First Published: 2013-05-23


Morocco’s Mawazine Festival 2013: Art in service of cultural exchange


Festival will seek to entertain its large audience with world of sounds, both modern, traditional, in order to bring moment of festivity, celebration to all Moroccans.


Middle East Online

World of sounds, both modern and traditional

RABAT - At the heart of a world in motion, the 12th edition of the Mawazine Festival – Rhythms of the World is going once again to spotlight stars and new international and Moroccan talents. For nine days, from May 24th to June 1st 2013, thanks to an open and diverse program, Mawazine will bring together millions of festival goers around 7 emblematic stages. Each will be dedicated to a particular music style. The world capital of music, Rabat, is also expected to experience an artistic exuberance with brass bands and troupes which will animate streets from morning to night.

Strong with its unique history, Mawazine builds on the success of previous editions. This year, the Festival will seek to entertain its large audience with a world of sounds, both modern and traditional, in order to bring a moment of festivity and celebration to all Moroccans.

The 12th edition presents a wide-ranging program and will feature many international celebrities, including pop and R&B icon Rihanna. The main artists performing on OLM Souissi Stage will be the Jackson Five, David Guetta, Deep Purple, Jessie J, Mika, Sexion D’assaut, Loreen, Enrique Iglesias, Ceelo Green and Taio Cruz.

From around the world, many big name stars will perform in Mohamed V National Theater namely, Georges Benson and the Royal Symphonic Orchestra, Sara Tavares, Bond girls, Toto La Momposina, Ana Moura, Sandra Nkake, El Gusto, Lotfi Bouchnak as well as the renowned Moroccan star Abdelouahab Doukkali.

The Renaissance will spotlight great figures of the Moroccan, oriental and Maghrebean music. Morocco will be represented by Abdelwahed Tetwani, Abdesslam Sefiani, Fattah Ngadi, Laila Lamrini, Haj Youness, Amir Ali & Rachid Zerwal. Algeria will be represented by Bariza Staifia, while artist Ziad Gharsa will indulge the audience with a flavor of Tunisian music. From Egypt, Imane Abdelghani will perform alongside the Palestinians Jihad Akl and Alaa Azzam as well as Loubna Salama.

Nahda stage will be dedicated to the Oriental genre. The biggest names on the Arab music scene will be performing on this stage. The opening will be marked by the performance of Walid Toufic as well as the Rai prince Cheb Mami, Sherine Abdel Wahab and Assi El Hellani.

One of biggest names on Arab music scene

Rich with a three-decade artistic career, Egypt’s The King, Mohamed Mounir, will also be present. Other participating artists include Tamer Hosny, the Emirati diva Ahlam, and Najwa Karam. The Moroccan song will be represented by the talented Hoda Saad.

In order to showcase the young Moroccan artists, the novelty of this edition is that each first part of the concerts will be animated by young singers: Mohsine Salahdine, Bouchra Khalid, Rabab, Abed, Zakaria Ghafouli, Chada Hassoun, Hatim Ammor, Leila Al Maghribya and Ahmed Chawki.

The festival goers will also have the opportunity to discover the great voices of the national repertoire on the stage of Sale. In the program: Chaabi, Gnawi ambiances, ghiwani anthems and hip hop with Don Bigg, Chaht Man, M.Boy, H-Kayne, Barry, Casa Crew, Kasri Hamid Said Mouskir, Ghiwan Salwan, Jil Ghiwan Jalal, Siham, Aouatif, Mohamed Anbari, Fatim Zahra Laaroussi, Numedia, Atika Ammar, Mallal, Izenzaren Abdelhadi, Mohammed Iskandar, Rachid Lamrini or Mountassir Orchestra and the legendary Najat Atabou.

On Bouregreg stage, the whole African continent will be celebrated through the performance of the much awaited Drummers of Brazza and Tinariwen, Seun Kuti, Osibisa, Jupiter & Okwes, Amadou & Mariam, Blitz the Ambassador et Gnawa Diffusion, whose first act will be performed by Africa United, winners of Generation Mawazine 2010.

Street shows

Street shows, a real highlight of the Festival, will animate the city of Rabat all along the 12th edition. The streets of the capital will host quirky parades and amazing meetings between the public and groups coming from different countries. The festival goers will also enjoy the performance of the Moroccan breakdance group and Africa champion Halla KingZoo, and a theatre company Nomade which show Cigognes features giant marionettes with Morocco colors. The program also includes: Overboys, Moroccan percussion band and Eclats de lune for evolutive parade “Azalai”.

Coming from Brazil, the music band Dudu Tucci & Brasil Power Drums will offer the festival goers a show inspired directly from the Afro-Brazilian tradition of Bahia. Straight from the Balkans, brass band P4 will perform Tzigane, an electrified music full of creativity, humor and energy. Fanfarai, the brass band that is most atypical to the Maghreb, will blend traditional music of the region by confronting them with Latin and Afro-Cuban influences, while the Tapha N’Diaye Rose will make the audience, from the eldest to the youngest, travel with the sounds of the best rhythms of Senegal.

More cosmopolitan than ever, the 12th edition of Mawazine offers to the stage of Chellah a program dedicated to the unique musical adventure La Route de la Soie “the Silk Road”, the network of trade routes that linked, for centuries, Asia to Europe. Presenting eight teams, this exceptional creation offers a unique scenography within the exceptional environment of the Chellah.

In order to immerse the festival goers in a magical journey through Europe and Asia, the stage will be decorated with an abstract map of countries crossed by the Silk Road, as well as a set of monumental mirrors which will impress the spectators with silk patterns mingled with carpets.

Whether they come from Japan, Uzbekistan, Turkey or Italy, the invited groups are all representing different cultures and regional styles: Patrizia Laquidara (Italy) Aynur (Turkey), the trio Zabit Nabizade (Azerbaijan), Homayoun Shajarian (Iran), Yulduz Turdieva (Uzbekistan), Sharmila Sharma (India) Ensemble Dragon (China) and the duo Shunsuke Kimura & Etsuro Ono (Japan).

On Mohammed V National Theatre stage, the major figure of jazz and soul music, George Benson will perform alongside the Royal Symphony Orchestra Saturday, May 25th, 2013. In addition to his greatest hits, George Benson will pay a special tribute to the legendary crooner Nat King Cole.

Meetings between public and artists

Mawazine Festival strives to reveal and showcase the cultural diversity of Morocco and the rest of the world. The rich program of this 12th edition, within the same spirit, will dedicate the best part to the meetings between the public and the artists through many initiating workshops.

The drummers of Brazza invite the festival goers to discover the music of Congo-Brazzaville. At the rhythms of the Congolese tribes and under the influence of decidedly modern drummers, this incredible group will offer the spectators a music lesson where sounds, dances and colors intertwine giving a universal message of peace, freedom and brotherhood.

Since its inception in 2002, the Mawazine Festival has been constantly promoting cultural diversity through Moroccan and international programming, encouraging creation and sharing through innovative artistic events, and promoting the discovery of new talents. Building on the success of previous editions, the 12th Mawazine Festival asserts its global positioning amongst the most renowned cultural events.

Today, the Festival is a unique celebration in Africa and the Arab world, an essential showcase of Moroccan music and the demonstration of the country’s know-how in the organization of large-scale public events.

The schedule of the 12th Mawazine Festival – Rhythms of the World, held from May 24th through June 1st 2013, reflects the attractiveness of the event for music stars who have put Rabat as an important stop in their worldwide tours.


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