The five women of Bnet Marrakech play the music of both Arabs and Berbers – the original people of Morocco. Invited to sing at births, weddings, and other ritual events within, and outside, their community, they have achieved an independence unusual for women in Islamic societies.
Bnet Marrakech is a spin-off of a previous group called B’net Houariyat, which is still touring with some of the original members.
To the traditional Berber repertoire they have added chaabi (popular urban, with lots of improvisation), Gnawa, and raï (from Algeria) songs. They accompany themselves on ud (Arab lute), kamanjah (Arab violin), guimbri (long-necked lute), darbuka (pottery drum), bendir (frame drum), and taarija (tambourine). Malika Mahjoubi punctuates the music with her energetic dances-be ready for the sudden somersault, or a tray of lighted candles balanced on her head!
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV 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 albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.