mediterranean berber music



japan tour 2017


The Berber or Amazigh people are the indigenous ethnic group of North Africa, and their language–an ancient dialect–was spoken from Egypt to the Canary islands. Marginalized by successive invasions, the language survived mostly through oral tradition. It was not until recent decades that this cultural treasure was finally officially recognized and accepted. 

From his mountain village in the Grande Kabylie, Rachid Azzouz became a proud witness of his thousand-year-old heritage. As a child, he built his own guitar from a used oil can and fishing line. At first, he sang melodies inspired by traditional lullabies, and later, by Kabyle contemporary musicians and world famous folk bands.

Later still, Rachid Azzouz composed his own songs characterized by joy, happiness, and the love of the country, but also by homesickness, melancholy, and suffering. All this he recorded in one moving album “Tigzirt”, which he played at Chicken George in Kobe five years ago. He also sang in Kyoto for the Francophonie Festival, as well as in Osaka, Nara, and Tokyo, making him the first artist ever to sing Berber songs in this nation. He also toured his album throughout France, mostly in Paris.

From November 3 through November 11, Rachid will perform his new album, released later this year, back in Japan, returning for another show at Chicken George. He will be accompanied by Christophe Boucheron, Lounes Bouali, Laurent Villebois, and Sylvain Shenner, who join him all the way from Paris.


Vocal, Guitar / Rachid Azzouz
Lead vocal, Guitars / Lounes Bouali
Clarinet & Saxophone/ Christophe Boucheron
Bass / Sylvain Henner
Drums / Laurent Bollé