Forum and concert events on all 9 days of this year’s Festival.

As a Fes Festival first-timer, I found the 21st edition, which ran from 22 -30 May 2015, a great opportunity to see some acts I like, get to know some new artists and come to appreciate some new musical genres. My favourite concerts were: Omar Sosa and friends, Julie Fowlis, Fatoumata Diawara and Roberto Fonseca and The Royal Art of the Kora with Ballaké Sissoko. These are all acts I have seen and enjoyed before in different contexts. Of the acts which were new to me, I enjoyed Faada Freddy, Masks of the Moon and Ramadan Hassan and the Musicians of the Nile. I would have liked to have seen more of Benjamin Bouzaglou and Oumou Sangaré.

For more of my views on the 21st edition of the Fes Sacred Music Festival, click here.

Read the team’s review (to which I contributed) of the Opening Night concert here.

Omar Sosa and Tamango at the 21st Fes Sacred Music FestivalOn Day 2, I reviewed the Festival Forum.

On Day 3, I reviewed the Festival Forum and was fortunate to interview Scots Gaelic singer, Julie Fowlis.

On Day 4, following the Forum, I attended concerts by Omar Sosa and Urban Tap, as well as Ballaké Sissoko and the Royal Art of the Kora.

Following the Forum on Day 5, I reported on the concert of Roberto Fonseca and Fatoumata Diawara and that of Diego el Cigala with Benjamin Bouzaglou.

Ballaké Sissoko and the Royal Art of the Kora at the 21st Fes Sacred Music Festival

Day 6 saw the final day of the Fes Forum plus concerts by Ramadan Hassan and the Musicians of the Nile and Badr Rami.

On Day 7, I reviewed the recital by  Nabil Benabdeljalil and the Zakharif Ensemble.

The Andalusia Concert was on the 8th evening of the Festival and on the last day, I watched Faada Freddy as well as the closing concert, with Hussain el Jassmi.

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