By John Owoo
(In Rabat – Morocco)
Fra Band, a Ghanaian Afro fusion group mesmerized a capacity audience on the final day of Visa for Music Festival with a dramatic synthesis of Highlife, Rock, Soul, Jazz and Afro Beat.
In a magnetic performance at Club Renaissance, an arts hub in the center of the Moroccan capital Rabat, the group captured the imagination of the audience with a continuous stream of music that is unique and utterly compelling.
With intricately woven / intense acts that kept all corners of the stage constantly busy, members of the group managed to engage the attention of the audience, who virtually joined in the performance as they stood in awe of talented young men sharing their passion.
“Unquestionably Fra is one of the hottest bands that participated in the 2019 edition of Visa for Music Festival. More than half of the audience seemed to be dancing from the beginning to the end of the concert”, said Lucien Jacquemot, a teacher from Paris, France.
Performing at Salle Renaissance, Zimbabwean singer / bassist Edith Weutonga exhibited a vibrant rendition of Jiti, Chimurenga and Shona music spiked with elements of rumba, jazz, calypso and reggae.
Showcasing dexterity on her bass guitar, Weutonga alongside rhythm guitars, congas, percussion, drums and keyboards swayed the crowd with sustained Zimbabwean resonances thereby bringing the Southern African country into sharp focus.
Earlier, Salle Renaissance witnessed yet another soulful voice during the performance of Soufiane Nhass, a Moroccan singer who literally set the hall ablaze with pop and Arabic music through his own musical style and improvisations.
Also an author, composer and performer, Nhass inundated the hall with gentle pulses together with slow paced songs that equally projected the power of his voice while serene, methodical grooves and melodies filled the air.
Held under the auspices of King Mohammed VI, Visa For Music aims at promoting the constitution of a music marketplace in Africa and the Middle East in order to offer greater visibility as well as an environment that favours creativity and professionalization in the cultural sector.
Directed by Brahim El Mazned, the festival is also a means to galvanize the cultural and creative industries of the concerned region in order to stimulate their economy while providing platforms for musicians to showcase the artistic creations and the stimulation of intellectual dialogues.