Monday, June 22, 2015

"Most Exclusive Dance Party in the World" Master Musicians of Joujouka Festival dates for 2016 15-17 June

The Master Musicians of Joujouka Fetsival will take place from 15-17 June and is booking now on

Master Musicians of Joujouka Festival 15-17 July 2016

According to Rolling Stone magazine  the Master Musicians of Joujouka's micro festival is the Most Exclusive Dance Party in the World

see Suzanne Greber's

Inside the Oldest, Most Exclusive Dance Party in the World
JoujoukaRead more: us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook
High in the southern Rif mountains of northern Morocco, just before midnight, a buzz begins to radiate through the groups of sprawled attendees decked out in colorful robes, hippie skirts and flowing Western clothes. Wordlessly we edge up from supine to seated, and rearrange ourselves in casual semicircles, all eyes on the 13 men in ceremonial brown djellabas parading up the front of the stage, which is to say the carpeted chill-out area of a three-sided tent done up in red and green tribal fabric.

SIDEBARBrian Jones Rolling StonesBrian Jones: Sympathy for the Devil »Horn squeals and drum taps puncture the silence, come faster and gradually knit into melody and rhythm. A yowl of high-pitched ghaita horns pierces the air, reverberating from every direction, despite the lack of walls. Five different kinds of drums thunder into a rhythm, then syncopate and alternate, creating layers of polyrhythms.
Almost involuntarily, people make their way to their feet and begin dancing to the pounding drums, the energy among the audience escalating until it's reached the same fever pitch as the players'. And just when it seems like the music is reaching a climax, rhythms change, horns shift gears and the tsunami of sound starts to recede and slowly build all over again.
This continues for a couple hours, until just like that, the music stops. Dancers inch their way to their spots on the carpet as the musicians, still glued to their chairs, ritualistically refill their spindly wooden Sebsi pipes and smile beatifically at one other and at the audience, who are flashing Cheshire cat grins right back at them.
Welcome to the eighth annual Master Musicians of Joujouka "micro" music festival; held in the stunningly isolated Ahl Srif region of Morocco's Rif Mountains, it has become a destination event for impassioned fans around the globe. Each year, a growing number of musicians, world-music devotees and the curious stumble upon this tiny gathering (ticket sales are strictly limited to 50), many returning annually. They come to watch and dance to the village's 15 or 20 master (or malikim in Arabic) musicians performing the tribe's traditional music.
In the early 1950s, the Masters were renowned in their tribal region, but not much beyond. All that changed when writer Paul Bowles and Canadian artist Brion Gysin, based in the expat mecca of Tangier, stumbled upon the MMJ at a Sufi festival, fell in love with the music and befriended the Masters through their painter friend Mohamed Hamri, who had familial ties to Joukouka.
By making the MMJ the house band at their Tangier restaurant, Gysin and Hamri introduced them to the likes of Timothy Leary, William Burroughs and other American beats, as well as the Rolling Stones, which then included guitarist Brian Jones. Jones, instantly enamored, went on to produce their first album, Brian Jones Presents the Pipes of Pan, just before his death in 1969. Depending which source you believe, either Leary or Burroughs dubbed the MMJ "a 4,000-year-old rock & roll band."
Shortly after that, jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman arrived to record with the Masters. In the 1980s, they played at England's Glastonbury Festival and elsewhere on a wild three-month tour. Slowly they built an international following, which came to include Frank Rynne from Dublin, who first visited the village in 1994 to produce a record (Joujouka Black Eyes) and has been their manager ever since, producing more albums, organizing tours and, for the past eight years, the festival.
* * *
Music's been an integral part of Joujouka since there's been a Joujouka. Much of the history is shrouded in the same mist that rings the mountain landscape every morning and after it rains. But there's consensus about the arrival of 15th-century Sufi saint Sidi Ahmed Schiech from Persia or Spain (a likely refugee of the Inquisition), who wrote music that had the power to heal disturbed minds. Today's Masters are said to be able to heal through that same music.
Then there's Boujeloud, a Pan-like half-goat man who's known throughout Morocco, and who, according to myth, gave the gift of flute music to the master musicians. Every spring, he would come out of his cave and dance during the "feast week" that honored the Sufi saint, and bring fertility. The man who's played this shamanic role for the past 47 years is an unassuming villager named Mohamed Hatmi. If you passed him on the dirt road, you might dismiss him as a simple man with little opportunity for self-expression. You would be very, very wrong.
Dressed in goatskin from head to knee, wearing a woven witchy hat and brandishing swaths of tree branches, gyrating onstage to the band's cacophonous fusillade, Hatmi-as-Boujeloud is larger than life. His hips operate independently from the rest of his perhaps four foot, 10 inch frame, and he seems to be plugged into some infinite energy source. He thrashes musicians and when he races up to children in the audience, the blood drains from their faces as they flee in terror.
As Joujouka's musical tradition has evolved from its tribal roots into an international concern, two factions have emerged who call themselves the Master Musicians. One group, led by Bachir Attar, whose father was the leader during the Jones era and who no longer resides in the village, has spent decades blocking the efforts of the local contingent (currently led by the bass drummer Ahmed el Attar) to call themselves the Masters and perform as such. It's been challenging for them, but ironically, has led to greater exposure and acclaim.
As Rynne puts it in his unmistakable brogue, "The festival began to give the Master Musicians of Joujouka a voice and a place where they could show people that they were truly the masters of their village and their music. For their own community, it shows the younger generation that there is a future in the music, as each year people come from across the world and show devotion to their parents' playing, culture and hospitality. And they want it to continue. They feel this music in their hearts; it's in their blood."
Read more:

BOOK NOW for 15-17 July 2016 with drop off Monday 18th July WWW.JOUJOUKA.ORG

Friday, April 17, 2015

Record Store Day Special Release 1000 vinyl LPs Master Musicians of Joujouka Into the Ahl Srif

The first record of new material available on vinyl since 1978. Focusing on the trance-inducing rhaita music of the fertility rites of Boujeloud, this eschews the highly edited, special effects approach of Brian Jones Presents The Pipes Of Pan At Joujouka in favor of a raw, untampered transmission. This LP takes a closer look than ever before at the most cacophonous, droning, & deeply psychedelic side of their music. Available 18 April 2015


Sunday, April 12, 2015

preview track Master Musicians of Joujouka new LP Into the Ahl Srif limited edition of 1000 available 18 April

The first new LP on vinyl of The Master Musicans of Joujouka since 1975 will be out 18 April to coincide with record store day. Recorded by acclaimed artist Adrian Rew see The Wire
Into the Ahl Srif includes hard core performances form the Boujeloud ritual by the current traditional artist Masters of the village.
A preview is available on the Ergot Records soundcloud

The 8th Master Musicians of Joujouka Festival  June 5-7 2015 has some places left booking on
inquiries re booking, the festival and the LP email

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Master Musicians of Joujouka Festival explored by The Independent UK. Nov 2014 and June 2015 Booking now open!

Paul Trynka, former editor of Mojo and Q and author of the definitive biographies of David Bowie, Iggy Pop and now Brian Jones has written a major feature review on the Beat in Morocco featuring his experiences at The Master Musicians of Joujouka Festival.

The house where Brian Jones stayed in Joujouka. Photo by Paul Trynka.
As evening falls, the musicians walk into the tent in formal, almost military robes. From the first beat the music is arresting, melodies carried by seven or eight rhaita, oboe-like pipes – the pipes of Pan – flanked by five or six drummers playing tbel, primitive military-style drums. Pipers play a call and response; over the next five or six hours, then three successive nights, I hear hundreds of melodies, some surely blues or folk, some impossibly alien, while the drums boom out relentlessly hypnotic polyrhythms. The volume is overwhelming – your ears ring, your brain shakes, your teeth rattle. I've lost all consciousness of time, when suddenly a new energy fills the air – a goat-skinned apparition leaps on stage and the pipes distort into a rush of noise, like a Jimi Hendrix guitar solo. Bou Jeloud dances across the tent, shaking his hips in front of the musicians, who sweat with the intensity of their work. The little goat-skinned creature taunts musicians and crowd, brandishing olive branches, swiping young women and occasional unwary men.
It's a provocative, powerful performance. But it's fragile and endangered, too. "

"Morocco: Follow the sound of the Beats" by Paul Trynka published in The Independent UK 6 Sept 2014 online version 5 Sept 2014 Paul Trynka Morocco: Follow the sound of the Beats
 Booking for the Master Musicians of Joujouka Festival 5-7 June 2015 with drop off on the morning of the 8th June is open at

Booking for a special Burroughs 100 night on 15 November , food accomadation and a full performence of Boujeloud in advance of the European Beat Networks Conference 17-19 Nov Hotel Chellah Tangier celebrating Burroughs is open at
The full program for the European Beat Studies Network Conference in Tangier 17-19 Nov at Hotel Chellah  is available on their website

Paul Trynka whose new biography of Brian Jones 'Sympathy For The Devil' (Transworld) costs £20 ( 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Burroughs 100 Joujouka Boujeloud 15 Nov before European Beat Network Conference in Tangier Burroughs100 Nov 2014

In prelude to the European Beat Networks Conference which, this year honors William S Burroughs in his centenary year the Master Musicians of Joujouka will perform a special Burroughs100 event in their village  featuring Boujeloud on Sat 15 November. The price includes pick up and return to Ksar El Kebir, meals and accommodation for one night in the village. If you are not on a mailing list email for more details. Use Paypal Button below to pay 100 euro.

Article on the festival by Paul Trynka in The Independent 

Friday, June 27, 2014

One for the early birds official booking opens 31 June 2014 MMOJFestival2015

For the early birds official booking opens 31 June 2014.

Master Musicians of Joujouka Festival 5-7 June 2015

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Video of Boujeloud at Master Musicians of Joujouka Festival 2013

 The Sonic Masters in total drone mode. We have put a new video up on our youtube channel shot by Marek Pytel of Reality Films at the Master Musicians of Joujouka Festival 2013. This 5 min edit of hours long performance serves as a teaser and a taster. It features some serious drone sonics. Enjoy and please share. It features from the fraternity of The Master Musicians of Joujouka,
Ahmed El Attar, Abdeslam Rrtoubi, Abdellah Ziyat, Ahmed Talha, El Touhami Talha, Ali Ezouglai, Mustapha El Attar, El Khalil Radi, Mohamed Mokhchan, Mohamed El Attar,and Mohamed El Hatmi (Boujeloud).

Reality Films
Master Musicians of Joujouka

Monday, May 19, 2014

LA Review of Books feature on Master Musicians of Joujouka Festival

Artist Piper Mavis has written a report of the Master Musicians of Joujouka Festival and the quest for the haunts of the Beats and the Rolling Stones in Morocco."As the flames licked the inky night sky and the music reached a feverish frenzy, Bou Jeloud himself, the North African Pan-like spirit, seemingly emerged from the fire. As we watched him dance and taunt the fire, the musicians, and the audience, I couldn’t help but believe that there is such a thing as sacred music" Read Piper Mavis's full article  A Visit with the Master Musicians of Joujouka
The Master Musicians of Joujouka all rights Piper Mavis

Booking for the last few places for this years festival is available on

Saturday, November 2, 2013

3 Photo essays by Sunny Suits and 1 by Arian Fariborz photographers and writers inspired at Master Musicians of Joujouka Festival 2013

American artist Sunny Suits
Sunny Suits Urban magazine Tangier see page 59

On Dazed and Confused online

Le Festsival Joujouka vu Sunny Suits in Liberation Weekend

Master Musicians of Joujouka by Arian Fariborz

Arian Fariborz has a photo essay from the 2013 Master Musicians of Joujouka up on Arian has previously written on Joujouka and included a chapter on Joujouka and a long interview with manager Frank Rynne in his 2010 book Rock The Kasbah Popmusik und Moderen inm Orient

The "Master Musicians of Joujouka": Straddling East and West

Booking for Master Musiicans of Joujouka Festival 2014 20-22 June Booking Now

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

10.5 Sat. エキゾ夢紀行 ジャジューカ2013!渋谷UPLINK FACTORY

If you are in Tokyo 5 Oct there is a night in honour of Master Musicians of Joujouka with talks and films at UPLINK Factory

おなじみ渋谷UPLINK FACTORYでのエキゾ夢紀行。今度はモロッコのジャジューカ編!

最新機材で撮影された貴重なジャジューカの最新映像と音響をたっぷりお楽しみ頂けます! アップリンクの大スクリーンと立体音響スピーカーで体感するジャジューカに東京都民もトランス必至デス!

出演:サラーム海上 (よろずエキゾ風物ライター/DJ)
ゲスト:赤塚りえ子 (現代美術家)

料金:¥2,000 (1ドリンク付き)
日時:2013年10月5日(土) 18:30開場/19:00開演
東京都渋谷区宇田川町37-18 トツネビル1-2F
tel. 03-6825-5503