Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Gnawa Festival

The Gnawa music inspired a number of great musicians such as Jimmi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and others. Gnaoua music is a pentatonic music very similar to Blues music because both are rooted in the heart of Africa.

Jimmy Page and Robert Plant went even further to create No Quarter in 1994. No Quarter is a fusion between gnaoua music and rock, following the steps of Randy Weston who was the first musician to fuse his jazz music with gnaoua in the 60's.

The Gnawa) Festival takes place in Essaouira - The Wind City - that hosted the hippy movement in the 70's. Essaouira is a very vibrant place to be from its rich culture and history to its beaches and weather that makes it a heaven for windsurfers.

"Gnawa are the descendents of slaves originating from Black Africa who established brotherhoods throughout Morocco. They are made up of master musicians (maâlem), metal castanet players, clairvoyants, mediums and their followers.
They are at the same time musicians, initiators and healers, blending African and Arabo-Berber customs. Despite being Muslims, the Gnawa base their ritual on djinn (spirits) straight from the the African cult of possession.
The most spectacular and important ceremony is the Lila, whose function is essentially therapeutic.
During the celebration the maâlem and his group call on the saints and supernaturel entities to take possession of their followers who fall into trance."

Gnawa Festival


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marok said...

Great festival indeed. I visited saouira in summer of 2007, and it was really awesome to enjoy my vacaction on gnawa rhythms. Now with my project; www.marok-vacancy.com, i have no time to go to the festival anymore. Maybe next year i will