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Sacred Music Festival in Fez Morocco

Updated on September 18, 2014

Have You Heard of the Sacred Music Festival in Morocco?

If you haven't heard of the Sacred Music Festival in Morocco, and you have an interest in World Music, Spirituality, or Travel, you really should check it out. The festival was begun as a way to honor all faiths through music. We may not agree on anything else, but music touches us where we live...in our hearts.

And, isn't that a wonderful place to connect? Let us honor each other's music, and therefore, honor each other. It makes my heart sing!

Here is a New Video From This Year's Festival!

Photos From the World Sacred Music Festival - Highlights From Past Festivals

Click thumbnail to view full-size
World Sacred Music Festival in Fez, MoroccoWorld Sacred Music Festival in Fez, MoroccoWorld Sacred Music Festival in Fez, MoroccoWorld Sacred Music Festival in Fez, MoroccoWorld Sacred Music Festival in Fez, MoroccoWorld Sacred Music Festival in Fez, MoroccoWorld Sacred Music Festival in Fez, MoroccoWorld Sacred Music Festival in Fez, MoroccoWorld Sacred Music Festival in Fez, MoroccoWorld Sacred Music Festival in Fez, Morocco
World Sacred Music Festival in Fez, Morocco
World Sacred Music Festival in Fez, Morocco
World Sacred Music Festival in Fez, Morocco
World Sacred Music Festival in Fez, Morocco
World Sacred Music Festival in Fez, Morocco
World Sacred Music Festival in Fez, Morocco
World Sacred Music Festival in Fez, Morocco
World Sacred Music Festival in Fez, Morocco
World Sacred Music Festival in Fez, Morocco
World Sacred Music Festival in Fez, Morocco
World Sacred Music Festival in Fez, Morocco
World Sacred Music Festival in Fez, Morocco
World Sacred Music Festival in Fez, Morocco
World Sacred Music Festival in Fez, Morocco
World Sacred Music Festival in Fez, Morocco
World Sacred Music Festival in Fez, Morocco
World Sacred Music Festival in Fez, Morocco
World Sacred Music Festival in Fez, Morocco
World Sacred Music Festival in Fez, Morocco
World Sacred Music Festival in Fez, Morocco

More on the Sacred Music Festival

An Article from NPR - 2004

Morning Edition , March 18, 2004 - Ten years ago, after the Gulf War, two Islamic scholars decided to start an interfaith music festival in Morocco to promote peace. The Fez Festival of World Sacred Music is now a celebrated institution in world music circles, and for the first time, it's going on a 17-city tour of the United States. NPR's Neda Ulaby attended the event at its first stop, in Washington, D.C.

More than 1,000 years old, Fez is the world's most ancient medieval city, and has been a meeting point for countless cultures since the 8th century. Reflecting the city's history, the Fes Festival (the French spelling of the city's name) celebrates the mixing of cultures and world faiths. Emblematic of this interchange is performer Francoise Atlan, who sings the music of Sephardic Jews displaced from Spain five centuries ago. She performs at Fes with two Arabs - one an American Christian, one a Moroccan Muslim.

The festival has never been just about music; it has always had a socio-political side. Performers have included Brazilian Gilberto Gil and South African Miriam Makeba, both political exiles at some point. Past festivals have also featured whirling dervishes, dancing monks from Tibet, Russian Orthodox and British Anglican choirs, and an American gospel group from Georgia.

As accessible as the festival tries to be, not everyone can travel to Fez. That's why on its 10th anniversary, the festival has hit the road. Festival founders felt a particular urgency to broaden the audience given the intensified conflict in the Middle East. The event promotes discussion, both informally and through public colloquia where artists, authors and academics gather to discuss music, democracy, development and religion.

Ultimately, organizers hope to highlight the common values that link world faiths - despite the many atrocities, large and small, that have been committed in the name of religion.

Music and Books from Amazon - From the Sacred Music Festivals of Recent Years

Sawt-e-Sarmad
Sawt-e-Sarmad

Product Description

Music remains the one universal language that every human inhabits. It requires no interpretation, and yet its simplicity of spirit and importance to the soul is often overlooked by its definition as genre: Pop... World... Classical... Jazz. At its essence, music is the first and most precious act of nature. For man, it is the path to the divine.

Sawt-e-Sarmad or the sound that intoxicates man, according to Sufi tradition, is abstract by nature. Its vibrations exist on another level - too fine to be seen or heard. In Morocco, The Fès Festival Of World Sacred Music gathers musicians and thinkers from many faiths and traditions in an attempt to seek out this cosmic symphony... both on stage, and in forums for dialogue on pressing global issues.

This work is a visual and aural interpretation of the space that for many remains undefined. Like the medieval medina of Fès, it is a journey through a labyrinth of color and texture, with winding paths that abruptly end with the sudden and miraculous opening of the beginning.

 
Hamdulillah: Fes Festival Of World Sacred Music, Vol. II
Hamdulillah: Fes Festival Of World Sacred Music, Vol. II

Recorded at the 1997 and 1998 Fes Festivals of World Sacred Music in Fes, Morrocco, Hamdulillah (an Arabic word meaning "Praise be to Allah") captures the unique ancient musics of Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Christians, and Hindustanis. Performed by renowned musicians and vocalists, primarily from the Middle East and North Africa, this extraordinary two-CD set radiates spiritual praise and bristles with musical virtuosity. Javanese gamelan, Jewish Sephardic, a bit of Christian, and various branches of Sufi devotional music--even the obsure muqam from Azerbaijan--are spotlighted.

The velvety voice of Amina Alaoui singing Spanish-rooted Andalusian Gharnati music greets the listener before they are guided over the craggy peaks of vigorous ensemble pieces (Taqtouqa Al Jabalyya and Begonia Olavide) and into the valleys of meditative vocal offerings (Alin Qassimov and Albert Bouhadanna), before resting at the stream of lovely, tinkling gamelan music. Singer Monajat Yulcheva's track particularly stands out for her pure tones and vocal mastery: she raises song from the well of her throat and sends it soaring to the desert sky. And if Yulcheva's expert fluttering doesn't do it for you, the 39-minute piece from the Whirling Dervishes of Konya will. Beginning with sparsely accompanied vocals, this 26-man ensemble of musicians, singers, and dancers take their time in building from slow, warm chant to a portentous, wavering march before finally sparking into a throbbing ecstastic fire. Hamdulillah (in addition to being the bargain-priced CD of the year) may be 1998's most unique recording yet. --Karen Karleski

 
World Festival Of Sacred Music
World Festival Of Sacred Music

A compilation from various artists who participated in the World Festival of Sacred Music! A delicious sampler of the sacred.

 
B'Ismillah (in the Name of God): Fes Festival of World Sacred Music
B'Ismillah (in the Name of God): Fes Festival of World Sacred Music

B'ismillah: World Sacred Music

The most inspired music on the planet finds its highest expression at the annual Fes Festival of World Sacred Music. B’ismillah ("in the name of God") brings together the highlights of this landmark event. B’ismillah documents music from the world’s most accomplished artists in many traditions, including Pakistani qawwali chants dating back to the 11th century; Egyptian madih odes; flamenco style Christian saeta that are shot "like an arrow" into the heart of God; ancient gwalior chants from the north of India; and the mystical music that transforms mere mortals into the whirling dervishes of the Sufi tradition. Utterly authentic, B’ismillah radiates a divine presence beyond the artificial boundaries of maps and politics, into the hearts of world music lovers everywhere. Live digital recording.

World Music "In the Name of God"

Featuring:

• Sama’ – Sufism’s sacred chants

• Tribal Drums from the Sahara

• Madih: Chanted Poetry of Islam

• Sufi Qawwali Singers

• Saeta Flamenco Songs of the Catholic Liturgy

• Oud (lute) Songs of Andalusia

• Chants of the Berber Tribes

Captured Live as It Happened!

About the Festival Organization

The Fes Festival of World Sacred Music is organized each year by The Fes-Saiss Association for Cultural, Social, and Economic Development. A non-governmental organization and "peace messenger," Fes-Saiss is dedicated to artistic vitality and preservation; the mobilization of human and material resources; regional, national, and international cooperation; and the social and economic welfare of rural and urban children, youth, and women. Fes-Saiss may be reached at its headquarters in Fes, Morocco at: Sidi el Khayat, B.P. 629, 3000 Fes, Morocco. Legacy International coordinated the North American outreach for the 1996 World Sacred Music Festival in Fes, Morocco. Founded in 1979, Legacy International is a non-profit, non-governmental organization affiliated with the United Nations Department of Public Information.

 
Fez Festival of World Sacred Music
Fez Festival of World Sacred Music

A compilation from various artists who participated in the World Festival of Sacred Music! A delicious sampler of the sacred. Imported.

 

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Have you ever been to this festival? - Please share your experiences!

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    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 8 years ago

      Great lens, but you knew that :) Just wanted to remind you that this is featured on Interfaith - religious dialogue Headquarters

      https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/groups-in

      It's now transformed into a lensography and I would love it if you could show your appreciation by featuring it here, or lensrolling it or something.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Great lens about a wonderful sounding festival. Lensrolling to my Sunday School Songs and I hope you will add it to the plexo on my Festivals, Fairs, and Other Special Events lens. Thank you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I really enjoyed this lens. I feel refresh right now, there's a good spirit here!

      Great topic!

      Susie

    • sunworld lm profile image

      sunworld lm 8 years ago

      Fascinating. What a unique blend of music and cultures. Thanks for sharing. 5***

    • profile image

      tdove 8 years ago

      Thanks for joining G Rated Lense Factory!