Aziz Sahmaoui & University of Gnawa
Aziz Sahmaoui (عزيز السحماوي) is a Moroccan musician specialized in the modern Gnawa music. Born in 1962, un Marrakesh, Sahmaoui started listening to Gnawa music since his young age, influenced by his father. After his studies, he moved to Paris where he co-founded the National Orchestra of Barbès (ONB) which mixed Reggae and Raï with North African influences and released two albums with ONB. In 2010, Sahmaoui founded his own band, University of Gnawa, having members from various countries including France, Senegal and North Africa. Inspired by its founder's experience, the band shows traces of many genres: North African Paris, ethno-Jazz Fusion, Raï, Chaabi and traditional West African music. Its core curriculum remains though: The deep exploration of Gnawa trance music. Aziz Sahmaoui & University of Gnawa have released three albums (University of Gnawa in 2011, Mazal in 2014 and Poetic Trance in 2019) and a greatest hits album in 2020.