Monday, 22 January 2018

Majid Bekkas Maroc Jazz Trio with guest Goran Kafjes - Essaouira - Xmas 2017

This performance was at the same venue as Othman El Kheloufi, the magnificent Dar Souira, but was a very different music style of music, wonderful to watch and wonderful to listen to. For a moment I thought that I was back at The Essaouira Gnaoua and World Music Festival, that deep guembri call to attention, shaking through your body.

Majid Bekkas is a Gnaoua and jazz musician of great acclaim and like Othman he has an interesting background and wealth of experience. As well as being a musician, playing the guembri, banjo, oud and keyboard, he is a singer, composer and former classical guitar teacher. Also, Majid has been Co-Artistic Director of Chellah Jazz Festival in Rabat since 1996 as well as being involved in many international jazz projects and festivals. Plus, he gained a Bachelor Degree in Information Science in 1981, has been part of the civil service for a while and has held several positions in The Ministry of Culture. As I said, he's a very experienced man. Plus, he has many albums to his name. (A recent video I posted of John Knutson at Bob Music in Essaouira had one of Majid's albums playing in the background.)

Majid's style of playing reflects his love of fusing traditional Gnaoua music with Afro-American Blues and that's an exciting mix, and his fellow musicians complemented that sound.


Goran is a Swedish trumpeter, composer and producer who enjoys mixing Afrobeat, Ethio-jazz and Big Band Funk. The winner of the Nordic Music Prize and many Swedish Grammis Awards, he leads the group Subtropic Arkestra and is part of many other bands. He also runs his own record label: Headspin Recordings. That such a busy musician took the time out of his holidays to travel all the way to Essaouira to play with Majid is a testament to not only the pulling power of Majid Bekkas but also to the reputation of Essaouira as an International Centre of outstanding music.


Mohamed El Babarti
Mohamed Boufassi

We, the audience, were captivated by the beauty of the music and a standing ovation led to an encore. Pretty darn good if you ask me.


You can watch the entire Majid Bekkas concert on this video playlist, recorded by Here's the first number:

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