New York, NY, April 1, 2009 – The Fès Festival of World Sacred Music has united music lovers and musicians from around the world in the spiritual joys of music. Since its inception in 1994, the Fès Festival has developed into Morocco’s most inspiring cultural festival, drawing diverse audiences into a realm beyond everyday life and strife, connecting souls through the peaceful strains of music.

In 2009, the Fès Festival’s theme is built around the Tree of Life – as universal a symbol among different cultures as music. This year’s lineup of performers brings many branches to the tree from across the globe and features, among others, Lebanese singer Marcel Khalifé; American gospel star Marwa Wright; The Whirling Dervishes of Konya from Turkey; and pre-Christian Celtic legends from Loreena McKennitt, as well as dancers and musicians from India, Iran, Spain, and several other countries.

Even secular musicians have been inspired by the Fès Festival. No less a luminary than Irish rock band U2 began writing songs for their current album, “No Line on the Horizon,” during the 2007 festival. The city’s irresistible appeal has lured them back to film a video for “Magnificent,” a new single featuring Moroccan percussionists.

The following tour operators are making it easy to attend the 2009 Fès Festival with these air/hotel inclusive packages:

From May 29 – June 6, travel with The Africa Guide on their nine-day voyage to Morocco highlighting the ancient city of Marrakech, the unspoiled valleys of the High Atlas Valley of Ourika, trekking the hidden water villages of the High Atlas Mountains and culminating at the Fès Festival.

Starting at $2,250.00 USD per person, this package includes:
· Four-star hotel and riad accommodations
· Daily breakfast and dinner
· Transfers to and from the airport
· Certified tour guides
· Festival entrance fee
· Private car, gas and driver for entire trip
· All taxes
For more information, visit Africa Guide: Moroccan Sacred Music Festival & Tour.

Sarah Tours, Inc. offers a World Sacred Music Festival & Tour package form May 26 – June 9 that includes excursions to Morocco’s capital city, Rabat, the Roman ruins of Volubilis, Meknes where you will visit the acclaimed citadel of Moulay Idris, Rif Mountains, ending in the sacred city of Fez for the festival.

Starting at $2,885.00 USD per person, this package includes:
· Round trip flights from New York to Casablanca/Marrakech
· Hotel accommodations
· Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
· Land transportation to specified events in a motor coach
· Assistance from Sarah Tours guides and tour leaders
· Fees for monuments, museums, and festival activities
· Sufi music gatherings in Moroccan homes in the Fès medina
· Baggage and restaurant taxes
For more information or to view a complete itinerary, please visit Sarah Tours: World Sacred Music Festival and Tours, or call 800-267-0036.

From May 29 – June 11, Imagine Adventures takes you on an exhilarating and profound journey into the sounds of sacred music, Sufi mystical practice and the culture of Morocco on their “World Sacred Music Festival Tour.” During this 14-day trip you will visit the ancient imperial cities of Fès, Meknes and Marrakech, learn traditional chanting with Sufi teachers and relax in the whitewashed port city of Essaouira.

Starting at $2,950.00 USD per person, this package includes:
· Accommodations in hotels with breakfast included
· All concert tickets and passes to the Fès Colloquium
· Lectures with Steve Scholl on Sufism and Morocco
· Special sessions with Sufi teachers or musicians
· Ground transportation via 1st class trains or coaches for trips to Meknes and Sefrou
· Transportation to Marrakech, Essaouira and Casablanca
· Complimentary copy of the documentary film “Sound of the Soul” featuring scenes from the 2002 and 2004 World Sacred Music Festival
For more information and a detailed itinerary, visit Imagine Adventures: World Sacred Music Festival Tour, or call 541-301-7469.

The Fès Festival of Sacred Music schedule can be viewed in the appendix below. For additional information on the festival, visit www.fesfestival.com.

These tour operators also offer value packages to Morocco: Trafalgar, 1-866-544-4434, email: contactus@trafalgartours.com, Web: www.trafalgar.com; IsramWorld, 1-800-223-7460, Web: www.isram.com; General Tours, 1-800-221-2216, e-mail info@generaltours.com, Web: www.generaltours.com; Goway, 1-800-387-8850, Web: www.goway.com; SunnylandTours,1-800-783-7839, e-mail tours@sunnylandtours.com, Web: www.sunnylandtours.com.

15th FÈS FESTIVAL OF WORLD SACRED MUSIC: The Schedule

Friday, May 29
Opening Ceremonies – Bab Makina, 8:00PM
Marcel Khalifé with Al Mayadin Orchestra (Lebanon)
Oumeina Al Khali (Lebanon)

Saturday, May 30
Batha Museum, 4:30PM – Shantala Shivalingapa: Kuchipudi Dances (India)
Bab Makina, 8:00PM – Marwa Wright – Gospel (USA)

Sunday, May 31
Batha Museum, 4:30PM – Mohammad Motamedi – The Art of the Radif (Iran)
Bab Makina, 8:00PM – The Whirling Dervishes of Konya (Turkey); Ziya Azaz: “Icons”: Contemporary Dervish Dance (Turkey)

Monday, June 1
Batha Museum, 4:30PM – Yuval Ron with Najwa Gibran – Judeo-Arab songs and music (USA)
Bab Makina, 8:00PM – “Strings and Soul”: First Performance by Didier Lockwood (France) with Didier Lockwood String Sextet and Caroline Casadesus with Ihsan R’Miki and the Zaman al Wasl Ensemble (Morocco)

Tuesday, June 2
Batha Museum, 4:30PM – “Women of Mayotte’s Deba”: – Sufi ritual (Mayotte)
Bab Makina, 8:00PM – Souad Massi – “Mesk Elil – Honeysuckle”: (France /Algeria)

Wednesday, June 3
Batha Museum, 4:30PM – I’Muvrini: Sacred and popular Corsican songs (Corsica)
Bab Makina, 8:00PM – “Melos”Mediterranean Song– Keyvan Chemirani (Iran) with Samira Kadiri (Morocco) Esperanza Fernandez (Spain) and Giorgis Xyloyris (Greece)

Thursday, June 4
Batha Museum, 4:30PM – Dovna: Sacred Orthodox Songs (Serbia)
Bab Makina, 8:00PM – “The Gospel according to John” – Oratorio by Abed Azrié – Mediterranean Youth Orchestra – Instrumental ensemble and Choir of the Damascus Higher Institute of Music (France/Syria)

Friday, June 5
Batha Museum, 4:30PM – Gabriel Garrido and the Elyma Ensemble — Monteverdi: Baroque Sacred Songs and Music (Switzerland)
Bab Makina, 8:00PM – Sami Yussuf: Spiritual songs from the Arab world (England)

Saturday, June 6
Batha Museum, 4:30PM – Razbar Ensemble – Brotherhood of the Ahl-e Haqq – Mystic songs of Iranian Kurdistan (Iran)
Bab Makina, 8:00PM – Loreena McKennit– “The Book of Secrets”: Celtic legends from West and East (Canada)