These musicians were truly a professional group – great singing and music. Keep an eye on the old guy, he’s a riot. We found them, or they found us, near the Medina in Essaouira, Morocco. The Moroccan music they play is traditional, and yet, it rocks.
Actually, Tim was a little off in the distance from where they were playing and using a walker because he was still recovering from his broken leg. They walked over to him as they played and surrounded him, making the tune especially for him. It was a really cool moment.
We really appreciated the quality of their musicianship and their showmanship. Both were excellent. We’re always happy to support street performers, but it’s especially nice when their show is really good.
Overall, the music we found in Morocco was quite good. Sometimes it appeared randomly, like the guy walking through the parking lot banging on a drum and singing – and taking donations from 5 floors up. But then some was very expected, like in the tourist areas of the medinas.
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If you go to Morocco, you have to make time to just sit and relax and watch people in the medina – of whatever town you’re in. Oh, and definitely try some tagine, and enjoy the food in general. They make great coffee, too.
Not to play favorites, but Essaouira is our favorite town in Morocco – because there’s space in the day for things like this to happen. It’s a smaller medina and easier to find you way around, but honestly more enjoyable with less pressure to buy than some other cities in Morocco.
That’s the thing when you travel, you never know what you’re going to stumble into. Some shows you expect, and then these guys come along. This is just a sampling of the full 6-minute performance they gave. Let me know if you’re interested in the full set.
Do you plan to visit Morocco one day? Let us know in the comments.
The medina of Essaouira is known for its traditional Gnawa music, which features a combination of African rhythms and Islamic melodies. Other types of music that can be heard in the streets include Andalusian classical music, Berber music, and contemporary pop and rock.
Street musicians can be found throughout the medina, but they tend to congregate in areas with high foot traffic such as the Place Moulay Hassan and the Place de la Skala. Where you find tourists, you find street musicians.
Yes, it is customary to tip street musicians in Essaouira, as they rely on donations from visitors to make a living. A tip of a few Moroccan Dirhams is appreciated, but not expected.
Street musicians in the medina of Essaouira can be heard playing throughout the day, but the most active times are usually lunchtime, in the early evening and late night.
Yes, there are organized events such as the Gnaoua World Music Festival which takes place annually, usually in June, in Essaouira, featuring both local and international traditional, pop and street musicians. Additionally, many restaurants in the medina will feature live music performances during dinner hours.