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Gnawa musicians outside Medersa es Seffarine

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Rockin' the Casbah

And one with an exhilarating soundtrack — courtesy of 25 Moroccan Gnawa musical brotherhoods, whose exuberant, hypnotically rhythmic and joy-infused music drew an estimated 400,000 fans from Morocco and across North Africa, Europe and North America to Essaouira (pronounced ess-ah-WEER-ah) last June for the five-day festival. Midsummer revelers heard more than 30 other jazz fusion, rock, reggae, African, Brazilian, Afro-Cuban and hip-hop acts from more than a dozen countries — as well as Hoba Hoba Spirit, a crowd-wowing multilingual “Moroc ’n roll!” band from Casablanca — performing on nine festival stages scattered in and around Essaouira’s walled, maze-like medina.

Photo courtesy of Vince Miilet's Pictures from a trip to Fez to learn Moroccan cookery.

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