“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.