Gnaoua music is a mix of Islamic Sufism and West African traditions that dates back more than a thousand years. The city of Essaouira is home to an annual festival to the culture and music style, both of which are struggling for survival in a modern and more secular world. Musicians from throughout Africa travel to the city to play with Gnaoua master musicians.
As a port city on the Atlantic Ocean, Essaouira has a reputation as a crossroads of cultures and religions. The city has been constantly inhabited for thousands of years and each ruling group influenced the culture. Gnaoua music and the local style of dance developed from street performers in the city.
Gnaoua musician Mokhtar Guinea is part of the younger generation that is working to modernize the traditional music style. He is working with a French producer to update lyrics and arrangements of ancient songs. Khalil Mounji developed an app to teach people how to play the Guembri, which is a key element of Gnaoua music.
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Every year, thousands of people from across the world journey to the Moroccan city of Essaouira to experience Gnaoua culture. But can this music, steeped in ancient rituals and religious mysticism, adapt to a changing, modern world?
Length: 23 minutes
Copyright date: ©2018
Prices include public performance rights.
Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.
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