Majid Bekkas, oud and guembri virtuoso, guitar professor and singer, has long been a star in his home country Morocco. Over the last few years, he has found his way into the European jazz scene through his collaborations with Archie Shepp, Louis Sclavis, Flavio Boltro or Klaus Doldinger. Abdelmajid Bekkas was born and still lives in Salé, Morocco. He studied classical guitar and oud at the National Conservatory of Music and Dance in Rabat and learnt Gnawa music through the teachings of the master Ba Houmane. Gnawa appeared in the 16th century. During the conquest of Sudan, Ahmed El Mansour Dahbi set up the first trading and cultural links between Timbuktu, near Zagora where Bekkas comes from, and Marrakech.
The secular music is still considered the "healer of souls" from Essaouira to Marrakech, easily
understandable when you listen to the spellbinding sound of Bekkas´ voice, guembri and guitar.
Like a watermark, the mystery of Africa can be felt in the backround, alongside the blues. Gnawa´s intact purity is the essence of the authenticity. By claiming to be part of Africa, the mother of the blues and ist numerous offspring such as funk, Bekkas is placing Gnawa in its primary dimension. By opening the spectrum (including elements of contemporary western music), Bekkas attains a universal status that is nurtured by the path he travelled. These include: jazz, alongside pioneers such as Peter Brötzmann, Archie Shepp, Flavio Boltro, Louis Sclavis.
Bekkas´ openness and ability to balance modernism and memory with a rare talent that knews no compromise, frees the music from the stamp of time. The memory is that of pain and wisdom, of songs that come from the slaves of Africa.
Melech Mechaya is a festive journey through klezmer music, with a contagious sound of arabian flavours, gypsy rythms and the yiddish tradition. From Hungary to Israel, from the Balcans to New York, those are parties and celebrations with standing audiences and empty chairs. Between laughter and dancing, this is great party not recommended to those with heart problems!
Considered nowadays as an independent style – yiddish music – klezmer music was born on the musical tradition of the Jewish culture, and was developed as from the fiftheenth century. Its repertoire comprehend many dance and celebration themes, as well as delicate and moving songs.
If “klezmer” referred only to musical instruments, its meaning was widened to the instrumentalists themselves (the “klezmorim”), and nowadays it means an almost universal music: from Hungary to Israel, from the Balcans to New York.
The klezmer music that is played by Melech Mechaya is characterized by contagious joy and rythm, with energetic and festive dances and celebrations. With roots in
ancient jewish traditions from the peoples of the East Europe, Melech Mechaya's klezmer includes the energy of the balcan music, the cadenza of the gypsy rythms, and the elegance of the arabian melodies.
01. Dodi Li
03. Bulgar De Almada (Com Tucanas)
04. Nigun 7
05. Dança Do Desprazer
06. Sweet Father
07. Rad Halaila
08. Budja Ba
09. Fado Tantz
10. Na Festa Do Rabi
11. Freylach 6.8
12. Hava Nagila
13. Melodia Da Rua
André Santos – Guitar;
Francisco Caiado – Percussion;
Joao Graça – Violin;
Joao Sovina – Double-bass;
Miguel Veríssimo – Clarinet.