Intro to Gnawa Music Workshop:
Part 1: Introduction and History of Gnawa music, components of the Gnawa music, tradition of all-night rituals called “lilas”
Part 2: Interaction with the audience (Music & dance), including musical techniques, call-and-response, simple rhythms
Limited seating. Registration is required. Masks are required in the building.
Date: Thursday, March 31, 2022
Time: 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM CT
Venue: 640 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60613
Limited Parking: 615 W. Bittersweet Pl, Chicago, IL 60613
Gnawa musician Saïd Tichiti, whose maternal origin is Amazigh and paternal origin is black African, hails from the Moroccan city of Guelmim. His Budapest-based musical group, Chalaban, has a sound defined by Tichiti’s Afro-Arab roots; with exuberant Moroccan music enhanced by elements of Carpathian Basin, Roma, and Balkan sounds.
Chalaban aims to act as a vessel of the ancestral musical education Tichiti had been acquiring since childhood. “I don’t just play music and greet my audience before I disappear. I create a conversation with this audience; I talk to them about the origins of my music, my hometown. My performances are music with mini-conferences,” says Tichiti, who was featured in the 2018 documentary “Échos du Sahara.” The film sees Tichiti’s return from Budapest to the Sahara Desert, where he draws inspiration from the spiritual Hassani culture and presents a fruitful encounter of diverse musical traditions.
In collaboration with the Old Town School of Folk Music’s Ojalá! Residency, AIC will host Chalaban for an Intro to Gnawa Music workshop. Participants will learn about the history and components of Gnawa music – Moroccan and West African Islamic religious songs and rhythms, whose well-preserved heritage combines ritual poetry with traditional music and dancing – and the tradition of all-night rituals called “lilas.” They will learn the musical techniques of Gnawa, its method of call-and-response, and simple rhythms. Participants may bring their own percussive instruments and will have the opportunity to use the band’s small Moroccan instruments. This in-person event is free, open to all ages, with limited seating. Online option is available.