World Music Network announce the latest winner in their Battle of the Bands
Simo Lagnawi is a Moroccan Gnawa maalem (master musician) and guembri (lute) player, who honed his craft with Gnawa masters in Morocco for 20 years before establishing himself as the UK’s premier guembri player. This week he has been named winner of World Music Network’s Battle of the Bands.
Lagnawi won the WMN battle with his high-energy acrobatic dancing combined with strident vocals, qaraqab (metal castanets) and guembri playing. Through his desire to ‘take Gnawa past its traditional limitations’ as well as keeping the traditional form of Gnawa alive, Lagnawi continues to step beyond the boundaries of the traditional in his collaborations in projects such as Electric Jalaba and Kamba Band.
Photography by Hassan Hajjaj
See a video of the winning track:
Simo Lagnawi’s debut album Gnawa London will be reviewed in our next issue, Aug/Sept 2013 (#94) on sale July 19. Visit Simo Lagnawi’s website to find out more.