Festival D'Essouira Gnaoua Musiques Du Monde
One of the highlight collaborations occurred following a blistering Pat Metheny Trio set that succeeded Corey Harris, with Christian McBride on bass and Antonio Sanchez on drums. Metheny hyped up the throng at Moulay Hassan when he cranked one of his four guitars into overdrive on a closing blues. With the stage still smoldering Maalem Mustapha Bakbou stoked the fire with his colorful ensemble that included the not common site of two women on karakob and voice. At peak points they furiously tossed their prodigious manes in time with the music likewise inducing other similarly tressed sisters in the audience. The Metheny trio effectively complimented Bakbou's ensemble for an additional hour.
Any trip to Morocco is a fascinating prospect, let alone to the beautiful town of Essaouira during this high point in their festival season. The flight to hub city Casablanca is only 6+ hours from JFK by eminently accommodating Royal Air Maroc and from Casablanca it's an additional 50-minute flight. Then its 2+ hours by highway across desert terrain through colorful villages to cool, coastal Essaouira where the music is ancestral and gazes into the future by embracing musicians from North and sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and the Americas. There's no other festival experience quite like Essaouira.