A few Fridays back, I met Adil Hanine, the drummer of Hoba Hoba Spirit, at Hotel Pietri, a jazz bar in Rabat. Hoba Hoba Spirit is one of the most popular bands in Morocco right now – they received constant airplay and even tour internationally. Based out of Casablanca, Hoba’s music is a fusion of rock, reggae, and Gnaoua. The influence of Moroccan rhythms gives the band a truly awesome, not to mention unique, sound. Check
Adil made a guest appearance at Pietri, both on vocals and drums, during the performance of an Afro-Pop band, Super Jungle. After chatting for an hour or so, Adil said I was more than welcome to stay at his house in Casablanca, whenever I needed a place to crash. The following Sunday, I left Rabat for Casa.
The hospitality in Morocco is incredible: never have I traveled throughout a country where so many people are eager to provide the lonely traveler accommodation.
Adil met me at the Casa Port train station and took me back to his house. A couple of his friends were already over, and we hours we just talked about music, discussing everything from the underrated solo career of John Frusciante to the indispensable contribution George Harrison made to fusion music. It never ceases to amaze me to find people on other continents with such similar music tastes as my own: music truly is the universal language.
That night, Adil, his Bulgarian wife Tzvety, and I went to a local restaurant/bar that has live music. The place is a favorite spot amongst local musicians, as there are guitars, drums and microphones already set up. Needless to say, there are many jam sessions featuring Casablanca’s finest musicians.
After a delicious mixed grill dinner, I played drums with Adil (who was on bass) and another guitarist. We played songs we all knew, such as “No Woman No Cry,” “I Feel Good” and “Wonderful Tonight.” Being that I have not really practiced in since I left New York, it was somewhat intimidating to perform in front of thirty to forty people. Nonetheless, it was a blast to be able to play, albeit a brief twenty minutes.
Adil, the drummer of Hoba Hoba Spirit, and JP the bass player of Super Jungle outside Hotel Pietri in Rabat.
Saad, the bass player of Hoba, myself and Adil outside Pietri.
Jamming at a club in Casablanca.