The dean of Diwan music, who dedicated his life to Algerian music and culture, Mohamed Bahaz, passed away on Saturday night in Blida at the age of 81 after a long illness, according to his family.
Born into a family of Diwan practitioners, Mohamed Bahaz, who was steeped in this tradition, joined the troupe of the Algerian National Theatre and participated in several artistic events and in the production of the soundtrack of the film “The Battle of Algiers” (1966), which was one of his greatest achievements.
For more than two decades, Mohammed Bahaz performed on stage with his children and took under his wing a multitude of young Diwan music groups. He also became, along with his longtime friend, visual artist Denis Martinez, the darling of the “Racont’Art” festival, offering atypical installations at each edition.
A virtuoso of the tbel and goumbri, Mohamed Bahaz had a more contemporary vision of Diwan music, open to universality and fusion, while jealously preserving an ancestral heritage.
In 2019, Denis Martinez paid him a vibrant tribute with the exhibition “Bahaz Khouya Gnaoui Blidi, histoire d’une complicité” tracing his artistic career and his attachment to the heritage.