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Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall 11.11 (Sat) 8pm

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The Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar

11.11 (Sat) 8pm

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Approx. 1 hour 30 minutes without intermission


The Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar

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“One of the most musically inspiring groups still left on the planet”
— Mick Jagger, The Rolling Stones

“Intricate, hypnotic, beautiful. And if you're in the right frame of mind, mesmerising”
— Anthony Bourdain, Chef, Author, and TV personality

Enter a magical Moroccan soundscape first created more than 1,000 years ago

Jajouka is a Sufi Muslim village in the mountains of northern Morocco and home to an amazing musical tradition over 1,000 years old. Here, hereditary musicians employ local instruments such as the ghaita (double reed),lira (bamboo flute), gimbri (fourstringed lute), bendir (hand drum) and tebel (double-skinned drum) to conjure up intoxicating ritual music. Works are interwoven with complex rhythms and melodic themes that transport listeners to a transcendent realm. From the 1950s onwards, the multi-patterned sound has inspired Western avant-garde painters, writers and musicians, including Brion Gysin, Paul Bowles, William Burroughs, Brian Jones, the Rolling Stones and Ornette Coleman, to journey to Jajouka. They in turn have helped spread the village’s special musical heritage internationally.

Viewed as an inherited calling, Jajouka performers begin their training at a young age and take a lifetime to reach the level of a master. For generations, the Attar family served as prestigious court musicians to the Moroccan Sultans. In 1982, Bachir Attar took over the Master Musicians of Jajouka from his father. The group has gone on to achieve global acclaim, undertaking world tours and recordings with many celebrated artists, and receiving Canada’s Prix Miroir for World Music in 2008. The ensemble’s repertoire includes traditional and newly arranged works, along with pieces specifically preserved by the Attar family. A wonderful opportunity to experience first-hand the enigmatic sounds that have entranced so many other legendary artists!

Fast Fact:
Origins of Jajouka Music
According to myth, the very first member of the Attar family arrived in Jajouka and fell asleep in a cave. The cavern belonged to Boujeloud, a goat-man deity, whose enchanting music entered the sleeping man’s dream. When he awoke, he brought the music back to the village where it has been passed down the generations. The tomb of Islamic saint Sidi Ahmed Sheikh is also located in Jajouka and the villagers believe this has bestowed healing power on their music.
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Related Info

  • Meet-the-artist session after the performance
  • With lecture demonstration and foyer performance
  • Photo: Cherie Nutting

The Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar

Lecture Demonstration

The exhilarating, ritualistic, trance-like music from Jajouka in northern Morocco has attracted Western artistic celebrities to visit the village and seek collaborations over the past decades. In this presentation, members of the Master Musicians of Jajouka talk about the music’s history and cultural significance. They will also play excerpts to illustrate the special characteristics and performance techniques associated with different instruments.

Kwan Yin-yee
(Music Librarian, University of Hong Kong)

Bachir Attar

10.11 (Fri) 7:30pm-8:30pm
map hoverHong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall Backstage Level 7 CR1
In English with Cantonese interpretation
Free admission. Limited seats, available on a first-come-first-served basis

Foyer Performance

Have a taste of the trance-like music as musicians from Jajouka showcase their mesmerising traditional repertoire.
11.11 (Sat) 3pm-3:30pm
map hoverHong Kong Cultural Centre Foyer
Free admission