The Festival has energized the Gnaoua musicians who are impatiently waiting for the date of Fetstival. They are working on repertoires for the stage, preparing their best outfits or having them specially made for the occasion. Today, I perform all over the world and I'm proud to say Iam Gnaoui. Before, we only talked about rituals, about a poor community, now this music is perceived as a wealth.
I am not here to teach people, but rather to learn from the great masters of the deep-rooted Gnawa music.
The Gnaoua Festival enabled the gnaoui to make himself known internationally, to make his music known and to play alongside great international artists.
The Gnaoua music is the Moroccan gospel. Jazz, Brazilian music, everything fits into this music.
The Festival has helped promote Gnawa music and has given it a new dimension.
This is a new experience for us to mix our music with the Moroccan music style. It's very different but it's also very similar. Music is universal.
May this Festival last forever and keep alive the flame of old and new music and the wonderful cultural diversity.
It‘s a real pleasure to be invited to the Essaouira Festival and to have the opportunity to sing with the great Gnaoua masters.
The Essaouira Festival is becoming the biggest festival in Africa, if it isn't already the case ... Gnawa music leads to spiritual elevation.
I was conquered by Gnawa music from the very first time I listened to it in Marrakech. I was blown away when I listened to Maâlem Sam, God rest his soul. You need to realize that African music is non-existent in the Mashreq. There's no other Arab country that has this wealth of mystical popular music.
The Festival has enabled Gnaoua to better express their music in an artistic, scientific and spiritual way.
This is the best festival memory I have had for years. Nowdays, the hosting of the artists is becoming automated. In Essaouira, it's the opposite.
We should not forget the desire on the part of the Festival to be a popular one with an open and large audience, the number of concerts is not a significant factor, but the quality of the performances and their coherence are of the essence
There were times when we were doing a bit of searching, we listened... and then came the moments we were looking for, the real trance and musical symbiosis.
I feel very much concerned by the history of the Gnaoua because this music comes from Mali. So it's a great source of pride for me to be here and I admit I've wanted for a long time to share a project with Gnawa musicians.
I spent in Essaouira some of the happiest days of my life. (Died in September 11, 2007)
These Gnaoua musicians are genuine scientists.
This festival is just incredible, the atmosphere, the mood, music from everywhere, and the Gnawa music is so incredible... I love it.
Gnawas were locked far away from most people. The Essaouira Festival helped reveal them.
This festival stirred in me the desire and the will to get to know Gnaoua even better.
The aim of the festival is to open up the world of Gnawa musicians to the World.
Thanks to the Gnaoua Festival, "tagnaouite" has become an international music, it has acquired world value.
It was one of my best experiences as a musician. So many things will stay with me forever. Those who organize this festival do it with love, despite the difficulties, and the results are just incredible.
I'm very moved to be here at this Festival on this African land, the land of Gnaoua. It's a culture that I respect a lot and that I want to discover further more. This is a magical city, I never imagined a city like this could exist.
It's fantastic, it is similar to my country, India. Nothing is close, nothing is far, we are but ONE!
I've never experienced a festival like this one in the 13 years I have been touring around the world. "Moreover, I'm very touched to see that the festival team is mostly made up of young women doing their best for their country.
This is the world's first jam session festival! My love affair with Essaouira actually started with an unforgettable fusion of several hours fifteen years ago with a certain Abdeslam Alikane. Because of that encounter, a whole new world opened up to me. It's probably the most exciting festival I've ever been called upon to perform in.