Joujouka Resource Page

1971 The album ‘Brian Jones Presents the Pipes of Pan at Joujouka’ was posthumously released on Rolling Stones Records,  the first release on the band’s new recording label,  in 1971.  The album cover was a painting of Jones surrounded by the Joujouka musicians by Hamri

1971  After visiting the village in September 1969, Timothy Leary wrote an essay about his time with Mohamed Hamri and the Master Musicians in his 1971 book, Jail Notes, entitled “The Rock’n’roll Band of Four Thousand Years”. Leary based his central argument on Burroughs’ belief that the Boujloud ritual, played in Jajouka, owes its origin to the ancient Greek deity Pan.

1972  Hamri was released as manager in 1972. Hamri had sold the copyright for the music to Brian Jones, and Bachir Attar had to negotiate with the Estate of Brian Jones and The Rolling Stones for the loan of their ancient music for the 1995 reissue of the first album.

1973 Hamri brought Ornette Coleman In January 1973, jazz musician Ornette Coleman recorded with the Masters. A small part of what was recorded was released on the 1975 album Dancing In My Head album.

1974 release Master Musicians of Jajouka. This was the first use of that spelling for the musicians. This came about as the producer had argued with Hamri and sought to cut him and the musicians’ association out of the proceeds of the record. Later, having lived in the USA for a few years, Hamri returned in time to save the musicians from being written out of their own history.    Bachir recorded the second album with Jajouka the second album of the group from 1974, produced by Joel Rubiner, entitled The Master Musicians of Jajouka

1974 Hamri moved to LA to promote his career as a painter.  He returned to Morocco in 1978.



1975 Hamri’s book Tales of Joujouka, which told stories from the village, including “The Legend of Boujeloud”, the half-goat/half-man creature celebrated in the annual ritual, was published by Capra Press in Santa Barbara.[8]Tales of Joujouka was first published in 1975 by the Capra Press in Santa Barbara, California. The editor was Edouard Roditi.[1] It was the last of thirty five chapbooks in a series which also included Anaïs Nin, Raymond Carver, Lawrence Durrell and Henry Miller. (The chapbook series actually had 41 titles in the series.) Hamri was the only Moroccan published in the series.[1] It is a collection of the tales and legends of the village of Jajouka and its musicians, the Master Musicians of Joujouka. The book includes “The Legend of Boujeloud” which relates the origin myth for the Master Musicians of Joujouka and their association with the deity Pan. The story “The Cultivator with Lions and Healer of Crazy Minds” is an account of Sidi Ahmed Scheich’s first encounter with the musicians ancestors c. 800 AD. He is the Sufi saint who founded the village. Translation from the original Maghrebi is by Blanca Nyland.[1] 

In 2003 The Black Eagle Press in Tangier Morocco produced a new edition of the book which contained an introduction and three extra tales.[3]

1976 Recorded album Joujouka Sufi: Moroccan Trance(1996)

From 1980 onwards, Hamri divided his time between Tangier and Zahjouka.

1980 Bachir and Jajouka played on the soundtrack of Nicolas Roeg’s Bad Timing

1980 Thanks to Rikki Stein, the Masters first played in 1980 at Worthy Farm, the Glastonbury site, as part of a three-month tour that included a week-long residency at the Commonwealth Institute in London.

After the death of Hadj Abdesalam Attar his son Bachir Attar continued his father’s group’s music with The Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar.

In a break from Morocco between 1974 and 1978 to pursue his painting career, Hamri published his Tales of Joujouka.

1986 Brion Gysin died

1989  The group led by the second youngest son of Hadj Abdesalam Attar still perform under the name Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar,[33] recording the song “Continental Drift” in Tangier with the Rolling Stones on the Steel Wheels album in 1989

1989 Bachir marries Cherie Nutting,  who was also photographer and manager of the Mater Musicians of Jajouka

1990 In addition to his work with Master Musicians of Jajouka, Bachir Attar was granted a Music Composition Fellowship by “The New York Foundation for the Arts” in 1990 for his compositions “Memories of My Father” and “Sounds of New York’

1990 He recorded “In New York” with Elliott Sharp in 1990 and toured with Sharp’s band Carbon

1990s  With Bachir, the group has toured extensively in Canada, Europe, Hong Kong and USA since the 1990s

1991 Hamri  took a large group to Italy in 1991 and in 1992 touring?  Joujouka?

1992 Attar recorded a solo album entitled The Next Dream, which was produced in New York City by Bill Laswell in connection with Apocalypse Across The Sky, the album Laswell recorded of the traditional music for his Axiom label.

1992 Albums with the group and Bachir include Apocalypse Across the Sky (Axiom, 1992)

1992, Association with Frank Rynne and Joujouka began.  the Here to Go Show was filmed and later released as Destroy All Rational Thought. My recording for CDs began two years later when I finally got to Joujouka. Ira Cohen, the beat poet, photographer and filmmaker from New York had his CD out on Sub Rosa and it featured some of Gysin’s 1960s Joujouka recordings as well as music from the Velvet Underground’s first percussionist/drummer Angus MacAlise.  In 1992 I co-organised the Here to Go Show, an art show celebrating the work of William Burroughs and Brion Gysin. Being a musician I was particularly interested in the musical connection between the painters we exhibited: Burroughs, Gysin and Hamri the Painter of Morocco. That music was of course the Master Musicians of Joujouka who Brian Jones posthumously made famous by recording them and later, in 1971, The Rolling Stones released his album as the first release on Rolling Stones Records.

Hamri rightly insisted that the Master Musicians of Joujouka were essential to any event promoting Brion Gysin so I worked on getting Joujouka to the show. Gysin’s love of Joujouka trance music kept him in Morocco for 23 years. After the show I kept in touch with Hamri by phone and he kept insisting I come to Joujouka. It took a few years to get there but when I came I had a contract with Sub Rosa Records to do a CD and it took precedence over other concerns. The result of my first three months there was the Joujouka Black Eyes CD released in 1995. Recording it was an amazing experience.

1993   Bachir was a guest performer on Nicky Skopelitis‘s 1993 album, Ekstasis1

1994 Hamri and Joujouka met Frank Rynne in Dublin whilst on tour

1994 Frank spent two months with Hamri in Joujouka in 1994 recording the classic CD Joujouka Black Eyes for Sub Rosa released in 1995.

1994 Frank Rynne and the Master Musicians of Joujouka

Frank Rynne’s  Membership card of Master Musicians of Joujouka/Jajouka/Jahjouka association.

Since 1994 Frank Rynne has been a member of the association of the Master Musicians of Joujouka/Serifya Association of the Master Musicians of Jahjouka/Jajouka/Joujouka. This membership carries with it the responsibilities and requirements to treat with and treat all fellow members equally. His representation of the Master Musicians of Joujouka in the West is an elected position and his views and actions are guided by the majority view of the Master Musicians of Joujouka/Jajouka/Jahjouka. It is not a relationship based on the contractual norms of the Western music business but rather, he is a fraternal member of the Master Musician’s association.

This membership has set Rynne apart from other westerners who have produced the Master Musicians of Joujouka as he is accepted as an equal in the village but his designated and elected role has been to promote the Master Musician’s music and to deal with people outside Morocco on their behalf.

1995 Release of Joujouka Black Eyes by Frank Rynne

1995 reissue of Brian Jones Presents The Pipes of Pan at Jajouka on Point (Polygram) records. The spelling of “Jajouka” in the 1995 reissue title was corrected from “Joujouka” in the initial release’s title for consistency with the band name spelling on the second album from 1974. 1995, a CD reissue of the album was issued. It was licensed from Musidor by Point Music. A new 1990s photo of Bachir Attar, by his wife and manager American photographer, replaced Hamri’s original painting of Brian Jones and the Master Musicians of Joujouka which Jones had chosen as his cover. It also included in a side bar a photo of the late Jones by Michael Cooper as well as further contemporary photos of and a “Bou Jeloud” dancer by Nutting.[22][23] The CD’s album title changed to “Brian Jones Presents The Pipes of Pan At Jajouka” to tie in with The Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar. The name Master Musicians of Jajouka was used on the Master Musicians of Joujouka’s second album due to contract conflicts.[18][24] While the original vinyl album consisted of “two untitled, unbroken LP sides”, the reissue separated the songs into six tracks with titles.[25][26] The reissue cut the Master Musicians of Joujouka out of their rights and resulted in international protests organized by Frank Rynne and Joe Ambrose at concerts by Bachir Attar in London, New York and San Francisco as well as Philip Glass concerts in London and elsewhere.[27][28] Brion Gysin’s original sleeve-notes were altered to remove all reference to the central role that Hamri played in introducing him to the music of the village.[29] A Brion Gysin illustration decorated an essay by Paul Bowles in the liner notes.[30] The CD’s executive producers were Philip Glass, Kurt Munkacsi, and Rory Johnston.[31] Brian Jones was credited as producer. The multi-page booklet also included reminiscences and edited essays about the original band written by Brion Gysin, (who died in 1986 and therefore was not consulted), David Silver, Stephen Davis, William S. Burroughs, Brian Jones, and Bachir Attar.[32] rereleased in co-operation with Bachir Attar and Philip Glass in 1995. The executive producers were Jones, Glass, Kurt Munkacsi and Rory Johnston, with notes by Attar, Paul Bowles, William S. Burroughs, Stephen Davis, Brion Gysin and David Silver.[67] and included additional graphics, more extensive notes by Silver and Burroughs, and a second CD, produced by Cliff Mark, with two “full-length remixes

1995 A homage to Jones entitled “Brian Jones Joujouka very Stoned”, painted by Mohamed Hamri, who had brought Jones to Jajouka in 1967, appeared on the cover of Joujouka Black Eyes by the Master Musicians of Joujouka in 1995

1996 Bachir and Cheire seperated amicably

1998 Hamri and Masters’ drummer El Khalil Radi took part in the Festimad Poetica festival in Madrid with Lydia Lunch, Richard Hell, John Giorno, Tav Falco and John Cale.

2009 The film features the Master Musicians of Joujouka in performance at the first art show to feature the paintings of Brion Gysin and William S. Burroughs. The documnetary also feature music by Bill laswell, Material and includes a special tribute to Brion Gysin by William Burroughs, film by Antony Balch and Phauss and more…………….

In 1995 Frank Rynne, “art-terrorist” and writer Joe Ambrose and Mohamed Hamri launched an international campaign demanding their interest in their recording with Brian Jones be recognised and that the re-release be withdrawn from sale until their concerns were addressed.

1996  Bachir and Jajouka recorded  Apocalypse Across the Sky (Axiom, 1992)

2000   Hamri died in August 2000 in Joujouka after a long illness. He is revered in Joujouka. He brought fame and glory to the village. He sought to make sure that the people’s culture would survive. He knew from the time he was a boy that the Master Musicians of Joujouka are special, their music is important and it must be saved in as pure a form as develops.

2000 Bachir and Talvin Singh and Attar also made a CD in London

In 2008 the Masters honoured the 40th Anniversary of Brian Jones’s influential recording with a festival at Joujouka. Anita Pallenberg and John Dunbar were among the people who made the pilgrimage to the village. Joujouka by Daragh McCarthy, a film of the 2008 Brian Jones Festival premiered in London in 2012.   Since then the festival has become an annual event, attracting artists, filmmakers, musicians, writers and fans from around the world. As well as generating valuable global publicity for the music, the festival has become an important economic factor in Joujouka life.

2009 The Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar released a live album on newly founded Jajouka Records in January 2009

2009   Bachir and Jajouka played on the soundtrack of The Cell; The Hand of Fatima in 2009 by director Augusta Palmer

2009  Bachir Attar and The Master Musicians of Jajouka toured the USA in winter 2009 playing at UCLA Live, Arabesque: Arts of the Arab World festival at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. among other concerts around the USA. In August 2009 Bachir and the Jajouka Masters played at Festival des Plages in Al Hoceima, Morocco, and during la Fête du Trône in honor of the coronation of His Majesty King Mohammed VI. In June 2009 Bachir Attar and The Master Musicians of Jajouka performed with Ornette Coleman, Patti Smith and Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers at The Southbank Meltdown Festival in London

2009 Hello every body I’m Ahmed Attar. I’m ready to answer these questions:

Bachir Attar and his manager, Cherie Nutting state that he is the one true and hereditary leader of the Master Musicians. They say he inherited his leadership from his father. This would mean his father was also hereditary leader?

Ahmed Attar: Bachir Attar has gathered retired people (military who play Gaita) from Ksar el Kebir and outside, and has become their leader. He has no connection with us, the Mallimin/Masters who live in Joujouka / Jajouka. (Editor’s Note: Ksar El Kebir is this is the nearest city to Joujouka / Jajouka / Jajouka, about 20 km form the village in the plains below the Ahl Srif Mountains)

How do the Master Musicians chose a leader?

Ahmed Attar: For many years the musicians chose the leader with the agreement of anyone in the group for a period of 1 year; or more if he worked well, or they change him for another one.

Who were the last five or ten leaders of the musicians and when were they elected?

Ahmed Attar:

The leaders were:
Elghailani Mohamed (dead), (1956),
Zekiken Ahmed (dead), (1958),
Mejdoubi Mohamed(dead), (1964),
Attar Ayachi (dead), 1965 (Editors Note: father of current leader Ahmed Attar),
Twimi Ahmed(dead), (1967),
Ghailani Mefedal(1971)
Abdeslam Attar (Djinnoun Bachir’s father, in 1978 leader for 3 years ).
Attar Abdeslam Ali (alive he has 98 years old)(1983),
Attar Mohamed (dead) 1990
, and me Attar Ahmed (called Titi). 1999
(editor’s note dates are year of election to leadership)

plus who was never the leader but he a big musician who works with us Retoubi Mefedal (alive)

Mallim Ali Abdeslam El Attar leads the song on his left Mallim Radi El Khalil, Abdeslam Mefedel grandson of former leader Ghailani Mefedal (leader 1968-1978) and Mallim Mustapha Attar. Photo Frank Rynne 5 June 2009

Does leadership pass from father to son?

Ahmed Attar: The leadership doesn’t pass from father to son because we find several leaders and their sons have no relation with this music but if the son wants to be a musician he can , but not a leader automatically.

What does the leader do?

Ahmed Attar: The leader has to be: clear, confident, skilful and know how to promote the music, and to discuss with people who want to celebrate ceremonies. He is the speaker for the musicians.

Is Bachir Attar the hereditary leader?

Ahmed Attar: Bachir exploits his English language (because none of us musicians speak English) to claim to be a leader with power ,with help of his ex-wife, but no one in Joujouka trusts in Bachir because he stole their money. The big manager was Hamri the painter of Joujouka / Jajouka / Jajouka .In this time all the musicians worked together with Hamri not Bachir. One day Bachir with his brother forced Hamri to make him give them contracts which Hamri had made with the Westerners. They forced Hamri to sign blank sheets of paper. From this day the musicians of Joujouka / Jajouka have no relation with Bachir. (Editors note: This attack took place 27 December 1995)

How does Bachir Attar hurt the traditional music of the village of Joujouka / Jajouka Does he play the same music as the Masters in the village? in style and quality. How is his music different from the music played by the Masters in the village?

Ahmed Attar: When Bachir uses other instruments, he hurts the spiritual music. The Masters Musicians of Joujouka / Jajouka play only the pipes and drum (ghaita and tbel) with no instruments added. When you add other instruments, the music loses its quality.

Is he considered a true Mallim/Master by the Master Musicians?

Ahmed Attar: He isn’t because in his group there are some musicians who play better than Bachir. He leads them because he speaks English and gives them some work.

Can the musicians explain why Bachir Attar says they are fake, or impostors?

Ahmed Attar: He says that because he wants to be the only representative of the music of Joujouka / Jajouka so as to exploit the Master Musicians name and to gain money. That’s clear because the only one in Joujouka / Jajouka who has a big car (4/4) and a big house and a big account in the bank is Bachir Attar.

What would the Masters like to say to people who claim Bachir Attar is the true leader of the Musicians?

Ahmed Attar: Whoever wants to know more can come to Joujouka / Jajouka to see Bachir’s house and where the others musicians live. We are poor and he became rich because he takes our money. In Joujouka / Jajouka no one talks with Bachir. He is alone. Who can lead people when the people are boycotting them???

How much damage has Bachir Attar’s behaviour done to the village?

Ahmed Attar: He makes damage in the media abroad, but in Joujouka / Jajouka all the people know him. We play in religious and civil ceremonies, in festivals, for parties of the KING that’s why here in Morocco they don’t call Bachir Attar to play they call us.

Mallim Ali Abdeslam El Attar leader of the Master Musicians 1983-1990. Mallim Ali is the oldest musician in Joujouka today and played on Brian Jones presents the Pipes of Pan at Joujouka. Ornette Coleman’s Dancing in my Head, Master Musicians of Jajouka, and more. This portrait was taken by Jill Furmanovsky at the Brian Jones 40th Anniversary festival in Joujouka.

The letter from the Southbank Centre states that the musicians who played in London are the same ones who played with Ornette Coleman in January 1973. Is this true? Who in the village alive today played with Ornette Coleman in 1973?

Ahmed Attar: This not true because all of them are Dead. There is only one musician still alive in Joujouka / Jajouka who played with Ornette Coleman in 1973 (Ali Abdeslam Attar, you can come to ask him, he did not go to London this year).

Ahmed Attar 5 August 2009

Interview conducted and translated by Mohamed Karbach

Additional Documentation
1/ Mohamed Hamri’s Open Letter of Protest 1995

Editor’s Note:

In recent years there has been a lot of misinformation about the Master Musicians of Joujouka who have also been known as Master Musicians of Jajouka, which the musicians have not commented on. The Masters who live and play in their village do not speak languages other than their native Riffian Arabic or Djebli.

For the first time ever the current leader of the Master Musicians Ahmed Attar has answered a series of questions which address the issue of leadership of the Masters and also the claims of his first cousin, Bachir Attar, who records and tours as Master Musicians of Jajouka featuring Bachir Attar and Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar claiming to be the leader of the Master Musicians of Jajouka.

In order to shed some light on these issues a series of questions were sent to the Masters and an interview was conducted and translated by Mohamed Karbach who is a son in law of a Master Musician.

The above statements show that at no time in his life was Bachir Attar the accepted or elected leader of the Master Musicians of Joujouka/Jajouka.

In the period he claims to have taken over the leadership the leader was Mallim Ali Attar and he was followed in the role by Mohamed Attar, and then the current leader Ahmed Attar from 1999.

The crux of Bachir Attar’s false claims to be the the leader of the Master Musicians of Jajouka are that he is the hereditary leader and that the leadership passed by tradition from father to son. The list above, as well as the clear answers from Ahmed Attar on the issue of hereditary leadership, present a very different history to the one passed off by Bachir Attar, his wife Cherrie Nurtting and their business assocaites. No such hereditary leadership exists in Joujouka/Jajouka.

The leader in the 1950s Zekiken, was the the uncle of Hamri who brought Brion Gysin, Brian Jones, Timothy Leray, Robert Palmer, William Burroughs, Paul Bowles, John Giorno and more to the village and put the music on the map. Mejdoubi Mohamed was from the powerful Mujdoubi family who produced some of the hardest men and greatest rhiata players in the village. Many of the leaders since 1956 were from the Attar family and they include the Attar Ayachi, uncle of Bachir Attar and father of the current leader Ahmed, Abdeslam Attar, Bachir’s father and uncle of the current leader Ahmed, and Ali Abdelslam Attar the oldest musician in Joujouka.

It is clear that the claims made in the press and elsewhere by Bachir Attar to be leader of the Master Musicians of Jajouka have no factual basis.

The Master Musicians acknowledge that he does lead a troupe of ex-soldiers who play instruments and who live in the nearby city Ksar El Kebir . This group is currently known as “The Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar”. They are not the Sufi Mallimin or Master Musicians, of the village and community of Jajouka/Joujouka/Zahjouka.

BACK IN NO TIME: Jajouka, Bou Jeloud and the Moroccan Magic of Brion Gysin

“I’m not here to put anyone down. I’d just like to make a few suggestions.”
Ira Cohen

Dear Eddie,

I first heard the Master Musicians of Jajouka in 1950. It was at a festival outside of Tangier on the beach, a small harbor that went back to Phoenician times… I was there with Paul Bowles. Paul, of course, was an established composer before making his name as a writer and also an archivist of North African music. Anyway, it was Paul’s idea that I go to Morocco, he had bought a little house there and all. And I heard some music at that festival and was so taken by it, so enchanted, that I said to Paul, “I want to hear that music every day for the rest of my life. I want to hear it every day all day long.”

For sure, there were many other kinds of extraordinary music offered to one, mostly of the Ecstatic Brotherhoods who enter into trance, such as Jilala. But above all of that I had heard this funny little music, and I said, “Ah! That’s my music! I must find out where it comes from.” So I stayed and within a year I found that it came from Jajouka, a village in the Rif mountains where on several occasions during the year, whenever a festival comes round, the entire population of the Ahl Serif valley pours across the fields and wends its way, in procession, up the mountainside.

I mean, there would always be (and still is) a small group of the Masters traveling somewhere in the valley to animate a wedding or to honor some visiting dignitary. And my restaurant, The 1001 Nights, came about entirely because of them, it was their idea, as a way for me to stay in Morocco, hear their music all the time and earn my living. They said, “Why don’t you open a café or something in Tangier? Then we’ll come down, make the music and we can split the money.” Which is how it worked until 1956, when Moroccan independence wiped me out practically overnight… But I knew the Musicians for nearly 35 years, right up till the end, many of them in intimate daily contact.

Now in Jajouka when they play, and those things go on for seven days and nights, blue kif smoke rises and drops in veils and the air is flooded with this marvelous music, very magical, tirelessly executed by the Master Musicians, more than twenty strong. Each night they play 10-hour nonstop sessions as a cloud of dancing boys shimmers and sashays around a huge bonfire. The crowd whoops and hollers approval, while the women, all of them dressed in white, are heaped up on a hillside, their heads thrown back and mouths open, ululating to the heavens.

At some point a sense of urgency enters the music: the drums thunder and the shrill, almost bagpipe-sounding blare of the rhaitas (a double reed oboe-like instrument, similar to the Indian shanai) becomes like sheet lightning in the minds of the spectators. Higher and higher goes the music, heralding the appearance of a young man dressed in goat skins with a huge straw hat tied around his blackened face and carrying long sycamore branches. Chosen for the task since childhood, he is suddenly transformed, a young villager no longer. Bou Jeloud is there, the Great God Pan.

Oh, there are many confirmed stories of the Musicians on tour, even in Europe, picking off (as it were) unsuspecting members of the audience and–using only their horns, their Pipes of Pan–making these people dance, literally forcing them to, controlling them. But when Bou Jeloud dances alone in Jajouka, his Musicians blow a sound like the earth sloughing off its skin. When you shiver like someone just walked on your grave, that’s him; that’s Bou Jeloud, the Father of Fear, the Father of Skins, Pan…

If you want to disappear, come round for private lessons. Remember? OK, you’ve just had yours. Back in no time.



Who were the musicians on the albums you recorded and what did they play?

Ahmed El Attar drum and vocal

Mohamed El Attar lira and rhiata and vocals

Mustapha El Attar drum

Ahmed Bouhsini rhiata lira

Abdelslam Boukhzar drum vocal,

Abdelslam Errtoubi rhiata and lira

Mujehid Mujdoubi lira

Muinier Mujdoubi drum

Muckthar Jagdhal drum and vocal

Mohamed Mokhchan rhiata and lira

Abdelslam Dahnoun drum, rhiata, lira

Abdellah Ziyat Rhiata, lira, vocal

El Hadj clapping and vocal

Si Ahmed violin

How do the Musicians teach and pass their skills on?

The music is part of life in the village so people learn the tunes very young. Playing the flute is a great way for a boy to pass the day when minding sheep. You can hear their attempts in the distance when in the higher mountains. Rhythm is for dancing to and at weddings and festivals the rhythm of Joujouka seeps into the consciousness of the young Joujouki from the feet up.

Not every Joujouki becomes a Master Musician though, what instruction do those who want to be one get?

Some are soldiers, shoemakers, shopkeepers and the rest. Hamri’s brother is a weaver. If a musician wants to join the masters he gets his first instruction at home or develops natural ability. Later when the masters play together young musicians join them and get instruction from the collective group. It is a very organic and lifelong process. The skills needed to play the rhiata and do circular breathing are learned over years. Likewise the complex rhythms must be learned. The repertoire of the village forces the younger musicians to learn different skills when playing the different types of Sufi music and Boujeloud. Even the old musicians discuss aspects of each others performances. Each has his own recognisable signature.

2010  In July 2010 Bachir and his master musicians group performed again with Ornette Coleman at The North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam, Holland

2010 Bachir and Jajouka  played on the soundtrack of William S. Burroughs: A Man Within; directed by Yoni Leyser (2010)

2010  A new CD and vinyl album, The Source, was released in July 2010 by Son du Maquis in Paris


Master Musicians of Joujouka Glastonbury 2011 photos

Boujeloud dances! Master Musicians of Joujouka  Boujeloud Ritual,  Sunday 26 and Monday 27 June, Glastonbury 2011.

Some Photos from Glastonbury 2011 of Master Musicians of Joujouka from The Pyramid Stage to the wilds of Glastonbury 24-27 June 2011

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Master Musicians of Joujouka play to 200,00 people
cut across all the microphones on The Park stage from the top of the hill
Spreading the blessing of Sidi Ahmed to 200,000 people
With Tony Coleman, drummer, The B.B. King band, Master Musiicans of Joujouka , Glastonbury 2011.

Master Musicians of Joujouka open Glastonbury 2011 on the Pyramid Stage videos

Master Musicians of Joujouka open Glastonbury 2011 on the Pyramid Stage. Video 1 ends with the classic Brian Jones Joujoujka Very Stoned , part 2 features part of the Boujeloud Rite which writers have likened to the Rites of Pan. The Masters finished their set with a Sufi prayer blessing all the festival goers and the festival organisers and all the people of the world in troubled times.
thanks to murasakiryu on youtube for posting.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Master Musicans of Joujouka at Glastonbury 2011 photos

Dancing to the Master Musicians of Joujouka Sunday 26 -Monday 27 June Glastonbury Festival 2011

Opening the main Pyramid stage on Friday 24 June

Master Musicians of Joujouka open the  Pyramid stage  at Glastonbury 2011

For more images see

You can  follow The Master Musicians of Joujouka’s adventures after they left the leather couches and gourmet buffets of the Pyramid stage behind and got down at Glastonbury on our Facebook page linked below
2012   Joujouka appeared on the latest Rough Guide to the Music of Morocco.

2012     The oldest Master Musician Mallim Ali Abdeslam El Attar passes away

Mallim Ali Abdeslam El Attar, the oldest Master Musician passed away today at 9.30 am in Joujouka. Mallim Ali was 103 years old. He was the last surviving Master Musician who had played at Hamri and Brion Gysin’s 1001 Nights in Tangier form 1954, and in the 1960s he played for Brian Jones recording the seminal Brian Jones presents the Pipes of Pan at Joujouka. He also recorded for Ornette Coleman and was leader of the Master Musicians of Joujouka in the 1980s.
His nephew Ahmed El Attar is the current leader of Master Musicians of Joujouka.
He will be missed by all the people of Joujouka.

At nearly 100 year of age Mallim Ali has had a hard life. In 1936 he was conscripted by General Franco into the Spanish colonial army and was forced to fight in all the battles in the Spanish Civil War. This was an experience that many his generation of Sufi masters in Joujouka endured. He was retained in Spain until the end of World War II and then returned to his native Morocco without pay or pension.

From 1945 onwards he continued to play with The Master Musicians of Joujouka and was a veteran of Hamri’s efforts to support the village by bringing the musicians to play on the trains between Ksar El kebir and Tangier, in the International Zone. This was the Interzone of William Burrough’s fiction. In the 1950s he played at Brion Gysin and Hamri’s restaurant, the 1001 nights in Tangier. This is where William Burroughs first saw the Master Musicians perform. He recalls his playing for Brian Jones with humorous glee. However a sadness also descends on Mallim Ali when he recalls those days to people. He always insists on naming the great masters who played with him who are now dead.

Brian Jones recorded Master Musicians of Joujouka LP 44 years ago today

Cover of the promotion press package  for Brian Jones presents the Pipes of Pan at Joujouka (Rolling Stones Records 1971)

On July 29th July 1968 Mohamed Hamri brought Brian Jones, Brion Gysin, Brian’s girlfriend Suki Potier, Olympic Studios recording engineer George Chkiantz and a select group to his native village for a recording session that would influence the lives of hundreds of villagers and 10s of thousands of music lovers. The resulting LP was released in 1971 2 years after Brian Jones’ death on Rolling Stones records. It was the first release on the Rolling Stones own label. Having witnessed the Master Musiicans playing their strongest Brian said
“I don’t know if I have the stamina incredible constant strain of the Festival”.

Brian died in July 1969, Suki Poiter died in a tragic car accident with her husband in 1982, Brion Gysin died in July 1986, Mohamed Hamri in 2000 and the last Master still alive who played on the recording is Mallim Ali El Attar who is 102 years old.
In 2008 Master Musicians of Joujouka celebrated the 40th Anniversary of Brian Jones’s recording with a festival in their village. It has been running ever since in his honor and in honor of the traditions of the village.

2013   On May 12, 2013, Attar’s performance with the Master Musicians of Jajouka on CNN’s Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, was aired in the first season’s episode 5 segment, which focused on Tangier.[

3 Photo essays by Sunny Suits and 1 by Arian Fariborz photographers and writers inspired at Master Musicians of Joujouka Festival 2013

American artist Sunny Suits
Sunny Suits Urban magazine Tangier see page 59

On Dazed and Confused online

Le Festsival Joujouka vu Sunny Suits in Liberation Weekend

Master Musicians of Joujouka by Arian Fariborz

Arian Fariborz has a photo essay from the 2013 Master Musicians of Joujouka up on Arian has previously written on Joujouka and included a chapter on Joujouka and a long interview with manager Frank Rynne in his 2010 book Rock The Kasbah Popmusik und Moderen inm Orient

The “Master Musicians of Joujouka”: Straddling East and West

Paul Trynka, former editor of Mojo and Q and author of the definitive biographies of David Bowie, Iggy Pop and now Brian Jones has written a major feature review on the Beat in Morocco featuring his experiences at The Master Musicians of Joujouka Festival.

The house where Brian Jones stayed in Joujouka. Photo by Paul Trynka.

As evening falls, the musicians walk into the tent in formal, almost military robes. From the first beat the music is arresting, melodies carried by seven or eight rhaita, oboe-like pipes – the pipes of Pan – flanked by five or six drummers playing tbel, primitive military-style drums. Pipers play a call and response; over the next five or six hours, then three successive nights, I hear hundreds of melodies, some surely blues or folk, some impossibly alien, while the drums boom out relentlessly hypnotic polyrhythms. The volume is overwhelming – your ears ring, your brain shakes, your teeth rattle. I’ve lost all consciousness of time, when suddenly a new energy fills the air – a goat-skinned apparition leaps on stage and the pipes distort into a rush of noise, like a Jimi Hendrix guitar solo. Bou Jeloud dances across the tent, shaking his hips in front of the musicians, who sweat with the intensity of their work. The little goat-skinned creature taunts musicians and crowd, brandishing olive branches, swiping young women and occasional unwary men.

It’s a provocative, powerful performance. But it’s fragile and endangered, too. “
“Morocco: Follow the sound of the Beats” by Paul Trynka published in The Independent UK 6 Sept 2014 online version 5 Sept 2014 Paul Trynka Morocco: Follow the sound of the Beats

Burroughs 100 Joujouka Boujeloud 15 Nov before European Beat Network Conference in Tangier Burroughs100 Nov 2014

In prelude to the European Beat Networks Conference which, this year honors William S Burroughs in his centenary year the Master Musicians of Joujouka will perform a special Burroughs100 event in their village  featuring Boujeloud on Sat 15 November. The price includes pick up and return to Ksar El Kebir, meals and accommodation for one night in the village. If you are not on a mailing list email for more details. Use Paypal Button below to pay 100 euro.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Video of Boujeloud at Master Musicians of Joujouka Festival 2013

The Sonic Masters in total drone mode. We have put a new video up on our youtube channel shot by Marek Pytel of Reality Films at the Master Musicians of Joujouka Festival 2013. This 5 min edit of hours long performance serves as a teaser and a taster. It features some serious drone sonics. Enjoy and please share. It features from the fraternity of The Master Musicians of Joujouka,
Ahmed El Attar, Abdeslam Rrtoubi, Abdellah Ziyat, Ahmed Talha, El Touhami Talha, Ali Ezouglai, Mustapha El Attar, El Khalil Radi, Mohamed Mokhchan, Mohamed El Attar,and Mohamed El Hatmi (Boujeloud).
Reality Films

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Rolling Stone feature on Master Musicians Of Joujouka Festival 2015

Suzanne Greber’s feature article ion the Master Musicians of Joujouka Festival 2015

Inside the Oldest, Most Exclusive Dance Party in the World
JoujoukaRead more: us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook
High in the southern Rif mountains of northern Morocco, just before midnight, a buzz begins to radiate through the groups of sprawled attendees decked out in colorful robes, hippie skirts and flowing Western clothes. Wordlessly we edge up from supine to seated, and rearrange ourselves in casual semicircles, all eyes on the 13 men in ceremonial brown djellabas parading up the front of the stage, which is to say the carpeted chill-out area of a three-sided tent done up in red and green tribal fabric.SIDEBARBrian Jones Rolling StonesBrian Jones: Sympathy for the Devil »Horn squeals and drum taps puncture the silence, come faster and gradually knit into melody and rhythm. A yowl of high-pitched ghaita horns pierces the air, reverberating from every direction, despite the lack of walls. Five different kinds of drums thunder into a rhythm, then syncopate and alternate, creating layers of polyrhythms.
Almost involuntarily, people make their way to their feet and begin dancing to the pounding drums, the energy among the audience escalating until it’s reached the same fever pitch as the players’. And just when it seems like the music is reaching a climax, rhythms change, horns shift gears and the tsunami of sound starts to recede and slowly build all over again.
This continues for a couple hours, until just like that, the music stops. Dancers inch their way to their spots on the carpet as the musicians, still glued to their chairs, ritualistically refill their spindly wooden Sebsi pipes and smile beatifically at one other and at the audience, who are flashing Cheshire cat grins right back at them.
Welcome to the eighth annual Master Musicians of Joujouka “micro” music festival; held in the stunningly isolated Ahl Srif region of Morocco’s Rif Mountains, it has become a destination event for impassioned fans around the globe. Each year, a growing number of musicians, world-music devotees and the curious stumble upon this tiny gathering (ticket sales are strictly limited to 50), many returning annually. They come to watch and dance to the village’s 15 or 20 master (or malikim in Arabic) musicians performing the tribe’s traditional music.
In the early 1950s, the Masters were renowned in their tribal region, but not much beyond. All that changed when writer Paul Bowles and Canadian artist Brion Gysin, based in the expat mecca of Tangier, stumbled upon the MMJ at a Sufi festival, fell in love with the music and befriended the Masters through their painter friend Mohamed Hamri, who had familial ties to Joukouka.
By making the MMJ the house band at their Tangier restaurant, Gysin and Hamri introduced them to the likes of Timothy Leary, William Burroughs and other American beats, as well as the Rolling Stones, which then included guitarist Brian Jones. Jones, instantly enamored, went on to produce their first album, Brian Jones Presents the Pipes of Pan, just before his death in 1969. Depending which source you believe, either Leary or Burroughs dubbed the MMJ “a 4,000-year-old rock & roll band.”
Shortly after that, jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman arrived to record with the Masters. In the 1980s, they played at England’s Glastonbury Festival and elsewhere on a wild three-month tour. Slowly they built an international following, which came to include Frank Rynne from Dublin, who first visited the village in 1994 to produce a record (Joujouka Black Eyes) and has been their manager ever since, producing more albums, organizing tours and, for the past eight years, the festival.
* * *
Music’s been an integral part of Joujouka since there’s been a Joujouka. Much of the history is shrouded in the same mist that rings the mountain landscape every morning and after it rains. But there’s consensus about the arrival of 15th-century Sufi saint Sidi Ahmed Schiech from Persia or Spain (a likely refugee of the Inquisition), who wrote music that had the power to heal disturbed minds. Today’s Masters are said to be able to heal through that same music.
Then there’s Boujeloud, a Pan-like half-goat man who’s known throughout Morocco, and who, according to myth, gave the gift of flute music to the master musicians. Every spring, he would come out of his cave and dance during the “feast week” that honored the Sufi saint, and bring fertility. The man who’s played this shamanic role for the past 47 years is an unassuming villager named Mohamed Hatmi. If you passed him on the dirt road, you might dismiss him as a simple man with little opportunity for self-expression. You would be very, very wrong.
Dressed in goatskin from head to knee, wearing a woven witchy hat and brandishing swaths of tree branches, gyrating onstage to the band’s cacophonous fusillade, Hatmi-as-Boujeloud is larger than life. His hips operate independently from the rest of his perhaps four foot, 10 inch frame, and he seems to be plugged into some infinite energy source. He thrashes musicians and when he races up to children in the audience, the blood drains from their faces as they flee in terror.
As Joujouka’s musical tradition has evolved from its tribal roots into an international concern, two factions have emerged who call themselves the Master Musicians. One group, led by Bachir Attar, whose father was the leader during the Jones era and who no longer resides in the village, has spent decades blocking the efforts of the local contingent (currently led by the bass drummer Ahmed el Attar) to call themselves the Masters and perform as such. It’s been challenging for them, but ironically, has led to greater exposure and acclaim.
As Rynne puts it in his unmistakable brogue, “The festival began to give the Master Musicians of Joujouka a voice and a place where they could show people that they were truly the masters of their village and their music. For their own community, it shows the younger generation that there is a future in the music, as each year people come from across the world and show devotion to their parents’ playing, culture and hospitality. And they want it to continue. They feel this music in their hearts; it’s in their blood.”
Read more:

Friday, April 17, 2015

Record Store Day Special Release 1000 vinyl LPs Master Musicians of Joujouka Into the Ahl Srif

The first record of new material available on vinyl since 1978. Focusing on the trance-inducing rhaita music of the fertility rites of Boujeloud, this eschews the highly edited, special effects approach of Brian Jones Presents The Pipes Of Pan At Joujouka in favor of a raw, untampered transmission. This LP takes a closer look than ever before at the most cacophonous, droning, & deeply psychedelic side of their music. Available 18 April 2015