Under the patronage of His Majesty Kimg Mohammed VI of Morocco


13TH ANNUAL EVENT ---- JUNE 1-9, 2007


Morocco’s Acclaimed Fès Festival of World Sacred Music Announces 2007 Program

Tributes to Sufi mystic Jalal ad-Din Rumi and Equestrian Artist Bartabas Highlight 13th Season

Sacred Music Traditions Convene in Spectacular Venues throughout the Ancient City

Globally, the fractiousness, warfare, and ever-intensifying political rhetoric of our era often makes it seem as if there are unbridgeable chasms between cultures that no amount of effort or good intention can surmount. However, first Gulf War also inspired the extraordinary Fès Festival of World Sacred Music. Now in it’s 13th year, the festival brings together celebrated artists from Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Hindu and other faiths backgrounds to perform together in a spirit of mutual respect and collaboration, offers a glimmer of hope during a dark time.

The 2007 Festival, which runs Friday June 1 through Saturday June 9, will feature artistic innovations that underscore why the ancient Moroccan city of Fès is one of the world’s great musical destinations.

To experience some of this year’s magic moments visitors will have to leave their beds in the wee small hours – because on two mornings during the festival week, the French equestrian maestro Bartabas will be greeting the dawn at the Merinides quarry on his white stallion Le Caravage. Bartabas’ Zingaro troupe performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1996 and the impact of those shows led to an instant invitation to PBS’s The Charlie Rose Show. He and his steed will make their Fès debut with a program titled, appropriately, Sunrise. He will be accompanied by two renowned Sufi musicians – the reed flute (ney) player Kudsi Erguner and the percussionist/vocalist Nezih Uzel.

Many festival attendees may choose to stay up all night, because once again Sufi Nights, the enormously popular late night rituals performed by Moroccan Sufi brotherhoods, seem certain to attract big crowds. The hypnotic and ecstatic atmosphere of the Sufi Nights begin at midnight in the Dar Tazi gardens, right in the heart of the Fes medina.

Intimate afternoon concerts take place under the 100-year-old Barbary oak tree at the Batha Museum, where the birds from the surrounding Andalusian gardens often join the performance. Artists performing this year include Iranian classical singer Parissa with the Dastan Ensemble, Mauritanian singer Aicha Mint Chighaly, and the debut of Missa Flamenca Murciana, a collaboration between Spain’s Piñana Brothers and the Diapason Cuban String Quartet.

Evening performances are staged in the Arabian Nights splendor of the Bab Makina palace courtyard. A major attraction this year is the Afro Rock star Johnny Clegg from South Africa. There will be a Whirling Dervish ceremony with Sufi brotherhoods from Turkey, Qawwali sacred music with Akhtar Sharif Arup from Pakistan, Brazilian vocalist Tania Maria, a performance from the celebrated singer Angelique Kidjo from Benin, and a closing concert with the London Community Gospel Choir.

2007 marks the 800th anniversary of the birth of the great Islamic poet, sage and spiritual guide Jalal ad-Din Rumi, so tributes to his life and work are woven into the festival.

The program is the brainchild of Cherif Khaznadar, a pioneer of world music and one of the most influential Artistic Directors on the scene.

The Festival was launched in 1995, shortly after the Persian Gulf War, in an effort to support understanding among people of all faiths using the most universal means of expression – music. In 2001, the United Nations-proclaimed Year of Dialogue Among Civilizations, the festival was honored by the U.N. as one of seven Unsung Heroes of Dialogue.

Artists in the festival’s history are a virtual who’s-who of global music. They include Miriam Makeba, Salif Keita, Jordi Saval, Monserrat Caballe, Abida Parvin, the Hilliard Ensemble, the ARC Gospel Choir of Harlem, Enrique Morente, Rabbi Haim Louk, Jose Van Dam, Aznach Ensemble of Chechnya, Cristina Branco, Aruna Sairam, the Kabul Ensemble and Youssou N’Dour.

The festival has also spawned two Spirit of Fes tours in the U.S., in 2004 and 2006.

The Fès Festival of World Sacred Music has been profiled in The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, Billboard, Gramophon, Down Beat, Jazz Times, Global Rhythm, Songlines, The Village Voice, CNN, BBC and countless media outlets throughout the world.

The Soul of Morocco by Seth Sherwood 4/7/07

PRESS QUOTES about the Fès Festival of World Sacred Music :

“Sacred voices can be magnificently individual like Aretha Franklin testifying or Alim Kassimov, a singer from Azerbaijan, turning devotional poetry into finely turned soaring melismas full of incandescent fervor and pinpoint control…Style, creed and era aside, the music presents itself with something that has almost disappeared from the arts: humility before the power of God(s) inspiration and time. Even for skeptics, the music itself is something to believe in.” The New York Times

When it comes to music festivals, globalism is too often wielded like a truncheon, clobbering listeners with second-rate practicioners of international traditions. In stark contrast, the annual Fès Festival of World Sacred Music in Morocco takes exquisite care in its programming, attracting some of the world’s finest practicioners of disparate musical disciplines and presenting them in glorious surroundings…..” DownBeat

“Every June since 1994, music fans from around the globe have been flocking to Morocco for the annual Fès Festival of World Sacred Music. Attendees are seduced by the medieval Moorish ambiance of the walled city, where green-tiled imperial palaces have been reborn as luxe hotels and daily life goes on in the twisting alleys of the medina much as it has for generations.” Global Rhythm

“We very consciously work to create bridges between these cultures, to understand each other and to start a real dialogue. Of course, making such music is a social statement – when audiences se that we can be so happy singing and playing together, maybe they will question why do we then make war ? “ Musician Jordi Savall in Billboard

13th Annual Fes Festival of World Sacred Music
June 1-9, 2007 :: Fes, Morocco
2007 Theme: “Essence of Time, Spirit of Place”

Mohammad Kabbaj, President
Naima Lahbil Tagemouati, General Manager
Cherif Khaznadar, Artistic Director

For links to artists bios, go to www.fesfestival.com

Friday, June 1, 2007
20h30 :: Bab Makina Barbara Hendricks (USA) with the Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble ( Sweden ) Stabat Mater by Pergolèse, and sacred songs.

Saturday, June 2, 2007
16h30 :: Batha Museum Parissa and the Ensemble Dastan , (Iran) :: Sufi poems of Jalaludin Rumi :: Gol-e Behesht (Les Roses du Paradis)

20h30 :: Bab Makina :: Johnny Clegg ( South Africa ) 'The White Zulu' :: One life

Sunday, June 3, 2007
04h45 :: Sunrise concert Mérinides Quarry :: Bartabas with his horse Le Caravage, :: Sufi musicians Nezih Uzel and Kudsi Erguner (France )

16h30 :: Batha Museum :: Coro Gregoriano de Lisboa / Gregorian Choir of Lisbon (Portugal) :: The Source of Gregorian Chant

20h30 :: Bab Makina Tania Maria (Brazil) Memories born of cries for liberty, forbidden pride and an ancient culture

Monday, June 4, 2007
16h00 :: Batha Museum :: Claire Zalamansky (France) ::Sephardic Songs of Spain

20h30 :: Bab Makina :: Ayin-i Djem ( Turkey ) with the Kadiria and Mawlawiya Brotherhoods, Whirling Dervishes with dhikr, sama’a and calls of the muezzin, in memory of Jalal ad-Din Rumi :: Halakat Jalaludin Rumi

Tuesday, June 5, 2007
16h30 :: Batha Museum :: Aïcha Mint Chighaly ( Mauritania ) :: Songs of Praise

20h30 :: Bab Makina :: Akhtar Sharif Arup Vâle Qawwalis ( Pakistan ) :: The official Qawwalis of the patron saint of the city of Lahore

Wednesday, June 6, 2007
04h45 :: Sunrise Concert Merinides Quarry :: Bartabas with his horse Le Caravage, Sufi musicians Nezih Uzel and Kudsi Erguner ( France/Turkey )

20h30 :: Bab Makina :: Sonia Mbarek, Beihdja Rahal, Fadwa El Malki ::Arab-Andalous Songs of the Maghreb

Thursday, June 7, 2007
16h30 :: Batha Museum :: The Piñana Brothers and Diapason Cuban string quartet (Spain/Cuba) :: Missa Flamenca Murciana

20h30 :: Bab Makina :: Angélique Kidjo ( Benin ) :: African Songs of Love and Hope

Friday, June 8, 2007
16h30 :: Batha Museum :: Vasumathi Badrinathan ( India ) :: Carnatic vocals - Classical music of South India

20h30 :: Bab Makina :: Jahida Wahib ( Lebanon ) :: Elias Karam ( Syria ) :: Love, the Sacred and Profane

Saturday, June 9, 2007
16h30 :: Batha Museum Waed Bouhassoun ( Syria ) Songs of Jalaludin Rumi; Nâdira Pirmatova ( Uzbekistan ) The voice of Shash-Maqam

20h30 :: Bab Makina London Community Gospel Choir (UK) The Magic of Gospel