Buddy Guy Closes Fes Festival With The Blues And Wicked Humour – Sacred Music Festival, Fes, Morocco
Buddy Guy, a blues legend of the ilk of BB King, John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters, who has influenced great blues-rock musicians such as Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page, strolled nonchalantly on stage in a black and white polka dot shirt, with dots as in your face as the whomping bass line that accompanied his entrance.
Last year at the festival Columbane Mint Ely Warakane wowed the audience with her powerful earthy voice. Now in a return performance she took the crowd on a musical journey with another powerful singer, India’s Raza Khan.
Wednesday evening’s Sufi Nights at Dar Tazi was a treat to all concertgoers in attendance. Families, teens and visitors piled in early to grab choice real estate close to the stage, all hoping to be closer to Meknes’ Group Rouh. Yassine Habibi, the group’s director, took the stage and lead the ensemble through a set showing their command of songs adored by the audience.
I have visited Mohammed – a shop owner in the Fes medina – and his sister Coca countless times and have enjoyed getting to know him and his family better throughout the past two years. We have battled numerous times over “universal prices” on his rugs and blankets, though we always part on good terms and are happy to see one another on my return trips to Fes.
We aren’t silly and we certainly didn’t just fall off of the turnip truck – our furry buddy from the other day was interested in more than just looking cute and purring / chirping at us during lunch. Specifically, he surely thought that we were his meal ticket to a fancy seafood lunch. Barring a fresh seafood lunch, he may have settled for a squab pastilla…or just the main ingredient.
I recently met this gentleman while shopping with family in the Fes medina. His shop is directly across from the shop / workshop of another friend of ours and we chatted about home-stay programs and preservation of the medina, a sensitive subject to many of those still living inside of the medina walls.
V and I have travelled to Fes quite a few times since our arrival in Morocco. We’ve walked the narrow streets, navigated dark alleys and crowded into the Fassi souks with the best of them. We now have favorite restaurants and shops and know where the better deals are. According to one of my co-workers, I’ve been to Fes more times than most Moroccans! During our first visit to Fes I met Mohammed – a merchant whose family weaves cactus silk textiles and has occupied the same location in the medina for over 100 years – standing outside of his…
There’s a forge in the outskirts of the Fes medina that produces most of the ceramic bowls, tiles and tables found throughout the markets and souks of Fes and beyond. The forge is incredible in that the production process is demonstrated from start to finish, from the drying of the raw clay to the arrangement of hand-cut zellij tiles on ornate tables.
As I mentioned earlier, VR, WFD, JBG and I made a trip up to Fes for a weekend and scheduled a cooking class. Fatima, our ace cooking instructor, lead us on a fantastic shopping tour of the medina and then brought us back to her kitchen in Batha, a neighborhood within the Fes medina. The cooking? Epic. Fatima was a total pro, prepping about eight dishes and assigning responsibilities to the four of us to insure that the meal was finished all at the same time. Beyond her incredible organizational skills, I must point out that her cooking, err, our…
V and I recently played hosts to WFD and JBG, two guests yearning for distinctly different experiences in Morocco and with vastly different approaches to travel. The four of us drove to Fes for a weekend of cooking, shopping and enjoying the craziness of the medina. WFD and I ran off to the Fes medina during his last visit and ripped through it over the course of a day; we left completely spent with barely enough energy to perform the customary post-mortem on the day’s photographs. V had planned a cooking lesson for the four of us as the center…
We were treated with a quick tour of what was described as being the most well-respected and expensive Moroccan and Berber rug showroom in the entire country. The owners were beyond nice despite knowing that I am a few winning lottery tickets away from being able to afford any of their wares. A boy can dream, right?