News, reviews and commentary on afrobeat and related music from Africa, The Caribbean and The Americas

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Gnawa Notes

By Michael Shereikis

Likely you've dipped into the bassy groove of Gnawa music already. If not, it is definitely worth experiencing. Gnawa are the descendents of slaves brought across the Sahara to North Africa, and in particular, Morroco. Their music and culture have not only survived the ordeal, but taken on a fascinating character, with equal footing in its sub-saharan origin and North African home. If you haven't checked it out yet, check it out now!

If you've heard the sound and want to fill in some context, here are a couple places to begin. Otherwise just google "Gnawa":

Gnawa Stories, an interactive webpage distilling Gnawa historical and cultural information in an easy to navigate format. Click on Resources for a decent list of recordings. If you want more, check out Cybergnawas, and,

Hassan Hakmoun's website, one of the most well-known gnawa musicians recording today.

And of course there's always Gnawa Music on

1 comment:

  1. Me and my brother (we are from Holland) visited the Gnawa in 2002 and we had a great time. On the bus from Marrakech we met 2 Marokan girls we whom we spend some days. I forgot the names but would like to have contact again.