Aziz Sahmaoui & University Of Gnawa


Marrakesh, a city representing the wide cultural melting pot of Moroccan tribes and sounds, birthed this artist who was steeped in Gnawa and other traditional musics through his father, forming his own group at age 14. Moving to France in the late ‘80s, he founded and led Orchestre National de Barbes (ONB), renowned for their synthesis of North African rhythms with jazz and fusion and in 2005 recorded with Joe Zawinul. Since that jazz master’s 2007 death, he has been a Zawinul Syndicate member and now leads the five-piece University of Gnawa project whose mesmerizing trance music is built from North African and jazz sounds.

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