Saturday, November 18, 2017 | SOLD OUT – Gnawa Lila with Maalem Hassan Ben Jaafer and Innov Gnawa | 8:00 PM | Advance Tickets: $30 | At Door: $35


In this intimate and sacred gnawa gathering, Innov Gnawa will take you through a traditional gnawa ceremony called a lila (pronounced lee-la). The lila, meaning “night”, ritual usually takes place from dusk to dawn in private homes where the community gathers for spiritual healing. In this rare 4-hour immersive experience, Maalem (Master) Hassan Ben Jaafer and Innov Gnawa will invite listeners into this private ceremony and take audiences through the seven colors of gnawa.

Maalem (Master) Hassan Ben Jaafer – vocals and sintir
Samir Langus – vocals and qraqeb
Amino Belyamani- vocals and qraqeb
Ahmed Jeriouda- vocals and qraqeb
Nawfal Atiq- vocals and qraqeb
Said Bourhana- vocals and qraqeb
Kareem Ababo – vocals and qraqeb

About Innov Gnawa

Innov Gnawa is a musical collective dedicated to exploring Morocco’s venerable gnawa music tradition in the heart of New York City. Formed in the summer of 2014 by Moroccan expat Samir LanGus, the group draws on the considerable talents and expertise of Hassan Ben Jaafer, a Maâlem, or master gnawa musician, originally from Fes, Morocco. Under the guidance of Ben Jaafer, Innov has delved deep into the roots and rituals of gnawa music, and made a big splash in NYC, playing some of the city’s most prestigious rooms including Lincoln Center, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn Bowl, Terminal 5, Celebrate Brooklyn as well around the US at Coachella, Red Rocks Amphitheater, and The Cleveland Museum of Art.

For the uninitiated, gnawa music is the ritual trance music of Morocco’s black communities, originally descended from slaves and soldiers once brought to Morocco from Northern Mali and Mauritania. Often called “The Moroccan Blues”, gnawa music has a raw, hypnotic power that’s fascinated outsiders as diverse as writer/composer Paul Bowles, jazz giant Randy Weston and rock god Jimi Hendrix. The music is utterly singular, played on an array of unique instruments — from the lute-like sintir that the Maâlem uses to call the tune, to the metal qarqaba (castinets) with which the kouyos (chorus) keep time and pound out clattering, hypnotic rhythms.

Hailed by Brooklyn Magazine as one of the “5 Bands You Need to Know in Brooklyn’s Arabic Music Scene“, Innov Gnawa make great use of this traditional repertoire, and add their own, contemporary spin with additional African and Latin percussion. Taken as a whole, this exciting new outfit works hard to fuse a centuries old North African tradition with the pulse and attitude of New York City.

I. AADA (Musical Procession)

II. WLAD BAMBARA (Children of Bambara) / Joyous music

III. FTOUH RAHBA (Opening Ritual) / WHITE

IV. KOUHAL (The Blacks) / BLACK


VI. L’HOUMAR (The Reds) / RED

VII. CHORFA (The Saints) / GREEN

VIII. WLAD L’GHABA (Children of the Forest) / BLACK


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