Sunday, 20 July 2008

Group Bana de Marrakech at Essaouira 2008

I know little about Group Bana de Marrakech other than what I've read in the Essaouira festival guide which says (as translated by Google Translate):

The Group Bana is a native of Marrakech and plays in the style of "taktaka" Marrakesh, which is part of authentic arts of the city ochre as the "Dakka Marrakchiya." The group Bana has participated in several regional and national events and poetry evenings.

I saw them play on the Friday afternoon in the little Place Al Khayma and recorded all that I saw and heard. Theirs' is a completely different style to gnaoua - very interactive, both between each other and with the audience, who they carry along - singing and dancing - with long, complicated songs with rhythms that change all the time and which seem to tell well-known stories that everyone knows the words to - except me, of course. Anyway, as a musical and visual experience, it was stunning.

The stage at Al Khayma is only feet away from the audience which really helps the interactivity between the group and the crowd, and there was quite a crowd, filling the square pretty much, as you can see on my videos. I've seen a vidao of them playing at the new stage at Bab Doukkala, and they looked more formal, and more distant, there. I think maybe their taktaka works better in a smaller, more intimate venue.

Anyway, enough talk, here's some music. It links to my Group Bana de Marrakech playlist on YoutTube.

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