Another highlight of this trip was a visit to the Gnaoua Music Cultural Center.  The Gnaoua are local musicians and there is a Gnaoua music festival each year held in Essaouira.  The festival provides a platform for exchanges and a meeting point of music and dialogue between foreign artists and the Gnaoua.  This consists of jazz, pop, rock and contemporary world music and about 500,000 visitors over four days attend.  Here at their cultural center, visitors are seldom allowed unless invited.  Our guide, Lahcen, who lives in Merzouga and who seemed to know everyone, everywhere in Morocco managed to get us an invitation inside for a private show.  After an amazing, almost spiritual performance, we were invited to dance and sing with them.  We felt so very special and honored and will remember it always.

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