Mohamed Errebbaa Gnawa Music Workshop

Mohamed Errebbaa Gnawa Music Workshop

Sunday 26 February 2023
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Ashburton Arts Centre


Book here now: £15 full price • £10 or £7 if you prefer – please pay what you can*

WORKSHOP – Sunday 26 February, 3pm – 5pm
£15 or £10 or £8– please pay what you can. To book, email

Mohamed Errebbaa will lead an introduction to Gnawa culture (with a short performance)

*Part 1 – Singing (learning call and response songs)
*Part 2 – Clapping patterns
*Part 3 – Krakeb (learning 6/8 rhythms on percussive instrument called Krakeb (metal castanets)
*Part 4- Jam with anyone who brings their instrument.

The Gnawa and Their Origins

The term “Gnawa” refers firstly to a North African ethnic minority that traces its origins to West African slaves and soldiers. Gnawa communities in the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia) trace their origins to the Sudan, not meaning the present-day nation of Sudan, but rather sub-Saharan African in general. (The word “Sudan,” after all, is merely the Arabic word for “the Blacks.”) Thus, like the term “African-American,” Gnawa refers to a group of people whose ancestors came from diverse regions of Africa but took on a collective identity in exile. In song texts, the Gnawa refer to their origins among the Bambara, Fulani, and Haussa, and history points to a large influx of them primarily in the Niger river bend area of Mali and Niger. The origins of a black African community in the Maghreb may be traced back at least as far as Sultan Ahmed el-Mansour’s conquest of the Songhai empire in 1591, when several thousand men and women were brought north as servants. Other documents make mention of a black African presence and musical tradition in the Maghreb as early as the eleventh century. The slave trade in Morocco continued until the early years of the twentieth century. (From


* See Access, Tickets & Finding Us for more about why there are three ticket prices, plus other useful info about coming to events at Ashburton Arts Centre.