The world-renowned Moroccan Festival Gnaoua et Musiques du MondeEssaouira celebrates its 20th anniversary with a debut NYC collaboration. Great Maalems (masters) and all-stars of the festival trace a musical journey of the ancient music of Gnawa during a night of trance and tradition.
There will be events all week in NYC.
In this WKCR broadcast we get to speak with master drummer, Will Calhoun;Samir Langus and Nawfal Atiq of Innov GnawaMeera Dugal of Lincoln Center, about what to expect and delve deep into this magical tradition
Of all the concerts I’ve produced this was one of the most exciting and meaningful. This installation of Africa/India Series live at ShapeShifter Lab was a synergy of the Morrocan trance tradition embodied by Hassan Ben Jaffer and Innov Gnawa as we combined forces with the musicians of the Brooklyn Raga Massive All-Stars.
Thanks to Sameer Gupta for mixing this Mutha!
Maalem (Master)Hassan Ben Jaafer (Sintir, vocals)
Samir Langus (Sintir, Vocals)
Ahmed Jeriouda (Vocals, percussion)
Amino Belyamani (Vocals, percussion)
Said Sayed (Vocals, percussion)
Nawfal Atiq (Vocals, percussion)
BRM ALL-STARS Guy Mintus (Piano, Melodica)
David Ellenbogen (Guitar)
Adam Maalouf (Percussion)
Kevin Nathaniel (mbira, percussion)
Hany ElDiwany (Surbahar)
Michael Gam (Bass)
Sitting in: Pawan Benjamin (Sax), Aaron Shregge (trumpet) Ken Shoji (violin) Vin Scalia (percussion) Jessica Lurie (Sax)
One from the archives: There was much talk about Randy Weston on the last few episodes about Gnawa music. I thought I’d broadcast part 1 of an interview I did with him a few years back. This was first broadcast as a podcast that I never really got going with. If you haven’t checked him out, I hope this will inspire you to check out some albums or see him in concert.
Part 2 coming soon…we hung out and spoke for hours that day.
After contributing seven decades of musical direction and genius, Randy Weston remains one of the world’s foremost pianists and composers today, a true innovator and visionary.
Encompassing the vast rhythmic heritage of Africa,
his global creations musically continue to inform and inspire.
“Weston has the biggest sound of any jazz pianist since Ellington and Monk, as well as the richest most inventive beat,” states jazz critic Stanley Crouch, “but his art is more than projection and time; it’s the result of a studious and inspired intelligence…an intelligence that is creating a fresh synthesis of African elements with jazz technique”.
Recorded live at Lincoln Center, Gnawa Diffusion are true rebel rockers who deftly slide from traditional Gnawa sounds to reggae, rock, dancehall and and million other styles. The group’s leader and visionary is Amazigh Kateb who hails from Algeria. I was lucky to hang with Amazigh a few days later in Brooklyn, (along with Alexandre Tannous) and record our discussion.
Thanks to Meera Dugal for setting up these last two great Gnawa Podcasts !
We had a blast hanging out and recording, and this lines up with a big free concert they’ll be playing this Thursday at Lincoln Center, and the release of their new self titled album.
InnoVe Gnawa is a musical band made of artists from different parts of morocco all the way to NYC gathering to Keep this ancient healing Gnawa music.
InnoVe Gnawa is a gnawa band comprised of artists from different parts of Morocco. Led by master Maalem Hassan BenJaafer, InnoVe Gnawa celebrates this ancient spiritual music of North Africa in NYC with an innovative, hypnotic, and ecstatic take on this trance-inducing folk tradition.