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Simo Lagnawi, a Maâlem (Gnawa master musician) from Morocco, is considered the leading exponent of Gnawa music in the UK today. Gnawa is trance music that was brought by the black slaves to North Africa and is an energetic mix of Islamic chants invoking the spirits and Gnawa rituals of healing. The musical experience includes colourful costume, lively singing, playing the guembri (a camel-skinned bass) and krakebs (metal castanets) and acrobatic dance – not to mention tassel twirling on cowrie-encrusted headwear!
Simo is on the road to tour his second album released on award-winning Riverboat label alongside his band the Gnawa Blues All-Stars, a dynamic mix of superb African and European artists from a variety of backgrounds. An innovative performer Simo blends his musical traditions with others and has collaborated in a range of musical genres as well as composing new works in a traditional Gnawa style. Simo is a World Music Network competition winner and has played at numerous high-profile events such as the Arab Summer of Culture Festival at the V&A. He is a regular on the London ‘world music’ scene and has toured all over Morocco, the UK and Europe.
Contact: Griselda Sanderson
- article submitted by:Griselda Sanderson, Waulk Records