A Legendary Band from North Africa: The Best of ‘Nass El Ghiwane’, has gone a long musical journey and is finally available on CD so listeners can enjoy the essence of traditional Moroccan music in its best form.
‘Nass el Ghiwane’ was formed in the late 1960's by four young men from the impoverished district of Hay el Mohammadi in industrial Casablanca.
The group began performing in the theater troupe ‘Tayeb Essidiki,’ and while performing the piece "Al Majdoub" for Parisian crowds in the summer of 1969 they had the novel idea of using traditional Moroccan music onstage.
‘Nass el Ghiwane’ specialized in writing colloquial poetry about topics related to the social and political climate of the time, arranging their prose to music in the Moroccan tradition.
They chose simple instruments such as drums and strings, and did not employ any modern technology, except amplification. They used percussions like the Bendir, Derbouka, Daadou', Ta'rija and Tbila, as well the Guembri and the Arabic lute. Nass el Ghiwane was about simplicity and they came to remind Moroccans of their country's rich musical legacy.
‘Nass El Ghiwane’ played a central role in the renewal of ‘Maghrebi’ (Moroccan) music. Khaled, one of biggest ‘Rai'’ singers started by playing ‘Nass El Ghiwane’ at weddings and parties. ‘Nass El Ghiwane’ is less instrumental than ‘Raï’ and is based on voices and chorus, although they are considered one of the influences that led to this new kind of music.
‘Nass El Ghiwane’ was also the first band to use instruments like the banjo and to start the modernization of traditional Moroccan and ‘Maghrebi’ music, especially ‘Gnawa’ music, which they helped reintroduce to a wider audience.