Maâlem Hamid El Kasri
Very popular in Morocco and around the world, artist Hamid El Kasri is one of the pillars of the Gnaoua and World Music Festival. Vice-president of the Yerma Gnaoua Association, Maâlem Hamid El Kasri is one of most frequent performers on the Festival stages. His 2004 performance, in fusion with the brilliant late Austrian pianist Joe Zawinul, is etched in the history of the Festival. He would collaborate again with Karim Ziad, Hamayun Kahn and Shahin Shahida in 2011. In 2018, he opened the Festival with a fusion alongside the famous Brooklyn-based jam jazz group, Snarky Puppy. Born in 1961 in Ksar El Kebir in northern Morocco, he began his training with Maâlems Alouane and Abdelouahed Stitou, though his true passion originated with his grandmother’s husband, a Sudanese former slave. With his unique talent he is able to combine Gnaoua rhythms from both northern and southern Morocco. His deep, intense voice makes him one of the leading concert performers in the country. For this edition of the Festival, audiences will experience his performance in an exceptional fusion with genius saxophonist Jaleel Shaw, guitarist Torsten de Winkel, and Mustapha Antari.