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
In a stunning display of North and West African fusion, El Foukr R’Assembly, a group traveling all the way from Algeria performs live on WKCR. The musicians from Algeria, Burkina Faso and Ghana come together for two explosive sets of music
A taxi-driver & a farmer, a graphic designer, a sound engineer and an art-major student, Oualid Khelifi as the producer and filmmaker had met them lin 2014 at various parts of Algeria before suggesting a long term project around docfilm and experimental AfroFusion music linking the Maghreb with the rest of Africa.
So far, the project has recorded, documented or produced 18 African musicians from Algeria, Niger, Ghana and Burkina Faso.
Todays show features
Justice Nii Adjiri aka Shikome
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.
This podcast we were joined by Hatim Belyamani, executive director of remix ←→ culture. Hatim has been making incredible field recordings throughout Morocco in remote locations. (Check out the picture below). He will share these amazing recordings with the WKCR audience and conclude with a live remix of his own.
remix ←→ culture is a nonprofit artist collective committed to growing a conversation between traditional music(ians) and digital remix art(ists). They love folk music traditions that have been evolving for a long time, and so and go find them in remote corners of the world. They make high quality audio and video recordings of their live performances, using several microphones and cameras, each on different instruments. This allows them not only to make beautiful videos of the original performance, but also to then create vide o remixes of the separate instruments, and bring them to the public via participatory remix experiences.
A real thrill: One of the most legendary musicians of Morocco, Hassan Hakmoun stopped by WKCR to give a sneak peak of his new album, Spirit, and performed live with Said Damir.
As a master musician whose vision and contributions have enabled a unique fusion and blending of traditions, cultures and genres in a world of ever-expanding global communication and exchange, his work maintains its profound and enormous capacity to joyously inspire and heal the individuals and communities it reaches, as Hakmoun undoubtedly remains a commanding and intriguing artist in the world music scene.
Hakmoun’’s musical origins are rooted in the African folk music of the Islamic Gnawa sect, descendants from West African slaves brought to North Africa several hundred years ago. Their music combines complicated West African syncopations with long, sinuous North African melodies. Tracing their roots back to the Bilal, a freed slave known for his beautiful voice and believed to have been chosen by the Islamic prophet Mohammed to serve as the first muezzin to call the people of the faith to their prayers, Gnawa musicians often express their religious devotion through their music, using it to enter into spiritual trance states.
Since moving to the US in 1987 his music has absorbed elements from a variety of popular styles, from jazz and “world music” to neo-classical contemporary Western music and cerebral pop, resulting in a diverse, award-winning and critically acclaimed body of work.
It’s been 26 years since the talented vocalist and sintir player released Gift of the Gnawa. yet the time has been spent well. Hakmoun’s latest album, ‘Unity’ is the finest example of ritual music combined with the heart of American rock, soul and blues ever recorded.