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Morocco: the Gnaoua festival " upholds the values of humanity ".

Members of traditional Gnawa bands and dancers take part in a parade on the streets during the opening ceremony of the 24th edition of the Gnaoua World Music Festival in Essao   -  
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FADEL SENNA/AFP or licensors


The Gnaoua musiques festival is rooted in Moroccan tradition.

In Essaouira, on the Atlantic coast, this year's celebration aims to highlight and bring together the ancestral art of Gnaoua, building bridges with jazz and blues and attracting a young, urban audience.

With its mission to consecrate the values of humanity, living together and fraternity, this festival has become a benchmark in the country.

A spiritual music originally performed by the descendants of slaves in the Maghreb, it was included on UNESCO's list of intangible heritage in 2019.

The program for this 24th edition included artists such as Cuban guitarist Eliades Ochoa of the legendary Buena vista social club, Pakistani singer Faiz Ali Faiz and Belgian reggae musician Selah Sue.

The festivities kicked off with a parade of Gnaoua musicians around Essaouira's old town. Last year, for the first time in its history, the organizers opted for a travelling festival which, after an initial stopover in Essaouira, took the musicians to Marrakech, Casablanca and Rabat.

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