Traveling Spirit Masters

Gnawa musicians have carved out a unique niche within Moroccan society as people with revered spiritual power, who use music and movement to heal the sick. The Gnawas’ ancestors came to North Africa as slaves. Today they are an elite class of musicians and spiritualists, celebrated in an annual festival that attracts some 400,000 fans, and invited to collaborate with such notable international artists as jazz legend Randy Weston. In this program, author and scholar Deborah Kapchan guides us through the history, practices, music, lore and unique contemporary stature of the Gnawa, both in Morocco and on the world stage. Interviews with Hassan Hakmoun, historian Mohammed Ennaji, and gnawa scholar Tim Abdellah Fuson.