Aziz Sahmaoui brings together his musical passions — gnawa, rock, and jazz — in a globe-trotting collaboration with high-flying Senegalese experimentalists. Led by composer, poet and guembri player Samhaoui, a co-founding member of the influential Orchestre National de Barbes (ONB) and alumnus of Joe Zawinul’s Syndicate, University of Gnawa brings together gnawa roots, unstoppable choruses and emotional flights of improvisation, supporting richly layered poetic lyrics. Aziz’s bewitching voice, adept at alternating between the inflections of a bluesman, a muezzin, and a crooner, pulls us inexorably into his poetic universe where any bitterness of the day to day melts away into a jubilatory energy.
Noura Mint Seymali is the Islamic Republic of Mauritania’s defining artist on the international stage. Drawing deep on the timeless repertoire of the Moorish griot, a hereditary class of musical poet / historians, her band conjures. “a full blown sandstorm of hypnotic grooves, melding traditional Mauritanian instruments, like the ardine and tidinite, within an electrified psychedelic rock band.” – The Quietus (UK).
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