They were split by the revolution, and 45 years later, they were reunited by the love for North African music, Chaâbi. Band members and old friends, Jews and Muslims, rejoice once again on one stage. Musicians that lived the era now hand over the heritage of Chaâbi music to the generation of the age of their grandchildren. Together they perform as El Gusto, which translated means “the good mood”. They will the good mood also to Trenčín in early July 2018.
The centre of the Algerian metropolis was known in the first half of the 20th century for its great cafés and busy life. The specific North African atmosphere was complemented with Chaâbi music performed by talented musicians. The music combines the elements of Berber and Andalusian musicality, religious chanting, and a distinct throat singing accompanied by quite diverse instruments. Numerous orchestras hosted graduates from a local conservatory, including a large Jewish community. Everything was changed in the revolution of 1962, after which the Jews fled the country and the Muslims were moved to the outskirts.
After 45 years, they were reunited by a coincidence. Safinez Bousbia, a young architect from Oxford University, met Mohamed Ferkioui in his shop in downtown Algiers. When she asked about the old photo on the wall, he told her a strong story that motivated her to find his former friends. Eventually, she managed to succeed in a great deal. In France and Algeria, she found nearly thirty Mohamed's band co-players, graduates of the already shut-down Chaâbi Conservatory, and collected their stories in a great documentary. This unique human and musical connection has also won awards at film festivals in Pusan and Abu Zabi. The soundtrack for the film was recorded in Damon Albarn Studio. “I have a new life, a rebirth!” We eat together, we sleep together. We’re a family, really a family. Ha! This is what paradise is”, said Mohamed Ferkioui, accordionist, for the NY Times during their concert in Paris about the “rebirth” of old friendships and the band. During their year-round tour, you can see for the first and the last time the parting heroes of a true film story in the original set together with the future of Chaâbi represented in their students. As part of the tour, we will welcome them at Pohoda 2018.