Innov Gnawa at Alwan for the Arts
The tradition of Gnawa as a cultural expression developed it's current musical form primarily in Morocco, with roots effected by socioeconomic migration, civil upheavals and displacement of people from other African countries. Gnawa music strives for aesthetic transport and spiritual healing in performative intensity that could sustain twelve hours of communal and shared engagement. In essence, it is a Lila, a unique event or fete in pursuit of transcendence. "Lila" which means "night" in Arabic. is a communal night in an intimate place for those who wish to enter into a collective experience, and in unison find themselves in the edifying rhythms and soaring melodies of Gnawa music.
Innov Gnawa will be performing a Chaabana, which is a lila" that takes place during the month of Chaaban, of the Islamic calendar, which precedes the fasting month of Ramadan. For the Gnawa, Ramadan is so sacred that only silence, solitude and contemplation are what could be in deference to it, making a Chaabana even more vigorous in its intensity.
Based in New York City, Innov Gnawa is a traditional Moroccan gnawa band led by Maalem Hassan Ben Jaafer. After gaining recognition as the first gnawa band to be featured in Music Under New York, Innov Gnawa has quickly reached a large and adoring audience by approaching collaborations across all genres with an open spirit. From performing with Americana folk darlings at The Music Hall of Williamsburg to New Orleans second-line all stars at Brooklyn Bowl and most recently with Algerias reggae gnawa legends Gnawa Diffusion at Lincoln Center, Innov Gnawa is uniting music fans with their innovative, hypnotic, and ecstatic take on North Africas trance-inducing folk tradition. Innov Gnawa released their self-titled debut album on July 16, 2015 and just recently released a limited edition LP on Pique Nique Recordings featuring remixed versions of two traditional gnawa songs.
Alwan for the Arts (View)
16 Beaver St. 4th Fl
New York, NY 10004