Jewish Maghrib Jukebox

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cheikha Zohra El Fassia

Haaretz ran an excellent piece the other day that highlighted some of what I discussed with the Jo Amar entry - namely that Moroccan musicians continued to record (in Arabic) upon arrival in Israel.

Here are a couple interesting notes from the article:
  • Israeli musicians "discovering" Moroccan music
  • Some of the Moroccan music produced in Israel has been lost forever (due to a fire in the 1980s that destroyed the master copies of this music)
The article also discusses the the later years of her life. Here is some more background on Zohra El Fassia (also known as Cheikha Zohra El Fassia due to her mastery of a number of popular genres and traditional styles including gharnati, aita and melhoun).

A link to her "Ya Warda" can be found here. For a video of her performing, click here.

On a personal note, I have been working to collect the old LPs of Zohra El Fassia and other Moroccan Jewish artists including Sami El Maghribi, Cheikh Mwijo and others. As the above article discusses, this music is quickly being lost and we need to preserve it.

Here are a couple of excellent compilation CDs that feature (prominently) North African Jews:
Pay close attention to - Raoul Journo, Louisa Tounsia and Cheikh Zouzou.

No comments: