BAB L’ BLUZ
10 June • MKC Dancing Hall, 22:00
YOUSRA MANSOUR lead vocal, awisha, guembri
BRICE BOTTIN guembri, guitar, backing vocals
BRAHIM TERKEMANI drums, trigger sampler, backing vocals
MEHDI YACHOU flute, percussions, backing vocals
With their name literally meaning ‘the gate to the blues', Bab L'Bluz honors the traditional North African blues, in a non-traditional way, straight from the heart of the Maghreb. Formed in Marrakesh in 2018, this quartet is inspired by Moroccan music traditions, which they combine with rock, contemporary sounds and Moroccan pop. Liking to be labelled as a psychedelic Moroccan rock band, they are at the same time ancient and current (traditional and contemporary), funky and rhythmic, all put together with soaring vocals and bass-heavy grooves. They are a band of French and Moroccan musicians led by the female vocalist Yousra Mansour, a declaration of intent from a band, which challenges the predominantly male tradition of Moroccan music. Yousra, who grew up in El Jadida, a fortified town on Morocco’s Atlantic coast, was exposed to a diverse range of musical styles, including those of Janis Joplin, Oumou Sangaré, and Erykah Badu. She also attended the annual Gnawa Festival in nearby Essawira and fell in love with the trance grooves of Gnawa music. Yousra mainly writes in Moroccan Darija and tackles current subjects and societal issues in her lyrics. Their first album Nayda!, released by Real World Records in June 2020, draws on a global stylistic melting-pot, from US psychedelia to Indian sitar riffs, down’n’dirty funk to classical Arabic poetry. It was acclaimed by critics and made the Mojo Top 10 World Album of the Year, and Songlines Best Albums of 2020.