Majid Bekkas was raised in a Gnawa family in Salé, on the Atlantic coast of Morocco. where he began playing the guimbri in healing ceremonies. Inspired by the traditional-pop fusion of the group Nass El Ghiwane in the '70s, he began to branch out, and never stopped. Playing guitar and guimbri and singing in a variety of styles, he has worked with popular, jazz and experimental musicians. Fours years ago he emerged as a talent in his own right.
His albums African Gnaoua Blues (Igloo, 2001) and Mogador (Igloo, 2004) show links both to the American bluesman John Lee Hooker and the Malian guitarist Ali Farka Touré. Bekkas is fascinated by the similarities between Gnawa and blues, both musical genres created by African slaves in a foreign cultural context. When an African musician hears black music from America, he notices kinship. He can play the same tune, but with a different feeling. A transcultural discharge occurs, soft blue notes cascading like summer lightning.
Resembling American blues, also Bekkas's songs have the power of personal statement. On stage, he switches guitar with the traditional Gnawa guimbri. A wooden flute and percussion complete very intimate soundscape. If you are looking for Taj Mahal with African charm, meet Majid Bekkas.» (Respectmusic.cz)
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