This week in the Sahara desert we have the immense privilege to host a musical residency with maestro Vasti Jackson, a Grammy nominated blues musician from Mississippi, who has worked with Playing For Change for years, and Maya Kyles, a very talented young drummer from Mississippi as well. The two are working with local musicians from the M'Hamid el Ghizlane region of southern Morocco where the Joudour Sahara Music Program is located. Local musicians perform both the modern Saharan Blues style popular across Saharan Africa, and traditional tribal groups are represented as well to provide the roots of the local music.
Vasti, Maya, and the local musicians are working to find the connection between blues from the two continents, and so far the residency is off to an amazing start. There was an immediate connection between as Vasti and Maya found out there are many similarities between traditional blues from Mississippi and modern Saharan Blues in M'Hamid. We are blessed to witness this cross cultural exchange and wanted to share a few photos from the residency before we edit a video showing the work that we are doing this week in M'Hamid. The group will also perform some of the songs they've been putting together this week at the Taragalte Music festival that will be hosted this week in M'Hamid, along with other legendary african musicians such as Tinariwen, Habib Koité and Oum, among many more.