Exploring Jazz and Moroccan Roots

Malika Zarra

On the Ebony Road (independent, 2006)

North African music continues to venture into new forms. Morocan jazz singer Malika Zarra mixes Moroccan roots (Gnawa, Berber and shaabi) with contemporary jazz on her debut CD, On the Ebony Road. Her gentle vocal style is very similar to Flora Purim‘s. Zarra’s gifted voice is able to combine vocal jazz techniques with Arabic phrasings.

Born in Morocco and raised in France, Zarra is now based in the United States. Her multicultural band includes Francis Jacob on guitars; Brahim Fribgane on ud, darbuka, cajón, karkabas, bendir and vocals; Mamadou Ba on bass; and Harvey Wirth on drums. 

Buy On the Ebony Road.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.