Tuesday, May 27, 2008


On Friday night, I went to the Juanes concert at the Bouregreg. There were several reasons that drew me to the Colombian pop-sensation's concert – and let’s just leave it at I wasn’t attending for the musical experience.

While I have no interest in pop-rock as a genre, I must admit that I was impressed by performance of the band and Juanes himself – I did not realize that he was such a polished guitarist. Often, music critics overlook the fact that MTV-type, commercial musicians are some of the highest trained musicians in the world: each member of Juanes’ band was very talented. The crowd adored Juanes; and it was an enjoyable concert, for sure.

Although the Mawazine Festival ended on Saturday, I opted not to attend the final, headline show of Whitney Houston – Juanes was enough pop music for me.

The organization of the Mawazine Festival was outstanding: everything from the lineup itself to the light shows to the sound quality was stellar. It is fantastic that the King of Morocco and government are supporting arts and culture in this manner: I recently read that, across all nine venues, approximately 120,000 people attended the festival each day.

I also read that the organizers had a budget between 22 and 24 million dirhams (about $3.1 million dollars). While that, of course, is a lot of money, considering the fact that there were nine days of music with nine different stages, it is very impressive that they were able to stretch the budget to be able to bring in so many accomplished musicians. On that note, as I have written before, the line up was fantastic, as there was such a comprehensive list of artists that performed. Because of the diverse lineup, I was exposed to so many new artists – the ultimate purpose of any concert-going experience.

Without a doubt, the absolute highlight of the week was the concert of Hoba Hoba Spirit; although, Zao, of Congo, was the best individual performer of the festival, by my book.

I cannot express my appreciate to everyone at Hit Radio, and most specifically Younes Boumehdi, for their assistance in helping me cover the festival. What a week

1 comment:

Najib Ben Seffaj said...

Hi Jesse,
We already meet with Adil Hanine in the Casablanca "Complexe Mohamed V", but don't know if you'll recognise me.
I really appreciate your post. We - as Moroccan - are always happy that our hosts appreciate our country and its different cultural facets.
Continue the good work and new Moroccan music scene discovering & exploration,
Best Regards