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Graphic: Press ReleasesGraphic: October
Hassan Boussou showcases Morocco's traditional Gnawa music

Hassan, the son of late Gnawa master Hmida Boussou from Casablanca, has not only been keeping Gnawa tradition alive but also moving it forward with his band of Moroccan musicians. Blending the sounds of t'bel, clapping, guembri and gospel together with dance, they offer local audiences a spell-binding performance.

The concert by Hassan Boussou is one of the programmes of the Mediterranean Arts Festival presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. The concert to be followed by a post-performance talk will be staged at 8pm on Sunday (November 4) at Hong Kong City Hall Theatre.

The roots of Gnawa music from North Africa and American blues both stem from the brutal history of slavery. Originated by Gnawa Brotherhoods in Morocco, Algerˆqa, and influenced by Islamic regions around the Sahara, Gnawa music provides a powerful, spiritual experience while also offering a vibrant celebration of life.

Jazz maestros Randy Weston and Pharoah Sanders have recorded with Gnawa musicians. Songwriter-composer Gustavo Santaolalla also visited Morocco to research Gnawa music for his Oscar-winning score for Babel.

Hassan Boussou was born in Casablanca, Morocco. He toured Europe and the US with his father many times from 1990. Following successful music workshops in Belgium, he established his own name in Europe and in 1996 formed a Gnawa fusion band with Belgium musicians. Settling in France in 2002, he continued his fusion experience, linking traditional and contemporary sounds and song-writing.

Hassan Boussou gained a UNESCO-Aschberg Bursary for Artists in 2006 and became a resident artist at Musique Multi-Montrˆmal (MMM) in Canada for three months. He also enjoyed great success at Le Festival MMM - Des Musiques et Du Monde earlier this year.

Tickets for the concert by Hassan Boussou priced at $280, $200 and $120 are available at URBTIX outlets. Half-price tickets are available for full-time students, senior citizens, people with disabilities and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. Booking discounts of up to 20% are available.

Programme brochures are now available at URBTIX outlets or at the website http://www.medifestival.gov.hk .

For programme enquiries, please call 2370 1044. Telephone reservations can be made on 2734 9009 and credit card telephone bookings on 2111 5999. Internet bookings can be made at http://www.urbtix.hk .

Ends/Monday, October 29, 2007
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