Maalem Abdeslam ALIKKANELa scène de la Plage
Artistic director and one of the founders of the Gnaoua and World Music Festival in Essaouira, Maâlem Abdeslam Alikkane is primarily known for proposing and conducting the residencies with maâlems and visiting artists. Fully aware of the power of fusion as well as the need for Gnaoua maâlems to command the stage, he was worked diligently to create this format in his home town of Essaouira. In partnership with Karim Ziad, he has assured the Festival’s artistic direction by seeking out Gnaoua in every corner of Morocco. He is also a practitioner of the Tagnaouite, and is recognised for his skill and knowledge of its therapeutic qualities. He is currently considered to be a messenger of the Gnaoui art throughout the world, and is the masterful director of the Tyour Gnaoua group. Maâlem Abdeslam has performed alongside many distinguished world music and jazz artists, including Jaleel Shaw in 2008 and Ray Lema in 2007. Tyour Gnaoua performed a 100% jazz fusion with the legendary guitarist Sylvain Luc in 2015, and a 100% blues/African folk fusion with the Songhoy Blues quartet in 2016. Abdeslam Alikkane also rocked American audiences in March 2017 - at the Gnaoua Festival Tour in New York and Washington - with 100% Gnaoua fusion performances. In 2017, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Festival, Maâlem Alikkane presented a product of one of his residencies: an original concert with his old sidekick Ray Lema. He recently performed in Rio De Janeiro and participated in cultural sessions in Kuwait.