Moroccan Musicians Visit Campus for Workshop, Fayetteville for Concert

The Majid Bekkas Gnawa Ensemble
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The Majid Bekkas Gnawa Ensemble

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Majid Bekkas Gnawa Ensemble and Brahim Fribgane, Moroccan musicians who draw on different traditions of their nation’s musical heritage, will present a concert at the Walton Arts Center on Thursday, Oct. 18 and a free public workshop at the University of Arkansas on Friday, Oct. 19.

These performances are the first in the 2012-2013 series of Caravanserai: A Place Where Cultures Meet, celebrating the music and culture of Morocco. Caravanserai is a program that strives to create new ways for Americans to experience the diverse artistic expressions and cultures of Muslim societies. 

The Majid Bekkas Ensemble performs in Morocco’s ancient Gnawa musical tradition.  The music is mystical, bluesy, and grounded in the call and response practices of sub-Saharan African cultures.

Majid Bekkas Gnawa Ensemble

In contrast, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and composer Brahim Fribgane, from Casablanca, will share traditional songs in the Souss language of his heritage.

These artists will perform at the Walton Arts Center at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, as part of the center’s 10x10 series. Tickets for this performance are $5 for students and $10-$25 for community members. Tickets are available at the Walton Arts Center box office. More ticket information is available at or 479-443-5600.


At 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19 the musicians will hold an educational workshop in the Multicultural Center at the university, located on the fourth floor of the Arkansas Union. This workshop provides an opportunity for the public to enjoy a free musical performance and learn more about Moroccan music and culture by talking with the artists.  A reception will follow the workshop, and refreshments will be served.

This event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Contact Viviana Pagan at 479-575-8405 for further information.

The Northwest Arkansas appearances are made possible by a partnership between the University’s King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies and the Walton Arts Center, through a grant from Arts Midwest, a non-profit regional arts organization.

The program is funded by a $1 million grant from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art’s “Building Bridges” program. Major support for the program is provided through an International Engagement Grant from the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters and MetLife Foundation All-In: Re-imagining Community Participation Program.


Laila Taraghi, program coordinator
The King Fah Center for Middle East Studies

Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations
University Relations


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