Blogging will be spasmodic over the next week.
We’re off to Morocco for a week to the Gnaoua Music Festival in the small fishing town of Essaouira on the Atlantic coast. This year’s festival promises to be the best ever with a host of African and International artists booked, including the world famous Malian kora player Toumani Diabate, N’goni player Bassekou Kouyate who made one of the best albums of last year, Segu Blue, and the Orchestre National de Barbes comprised of musicians from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.
Also lined up is guitarist Justin Adams who has worked with Robert Plant and Tinariwen and, incredibly, Wayne Shorter who played with Art Blakey’s band before being recruited by the legendary Miles Davis.
Essaouira is a really relaxing place without the festival, but when it is bulging at the seams, with bands and street musicians setting up everywhere, it’s bursting with energy. It is also pretty cool too because of the breeze off the Atlantic. Daytime temperatures at the weekend are expected to be in the late 80s Fahrenheit (old money) which will be a relief from Marrakech where we are flying to where it is expected to reach 108 degrees on Thursday.