Often referred to as “Sufi Blues,” Gnawa is rooted in Morocco’s ancient history. Over centuries, infectious rhythms and polytheistic spiritual beliefs originating from West African slaves integrated with Islam and the indigenous culture of Morocco, giving birth to a hybrid spiritual sect and musical community. The lyrics of Gnawa songs are actually prayers invoking saints and spirits for freedom and liberation. Like Blues music from the American south, Gnawa is revered and treasured throughout Morocco for its soulfulness.
Innov Gnawa Tuesday October 24th 2023 8pm (7:30pm Doors) SISTERS - 900 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11238 $20 Admission
Followed by the monthly Arabic music jam!
Innov Gnawa is an NYC-based Grammy-nominated music group led by Ma’alem Hassan Ben Jaafer. The title Ma’alem, meaning master, denotes Ben Jaafer’s ancestral heritage of the musical tradition, which was passed down generationally within his family in Morocco. As spiritual elder of the ensemble, he plays the three-stringed African bass, or guembri. Ben Jaafer is accompanied by Amino Belyamani and Nawfal Atiq, along with a brotherhood of guest musicians, all playing the karkabas, metal castanets whose staccato sound is said to represent the shackles and chains of slaves.