ABDELMAJID BEKKAS is a Moroccan instrumentalist that has become a regular on the festival scene in Europe and North Africa. He started playing banjo in Moroccan “Jil” groups rather like Nass El Ghiwane in 1972. His ambition was to bring gnawa music to the attention of the world.
Over the years, master player Ba Houmane in Salé initiated him further into the music style. He then studied classical guitar and oud at the National Conservatory of Music and Dance in Rabat, where he himself later taught classical guitar. In parallel, Majid was delving deeper in the blues and soul, playing in his own group in the eighties as a guitarist, keyboard player and singer.
Majid Bekkas and the Gnaoua Blues Band
In the nineties, Bekkas created the Gnaoua Blues Band, splitting his time between his own compositions, recordings and touring, notably at major international festivals. After the album “African Gnaoua Blues” in 2001, he recorded “Mogador” in 2004 both for the Igloo Mondo label. The track “Daymallah” was selected for the Desert Blues vol.2 compilation by Network Medien.
In 2004, Majid was nominated for the “Django d’Or” Prize in France, alongside Minino Garay and Anouar Brahem. He’s regularly touring in Europe and appears in several projects, with sax-player Klaus Doldinger, or pianist Joachim Kühn. He is frequently invited as a guest with major jazz players, while continuing his exploration of gnawa music.
More recently, he has been preparing an album with sax-player and flautist Manuel Hermia and others.
For more about Bekkas visit Igloo Mondo.