Early Bird Tickets For Master Musicians Of Joujouka Festival 2020 Booking Now

Master Musicians of Joujouka at the 2019 Festival – photo by Syd Howells

Tickets for the 2020 edition of the Master Musicians of Joujouka Festival are available now at 2019 prices.

The three-day festival in Joujouka, Morocco, will be held from Friday, 5th to Sunday, 7th June 2020 and is limited to 50 full ticket holders.

Guests will be collected at Ksar El Kebir train station on Friday, 5th June and dropped off after the festival on Monday, 8th June before 12 noon.

Places include accommodation and full board.

The 13th annual festival in the village follows the 2019 edition that marked 50 years since the death of Brian Jones. As founder and lead guitarist of The Rolling Stones, Brian was musical icon and in the world of Joujouka, Brian is a mythical figure and remains real in song and memory.

Live In Paris, a live recording of the Master Musicians of Joujouka 2016 performance to coincide with the Beat Generation exhibition at Centre Pompidou is set for release later this year via Unlistenable Recordings.

For more information and to book tickets click here to pay for a deposit (non-refundable) or a full ticket which is refundable minus deposit until 26th April 2020. After this date places are forfeit. Tickets are non-exchangeable and may not be resold.

For any other enquiries regarding your trip email Master Musicians of Joujouka Manager Frank Rynne at: joujouka@gmail.com

The Wire report and recordings from Master Musicians of Joujouka festival

Boujeloud at the Master Musicians of Joujouka festival – photo by Syd Howells

A report on the Master Musicians of Joujouka festival in June is featured in the September 2019 issue of The Wire magazine.

Wire contributor Daniel Spicer attended the festival (the first of two festivals held in the village this summer) and wrote an On Location report.

Read an extract here:

“Visiting the village of Joujouka in the Rif mountains of northern Morocco feels like entering a mythic zone, a locus outside of time. The Sufi trance musicians who have made the village famous have been a living tradition here, playing a music handed down from one generation to the next, for thousands of years.”

“Time is suspended. Drums and rhaita penetrate the endless night. Forget about notions of authenticity. Witnessing these musical mystics locked in eternal struggle with capricious Boujeloud is a chance to transcend the ephemeral and connect with deep human truths. It’s as real as it gets.”

The Wire website has also published a mix of live music recorded at the festival by Daniel Spicer.

Listen to Live recordings: Joujouka special

“I recorded this music in the village of Joujouka, in the Rif mountains of Northern Morocco, using a hand-held Zoom recorder,” explains Spicer. “The first part features drummers and flute players and was recorded on Sunday 26 June 2019 possibly some time in the late morning or early afternoon (time has less of a definite meaning in Joujouka). This gently undulating music is how the Masters Musicians Of Joujouka prefer to begin a day of music making. The second part captures the last 40 minutes of a high-energy, hour-and-a-half performance by drummers and players of a double-reed horn called a rhaita. It was recorded in the early hours of Saturday 25 June 2019, ending some time around 2:30am. Once the performance reaches its crescendo, the village settles into silence and the music is over for another day.”

Master Musicians of Joujouka on this recording: rhaita players Mohamed El Attar, Abdellah Ziyat, Abdeslam Rrtoubi , Mustapha Selmouni, El Touhami Talha, Mohamed Mokhchan, Ali Ezouglali and Abdeslam Bata; tebel players Ahmed El Attar, Ahmed Talha, El Khalil Radi, El Ayachi Guennouni, Mefedel Chlouchi and Mohamed Majdobi, and Mohamed El Hatmi performing as Boujeloud.

Recording copyright Master Musicians of Joujouka/Schut Productions all rights reserved

The September 2019 issue of The Wire magazine is available now from all good newsagents. More information on The Wire website

Early bird tickets are available now for next year’s festival in Joujouka, Morocco to be held from 5-7 June 2020. For booking and more information visit here

National Geographic feature on the Master Musicians of Joujouka and Music in Morocco

Master Musicians of Joujouka Live At The Beat Hotel – photo Justin Gardner (courtesy @beat_hotel)

The Master Musicians of Joujouka are featured in the August/September 2019 edition of National Geographic Traveller.

The article Music in Morocco: The ultimate sonic journey is a major feature on trance music by Mickey Rapkin.

The article explores different kinds of traditional music from across Morocco and how “the past very much informs the present, with a new generation of artists emerging in thrilling ways”.

The Master Musicians of Joujouka and Manager Frank Rynne were interviewed for the article at the Beat Hotel Festival in Marrakesh earlier this year.

Read an from the article extract here:

“This story begins like all good ones do, with a 66-year-old man standing on stage, dressed as a goat.

It is late March, and I’ve come to Morocco, in part, to see a rare public performance by the Master Musicians of Joujouka, a group of traditional Sufi trance artists from a remote corner south of the Rif Mountains who have nevertheless captivated the world. Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones recorded the Masters in their village in the late ’60s. William S. Burroughs and Timothy Leary famously dubbed them “the 4,000-year-old rock band.” More recently, Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins spent a week just observing them.

The Masters’ brand of ancient trance isn’t simply entertaining. It’s also said to have healing powers. The half man, half goat who is part of their act is called Bou Jeloud, and according to folklore, if he hits you with a stick during a performance, you will get pregnant. More on that soon.

I return to Marrakech just in time to see the Master Musicians of Joujouka perform at the Beat Hotel festival, held on the grounds of a chic 27-acre boutique hotel outside of town. In addition to the Masters, the lineup includes upstart DJs from Casablanca, pop-up restaurants, and a spa tent offering yoga. The transition is jarring. British party kids with sunburned skin and vape pens sit around a pool. The Wi-Fi password is MOONLIGHT. This isn’t what Burroughs or the Beat poets imagined. But it is a bold mash-up of genres and experiences come to life.

The Masters—who range in age from late 40s to 86—take the stage after ten o’clock, under a white tent with a top-tier sound system and a serious light rig. The 13 men are dressed in jellabas. They carry drums and reed instruments and sit in a single row of chairs facing the crowd. The music is visceral, the high-pitch whir of the lira flutes like a snake worming its way through my earholes and taking hold of my brain stem. Historically, this brand of Sufi trance had been used to entertain the court of the sultan. It was also performed to inspire soldiers prior to battle. Which makes sense. It is that loud from the first drumbeat.

The Masters play nonstop for two hours, with more energy than men half their age. An hour into the show, Bou Jeloud—the half man, half goat—finally appears. The man under all that goatskin is called Mohamed El Hatmi. He’s 66 years old, and he’s been dressing up as this furry icon for more than 35 years. He measures a hair under five feet tall. But he is superhuman, climbing down into the crowd and running back and forth among the people, shaking his sticks in the air.”

Read the full article at National Geographic Traveller here