In Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, the great musical tradition that is labelled Arabo-Andalousian has developed many different forms.  Al-ala from Morocco, Gharnati from Tlemcen and Oran, San’â from Algeria and finally Malouf from Constantine and Tunisia – there are so many facets to an art that, despite its far-off Andalousian origins, has remained at the heart of the Maghreb’s musical aesthetic.  This expression, which is truly Arabic, has also mixed in diverse ways with local traditions, notably the Berber, thus giving birth to new music that responds to the needs of its time.

Three evenings are only enough to hint at the diversity of the Maghreb’s perfumes….Salim Fergani represents that great malouf tradition of Constantine, while Yousra Dhahbi represents that of Tunisia, with a programme that has been especially put together for the occasion.  As for the two Moroccan singers, they illustrate two very different aspects of Moroccan culture: the Tamazight (Berber) tradition from the Atlas region with Hadda Ouakki, and the melhoun (Arabic sung-poetry) with Touria Hadraoui, who presents a very personal version of it.

Laurent Aubert (Trans. Emma Johnson)