SOAS University of London

Department of Music, School of Arts

The Healing Roots of Gnawa

Simo Lagnawi

Date: 8 December 2017Time: 7:30 PM

Finishes: 8 December 2017Time: 9:15 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Concert

£3 donation required to guarantee seat allocation. Please book via Eventbrite

Gnawa is the music of formerly enslaved black Africans who integrated into the Moroccan social and cultural landscape and founded a model to preserve the traditions and folkloric music of their ancestors. Gnawa musicians play a deeply hypnotic form of ‘trance music’, featuring low-toned, rhythmic guembri (traditional lute) melodies, call-and-response singing and the distinctive and unforgettable sound of metal, hand-held rattles called krakeb. Traditionally, Gnawa ceremonies use music and dance to evoke ancestral saints and heal everything from psychological ills to scorpion stings. Since his arrival in the UK in 2008, Gnawa musician Simo Lagnawi has performed everywhere from East London’s Passing Clouds to the Royal Albert Hall, Glastonbury Festival and The British Museum. As well as playing traditional Gnawa music, Simo is continuously pushing new boundaries within Gnawa through his work with Electric Jalaba, Gnawa Griot, and Gnawa Blues Allstars. In this concert however, he goes back to basics, returning to the roots of Gnawa with his group, Gnawa London.