The Jemaa el-Fnaa

To complement my story of the music in Morocco running in the Independent this weekend, here’s a brief collection of images from my trip to Marrakesh.

I’ve visited the city just once before, and for this trip I was actually staggered at the quality of some of the music on the square. The weekend I visited, many of the Gnawa musicians were away preparing for a festival; instead it was mainly Berber, Amerigh music; most of the photos are of Hassan Khontija, from Agadir.

This is a poignant location in terms of Brian Jones’s history; he’d told the other Stones about Morocco, but during their first collective trip to the country, Mick and Keith did their infamous flit, with Anita Pallenberg, after asking Brion Gysin to distract Brian by taking him around the square. The next time he returned to Marrakesh, Brian didn’t even venture out to the square. Still, this music, this location, was a lodestone of his life.

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