Maâlem Hassan El Gadiri & Sons · traditional gnawa
Available in Europe & North America in Summer & Autumn 2020 and in Asia in Winter 2020-2021
After several years of absence from the international stages, Maâlem HASSAN EL GADIRI does us the honor, in 2020, to leave his activities within its brotherhood to offer us the authentic gnawa sound of Marrakech.
Accompanied by his three sons, whom he introduced to the art of playing guembri at a very young age, and the experienced Kamal Ifir, Maâlem HASSAN EL GADIRI will delight us with his trance music, which is sometimes hypnotic and haunting and sometimes percussive and wild. Between the basses of the Guembri and the heights of the metal castanets (Qarqabas), the beguiling voices lead us in pure Marrakchi style to the African roots of trance.
The musicians were born and live in the Gnawa Brotherhood in Marrakech. They practice and refine their art daily during the performances on the Djemaa El Fnaa square, where Maâlem HASSAN EL GADIRI also plays an important social role, during the ritual trance nights (Lilas), the production of high-quality guimbres and Gnawa ritual objects for export and their tours abroad.
As recognized and sought-after gnawa, they have worked together and individually with renowned artists, musicians, and producers such as Blanca Li, Paco & Nass El Ghiwahne, Hassan Hakmoun, Bill Laswell, Gnawa Diffusion, Gnawa Halwa, Jan Rase, Gnawa Impulse, Trance Mission and a few more. They have performed in many international clubs and at various festivals: Festival Gnaoua – Essaouira, Montreux Festival, Institut du Monde Arabe, New Morning – Paris, UFA Fabrik – Berlin, Africa Festival – Würzburg, but also in Tangier, New York, Amsterdam, The Hague, Brussels, Madrid, Prague, Zagreb, Palermo, Hamburg, Frankfurt …
Together they lead the most diverse audiences into a trance and convey the warmth of African tradition thanks to their modern know-how and experience on the stages of the world, which complement their traditional knowledge.
5 musicians + 1 sound engineer + 1 road manager
Maâlem Hassan Zgarhi dit“El Gadiri“ – 68 y.o.: Guembri, lead vocal, choir, qarqabas and tbel (drum)
Samir Zgarhi – 47 y.o.: Guembri, choir, qarqabas, tbel and dance
Kamal Ifir – 41 y.o.: Guembri, choir, qarqabas, tbel and dance
Abidine Zgarhi – 28 y.o.: Guembri, choir, qarqabas, tbel and dance
Jamal Zgarhi – 21 y.o.: Guembri, choir, qarqabas, tbel and dance
The musicians appear on numerous CDs and compilations of Moroccan music released since 1987, including:
”Moroccan Trance Music : Jilala & Gnaoua”
(Randy Barnwell & Paul Bowles-Sub Rosa 1990)
”Gnawa Night Spirit Masters”
(Bill Laswell-Island 1990)
”Rhabaouine” de Gnawa Halwa
(Blanca Li Records 1994)
”Moroccan Trance 2- SUFI”
(Frank Rynne-Sub Rosa 1996)
”World of Gnawa”
(Randy Djamal Barnwell-Rounder Records 2001)
”Living Remixes” von Gnawa Impulse
(J.Rase, D.Beck, P.Massy-GIP Music 2002)
”Oulad Bambara-Portraits of Gnawa” CD/DVD
(Caitlin McNally, R. O’Malley & J. van Praag – Drag City 2009)
”Jah Gnaoui” von Gnawa Impulse
(Jan Rase-Tonicum Records 2013)
BLOOM, «a collection of french world music II »(Bureau Export de la Musique Française, Paris 2002) ; WOMEX GUIDE 2002 (Essen); DRUM and TRIBE vol.3 (oriental breakbeat- Blue Flame Records 2002); ROUGH GUIDE TO ARABESQUE (World Music Network, Londres 2002) ; STRICKLY MUNDIAL 2002 «European Forum of Worldwide Music Festivals »(SSWX10-Belgique 2002); ARMANI CAFÉ (Neverstop Records, Seattle – worldwide 2003); AS FAR AS (DJ Cheb i Sabbah-Six Degrees Records 2003) ; ORIENTAL GARDEN 1 & 2 (The world of oriental groove-Soul Star Records 2003) ; PARIS BARBES TOUR (Urban Bled Music 2004); Beginner’s guide to ARABIAN LOUNGE (Demon Music Group/Nascente-Londres 2006) …
THE GNAWA BROTHERHOOD
The Gnawa are a brotherhood with mythical origins from Mali and the Sudan. It has thousands of followers in Morocco, particularly Marrakech. Ritual practices based on music and trance unfold during night-time ceremonies known as ‚Lilas‘. The social importance of the Gnawa is evident during these private celebrations. The Gnawa can provoke or pacify a state of trance among the public, whether initiated or not. The trance plays a role which is both therapeutic, liberating and integrating. This tradition is handed down orally and musically from Maâlem (master) to Maâlem among families of often slave origin.
The traditional instruments are the guembri or sintir (three chord bass guitar covered with camel skin), qarqabas (metal castanets) and Tbel, the drums. The singing is cyclical in structure, with one sentence from the soloist followed by a sentence sung in chorus.
The Moussems (pilgrimages) are an annual opportunity for the various Gnawa groups (Aissaoua, Jilala, Hamadsha) to meet up and share ideas. During the Moussems, daytime processions and night-time Lilas take place around a given saint’s mausoleum.
A Lila is made up of three parts. The order varies depending on family traditions.
In general, the first part is secular (Oulad Bambara, without qarqabas, then Neksha, with qarqabas), the singing and dancing precede the actual ceremony and there is no trance. A ritually sacrificed animal is served during the meal to all the guests.
This is followed by the Ada (calling of the spirits) organized by the Moqqadma (mistress of ceremony). Punctuated by the rhythm of the drums, the first trances often take place at this part, with offerings of dates and milk.
The third and longest part is dedicated to the Mlouks. It gives rise to the most varied rituals, undertaken in a state of trance by the Moqqadma and her followers: handling of knives, broken glass, water and flour. Colors attributed to the spirits then follow: white, color of the descendants of the Prophet; green, color of the saints of Islam; the first black, color of the Sudanese ancestors; blue, color of the sea; red, the color of sacrifice; the second black, color of the forest; then yellow, color of the sun and the harvest.
A Lila ends with a festive atmosphere at dawn, accompanied by a meal served to all the guests.