web analytics
July 5, 2015 / 18 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Int’l Festival Brings Morocco’s Sacred Music to Jerusalem

International Gnawan musical artist Hassan Hakmoun in Jerusalem's Tower of David.

International Gnawan musical artist Hassan Hakmoun in Jerusalem's Tower of David.
Photo Credit: Anav Silverman/Tazpit News Agency

The Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival recently brought a new tradition to the holy city. For 24 consecutive hours, artists and musicians from Israel and abroad, shared a variety of musical traditions last Thursday, September 6, through the wee hours of the next morning.

Centered at Jerusalem’s Tower of David, the festival venues were chosen to reflect a message of inter-faith unity and sanctity at historical venues reflective of Jerusalem’s diverse faiths.

Musical events and shows were held at Zedekiah’s Cave in the Old City and Notre Dame across the road from the New Gate. In addition to taking part in a Slichot workshop, festival participants also had the opportunity to tour the Ethiopian, Franciscan and Armenian morning prayers at the Church of Holy Sepulcher.

The music festival featured esoteric, meditative and ceremonial music from Azerbaijan, Iran, Africa, Morocco, Iraq, Brazil, and India as well as a Sufi dance workshop. The festival opened with Persian music and chants performed by two Iranian musicians based in Canada, the brothers Kiya and Zia Tabassian who played and sang together with Israeli percussionist Zohar Fresco.

Other international artists included Morocco’s Hassan Hakmoun and his New York-based ensemble, who performed ancient African Islamic folk music of the Islamic Gnawa sect, descendants of West African slaves brought to North Africa several hundred years ago.

Speaking with Tazpit News Agency, Hakmoun described his childhood growing up in Marrakesh, Morocco. “I grew up in a musical family in Morocco. My mother is mystic music healer and I learned the Gnawan musical traditions from a young age.”

“This is my second time in Israel,” added Hakmoun, who performed in Tel Aviv in 1994. Hakmoun, who is Muslim, believes that people can live as one. “When you come to Jerusalem, you see churches, mosques and synagogues, next to each other. There is a peacefulness here that you never see on TV.”

“The most amazing part of this city, is seeing how the footsteps of all the world’s major religions have passed through here—the prophets actually walked through these neighborhoods,” said Hakmoun.

Hakmoun moved to the United States in his early twenties with his family and made his first U.S. musical debut at the Lincoln Center in 1987. He has since then performed widely across the U.S. and internationally, and produced several albums, fusing traditional Gnawan music with American sounds, and making the Gnawan musical and dance tradition a popular element in the American music scene.

“In Morocco, Gnawa music wasn’t so popular when I was growing up, but thanks to the major Gnawa World Music Festival that was spear-headed by the senior adviser to Morocco’s King Mohammed, André Azoulay, who is also Jewish, our traditional music has become much more appreciated in my home country” explained Hakmoun.

Playing the sintir, a three-stringed lute with a body made of camel skin stretched over nutwood, Hakmoun sang soulful and spiritual Gnawan rhythms with his ensemble, to a mostly Israeli audience at the Tower of David on Thursday night. Of the many chants, and songs that were played, Hakmoun also included a prayer for peace for the region.

About the Author: Anav Silverman is a regular contributor to Tazpit News Agency.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Int’l Festival Brings Morocco’s Sacred Music to Jerusalem”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with Prime Minister Netanyahu in 2012.
Hillary Clinton Says She Will Be Better Friend than Obama to Israel
Latest News Stories
Zarif and Kerry on the Fourth of July.

Kerry spent the Fourth of July talking with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Placard at counter protest of neo-Nazis in London on Saturday.

Thirty Policemen escorted a total of 21 neo-Nazi in the “anti-Jewification” protest that flopped.

Young teenagers point rifles at Syrian soldiers at ancient Roman amphitheater.

ISIS released a video of a modern-day replay of the thirst for blood in ancient Roman amphitheaters.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with Prime Minister Netanyahu in 2012.

The woman who once kissed Suha Arafat has a different attitude when it comes to funding her campaign for president.

A third Grad rocket was found in the Eshkol region on Saturday.

If Lapid decides that his party will support the proposal in the Knesset, he will go down in history as the man who saved Israel’s gas industry and credibility.

The House of Bishops, led by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, overwhelmingly defeated the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions resolution.

US alone voted no on UNHRC Resolution condemning only Israel for wrongdoing in last summer’s conflict.

Sinai terrorists expanded their range of attack Friday, aiming rocket fire at southern Israel as well.

5:21 PM The rocket landed in a field in the Eshkol region. Apparently from Sinai. 5:06 PM Channel 1 reports that citizens say they saw the rocket fly over from Sinai. 4:49 PM IDF Spox says they believe only 1 rocket was launched. The IDF is examining if the rocket was launched from the Sinai. […]

Iran is not budging in nuclear talks on its refusal to allow spot inspections of military sites.

Nothing like a Kosher frank for the 4th of July, even if this year, you have to cook it before Shabbat.

Nothing quite like Hamas terrorist supporters on the Temple Mount openly waving their flags..

Machsom Watch women came to harass IDF soldiers in Hebron but embarrassed themselves instead.

A Palestinian Authority Arab was shot and killed after he attacked an Israeli army commander driving in near Jerusalem.

The US Mennonite church votes to table an anti-Israel BDS resolution for two years.

More Articles from Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency
BDS Fails Again

The House of Bishops, led by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, overwhelmingly defeated the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions resolution.

Mirella Haggiag

Mirella Petteni Haggiag, a former Italian model from Rome, makes her way through the tombstones with a garbage bag in her hand several times of year when she visits Israel.

Reminiscent of ISIS, Arabs continue to destroy Jewish graves on the Mount of Olives.

In honor of Ramadan, food vouchers totaling 1 million NIS will be provided to 2,600 needy families in the Arab community by the IFCJ.

Around 5,000 Jews continue to live in the ancient community, which according to some sources dates back to the time of King Solomon.

“We have Arab students, alongside Haredi and religious Jewish students, as well as children of foreign workers, and sabra Israelis, rich and poor”

Professor Carmi, who is a stem cell scientist, was presented with the medal and scroll personally signed by Queen Elizabeth II at the British Ambassador’s Residence.

New Polish Parliamentary Israel Allies Caucus was launched in Warsaw

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/intl-festival-brings-moroccos-sacred-music-to-jerusalem/2012/09/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: