Marisa Anderson (US)
A virtuoso guitarist, Marisa Anderson single-handedly crosses all the traditional American guitar styles. She effortlessly flirts with their limits. She inhabits them.
When she was nineteen, she left Nevada to bum around the United States, finally settling down in Portland, Oregon, some years later.
Trained on classic guitar but drawing from her diverse experiences (she has played in jazz and country groups, and even in a circus!), her playing is fluid, raw and masterful. Whether improvised or composed, her references range from minimalism to gospel while naturally containing hints of the blues, country, and jazz.
Her fourth and latest album to date, Into the light (2016), was written as the original soundtrack to an imaginary science-fiction Western film. It recounts, in 10 tracks, the tale of a strange visitor lost in the desert.
We can’t wait to get lost with her.
A Marisa Anderson concert is both a lesson in history and a science fiction novel. She perfectly understands the origins of American tradition (‘national parks that belong to everyone’), she reinvents the here and now… and she gives us a peek of what tomorrow could look like.
Her gracious presence and her humour instantly make you feel like you’ve found your home. Marisa Anderson does not sing, but she tells stories better than anyone else.
A Marisa Anderson concert is like a (very) rare bird: she will be at Voix De Femmes for a once-in-a-lifetime concert, so be there or be square!
Asmâa Hamzaoui & Bnat Timbouktou
In Morocco, the Gnawa are descendants of slaves who were deported to Maghreb from sub-Saharan countries (Senegal, Sudan, Ghana, Guinea, etc.). They are the heirs of great rituals and spiritual traditions that combine poetry, music, and dance. The ceremonies (‘lilas’) dedicated to prayer and healing are led by a maalem, i.e. a ‘master of music’.
In recent decades, these very sacred traditions have seen a more secular style of Gwani music emerge.
Asmaâ Hamzaoui, 26, is the leader of the group Bnat Timbouktou and one of the genre’s few – and youngest – female ambassadors.
She inherited her passion from her father, the famous maalem Rachid Hamzaoui. From a very young age, she learned to play the guembri, a sort of 3-string plucked lute, which she uses to accompany celebrations.
Since 2012, she has been leading her own group. Bnat Timbouktou remains largely faithful to traditions in terms of style, but topics such as distance, suffering, and the memory of Africa’s past are ever present.
Gradually, they have successfully grown their audience, to the point that they’ve landed a spot at the famous Essaouira Gnaoua World Music Festival in summer 2017.
This is no small feat, given there are so few Gnawa female players in Morocco and around the world: you can count them on one hand! Traditionally, women do not play during ceremonies and can only touch this instrument in private (which is particularly the case for the wife of a maalem, for example). Performing in public is still a widespread taboo.
But from the look of things, anyone thinking to stop Asmâa Hamzaoui from playing hasn’t come along yet.