Hevia and les frères Akkaf at Houria Theatre, Monday 29th of March.
José Ángel Hevia Velasco and his backing group of female musicians, one on percussion the other a fine pianist, performed last night a fusion gig with les frères Akkaf. It was a wonder to say the least. To begin with the Theatre Houria was more than packed, over filling the maximum seating capacity of 350 closer to 450. The atmosphere was electric before the performers reached the stage. What a thrill to see most of the public under the age of 25. Bravo Instituto Cervantes for this simple but huge accomplishment.
Hevia took the first set with their fusion of Celtic piccolos, bagpipes, bongo drums, flutes and grand piano. The audience were clapping along within seconds. The popular Soussi band, les frères Akkaf, from the south of Morocco and their entourage of traditional instruments and high standard performance got the crowd going somewhat more in the second set. Finally the two groups, who met only three days previously, fused traditional church songs, Celtic tunes, Islamic riffs and Berber rhythms.
An amazing feat and enchantment to be introduced to the similarities between Celtic and Berber music. What a joyous collaboration and an inspiration to see a youthful Fez public at large. A standing ovation is such a great way to leave a theatre.