Rikki Stein publishes musical memoirs including managing the Master Musicians of Joujouka

Moving Music – The Memoirs of Rikki Stein available now.

Former Master Musicians of Joujouka manager Rikki Stein has published his memoirs, including his time spent living and working with the group in their village in Morocco.

Moving Music – The Memoirs of Rikki Stein is published this month by Wordville.

Rikki lived in Joujouka for a time during the early 1970s, including the period when Ornette Coleman visited the village to make recordings later released on the album, Dancing In Your Head (1977).

In 1980 Rikki organised a 30-date tour of Europe for the Master Musicians of Joujouka, taking a 30-strong ensemble on the road, that included a show in Glastonbury.

In 2011, Rikki renewed his relationship with the Master Musicians of Joujouka and returned to Glastonbury, working with manager Frank Rynne and the current group, whose leader Ahmed El Attar was part of the 1980 tour. This time the group opened the Glastonbury Festival on the Pyramid Stage – a feat repeated in the summer of 2023.

The press statement for the book release said: “Renowned music manager, Rikki Stein, has spent nearly six decades moving musicians around the world, and this book recounts a lifetime of adventure on the road. Always in the right place at the right time, Rikki was part of the great countercultural moments of the last century, from Woodstock and the Vietnam War Moratorium March to the launch Glastonbury Festival.

“Rikki has toured some of the world’s most iconic musicians and groups, fromThe Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Kinks, The Animals, The Yardbirds , The Moody Blues and the Grateful Dead to managing the Nigerian superstar, Fela Kuti, and many other iconic artists.

“Rikki’s journey is also a spiritual one, forged by his experience of living among the community of the Musicians of Joujouka, Morocco, who remain a key connection in his life to this day.

“Full of extraordinary, sometimes hilarious, stories of life on the road, this book recounts the joys, frustrations and surprises of juggling logistics, local politics and the whims of his creative clients to deliver true moments of moving music.”

In a review of the book forAll About Jazz, Chris May said: “In 1971, after helping mount the legendary free concert the Grateful Dead put on at the Château d’Hérouville in France, Stein moved to Morocco, where he spent much of 1971-73 living with the Master Musicians in Joujouka in the Rif mountains. It was through being in Morocco that he first got to know Brion Gysin, with whom he later formed a closer friendship back in London. In 1980 Stein organized the first of several international tours by the Master Musicians, including a five-night residency at London’s late lamented Commonwealth Institute.”

A book launch event featuring Rikki Stein in conversation with Kunle Olulode MBE will be held at the British Library in London from 6pm on Friday, 21st June.

Moving Music – The Memoirs of Rikki Stein, published by Wordville, is available to order here

“A healing encounter” with the Master Musicians of Joujouka – The Arts Desk report on June festival

Master Musicians of Joujouka, June 2024 – photo by Syd Howells

WOMAD founder Mark Kidel reports from the June edition of the festival in the village for The Arts Desk.

A report on the June edition of the Master Musicians of Joujouka festival has been published in The Arts Desk.

“Ancient Sufi music works its eternal magic,” said WOMAD founder Mark Kidel in his report, which can be read in full here.

Kidel writes: “The Master Musicians of Joujouka play music that’s centuries-old, not as folk revivalists, but in a living tradition that offers healing and transformation as well as sublime entertainment.

“For three days in June, the 50 ticket-holders are hosted by the musicians’ families, served delicious home-cooked meals, and welcomed with the warm hospitality typical of the Maghreb.

“As festival organiser Frank Rynne explains, “I don’t tell them when to play. They do it whenever they feel like, and for as long as they like.” For those who like the comfort of a pre-arranged schedule, for music or eating, this can be a little unsettling. But this is the way, as anyone who’s spent any time on Morocco will know. You have to enjoy going with the flow.

“For this is music about letting go, the pre-requisite for good psychological and physical health.

“The Master Musicians produce exquisitely crafted music, as intricate and beautiful as the zelij tilework that runs through Islamic architecture, calibrated to release the mind and body, and ultimately to heal.”

The festival scheduled for 23-25 May 2025 is now sold out. Please email joujouka@gmail.com to be added for waiting list for a potential second festival, or late places if they become available.

Master Musicians of Joujouka Festival 23-5 May 2025 is SOLD OUT but the waiting list is open

The Master Musisans of Joujouka Festival 23-5 June is sold out for first tier bookings. From 2024 we have reduced the festival capasity from 50 to 35 to enhance the experience and thus demand quickly outstrips the capacity.  To join the waiting list for a potential second festival or pick up on cancellations email joujouka@gmail.com with Festival 25 in subject line.