World Music Wednesday: Bab L'Bluz
Bab L'Bluz celebrates their African heritage, including the cultures that gave birth to American blues music
World Music Wednesday is a weekly segment on The North 103.3 FM. Every Wednesday at 4pm on Northland Afternoon, we will feature a brand-new release or a significantly important past work from our vast library of music from around the world.
Support for World Music Wednesday comes from Simply Ballroom in Duluth's Craft District
Today's World Music Wednesday spotlights the music of Bab L'Bluz, a Moroccan-French rock band that was formed in Marrakesh in 2018. The group's main members are lead vocalist Yousra Mansour, and gimbri player and multi-instrumentalist Brice Bottin.
Representing the "Nayda" artistic movement in Morocco which places emphasis on local heritage, Mansour provides vocals in the Moroccan Arabic dialect of Darija. Bab L' Bluz take inspiration from a wide range of musical styles including Gnawa music, Chaâbi, and Afrobeat.
But also the blues. The band's name means "gateway to the blues" in Arabic. Brice Bottin says that "We wanted to remember that the blues, so closely linked to America, stems from African music." He adds, "The African blues includes other pentatonic music: Mauritanian hassani, the Berber music found in Morocco's Atlas Mountains, the music of Mali, which is the true source of the blues, as well as the true source of Gnawa music."