Featured Artist: Hassan El Hadi

afrique nouvelle musique africa new music toronto canada art arts african congo congolese arthur tongo thomas tumbu festival bana y'afrique hassan el hadi morocco moroccan gnawaLyricist, composer, singer, oud and banjo player and percussionist, Hassan El Hadi is a man of many talents. A native of Marrakesh, where the great diversity of Moroccan music comes together, he grew up under the influence of the melodic beats of Jemaa el Fna Square, home to many local ceremonies and festivities. He is also among the few artists from elsewhere who blow hardest on Quebec tradition, allowing himself to improvise on old popular tunes and to get the iconic ‘la Bolduc’ swinging in French and in Arabic. To all this, he adds jazz harmonies, Berber rhythms, and the subtlety of Arab and Andalusian musical styles. In his genre, he is a unique case.” (Yves Bernard, Le Devoir)

With his albums, Salam Quebec and Maroc’N Reel, he reaffirms his extraordinary ability to blend the musical traditions rooted in North Africa with the sounds of his adopted home of Quebec. His music is without borders, where genre-bending and hybridization rule for a new generation of global music enthusiasts.

Accompanied of several artists of various origins: Celtic, Quebec, African and Spanish. El Hadi pushes the exploration further, blending the sounds of Celtic music and Quebecois foot tapping with that of Berber music and Moroccan kaada. Together, they blend and dialogue between the Arab-Andalusian, Celtic and Quebecois cultures to produce an original and festive musical style that finds its source in the infinite and diverse influences of the Maghreb, North Africa and the Celtic countries.