The Master Musicians of Joujouka (until the 1990s synonymous with The Master Musicians Of Jajouka, but now a separate recording group) are an ensemble of sufi trance musicians from the village of Jajouka, Morocco in the southern Rif Mountains. The music of Jajouka is a form of reed, pipe, and percussion music that relies on drones, improvisation, and complex rhythms, much of which is unique to Jajouka, often creating a trance state, induced by the intense sound and rhythm of the flutes.
Their first exposure to Western audiences, while under the leadership of Hadj Abdesalam Attar, came through their introduction to the Beat generation. Painter/folklorist Mohamed Hamri, whose mother was an Attar from the village, led artist Brion Gysin to Jajouka to meet the group. Gysin became fascinated with the group's music and led writer William S. Burroughs to the village. Burroughs described it as the world's oldest music and was the first person to call the musicians a "4000-year-old rock and roll band". In Tangier, Gysin and Hamri founded the 1001 Nights restaurant, in which the musicians played throughout the 1950s to a largely Western audience.
When Rolling Stones lead guitarist Brian Jones visited Morocco in 1968, Gysin and Hamri took him to the village to record the ensemble in the ground-breaking release Brian Jones Presents The Pipes of Pan at Joujouka, whose original release featured cover artwork by Hamri. In 1995, this album was re-released on CD as Brian Jones Presents The Pipes Of Pan At Jajouka. A second LP was released under the name The Master Musicians of Jajouka in 1974.
After the death of Hadj Abdesalam Attar in 1982, leadership was passed on to his son Bachir Attar, who went on to record with a new generation of musicians under the name of The Master Musicians Of Jajouka (a.k.a. The Master Musicians of Jajouka Featuring Bachir Attar). Other members of the original group continue to record under the name of The Master Musicians of Joujouka, now led by Ahmed Attar on the Sub Rosa label. Both groups claim to be the one and only successor to the original legendary group led by Hadj Abdesalam Attar.
Besides Ahmed Attar, the current line up of The Master Musicians of Joujouka is: Mohamed El Attar, Mustapha El Attar, Abdeslam Boukhzar, Abdeslam Errtoubi, Muiner Mejdoubi, Radi El Khalil, Abdullah Ziyat, Mohamed Mokhchan and Ahmed El Bouhsini.
The official site for The Master Musicians of Joujouka is http://www.joujouka.net/.