5 October - 12 December


Th 4 November 2021 | 20:00 | MEG, Genève

Līla Gnawa between Fès and Tanger

Hicham Bilali, Driss Filali and Jalal Abantor

Enter the intimacy of a Gnawa ritual through its dances, melodies, rhythms and bewitching tones: such is the invitation of the m'allemīn ("masters") Hicham Bilali and Driss Filali for this evening full of emotion and colour.  The Gnawa are a confraternity that originated from sub-Saharan slavery in Morocco. They are known for their nocturnal trance rituals called līla ("the night"), in which music plays an essential role. Often associated with southern Morocco (Essaouira and Marrakech), the Gnawa are in fact present in all the cities of the country, where they have settled over the centuries. Thus, it is from the imperial city of Fez and the port city of Tangier that our three musicians of Tangier that our three musicians come from. These places, rich in history, have seen the development of specific forms of expression: the šamālī ("northern"), and fāssi ("Fez") styles. Hicham Bilali and Driss Filali grew up in the same city, Fez, and consider themselves brothers at heart. They arrived in Brussels at the same time, and this common migratory experience brought them even closer together. Jalal Abantor is the son of the last great drummer Ahmed Abantor, who passed on to him the repertoire and techniques that are so specific to northern Morocco. With a community of some forty musicians, Brussels is now the European capital of the Gnawa, and the work of Hicham, Driss and Jalal is no exception. The almost brotherly trio will perform several musical suites from the līla ritual, each dedicated to a family of spirits.


Hicham Bilali : guembri, ‘wiša, chant, percussions (qrāqeb et mains), danse
Driss Filali : guembri, ‘wiša, chant, percussions (qrāqeb et mains), danse
Jalal Abantor : tabl, chant, percussions (qrāqeb et mains), danse


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Jeudi 4 nov. - 18H30 - MEG
Free admission

Conference/concert presentation

par Hélène Sechehaye  

Being Gnawi in Brussels: Islam, Ritual and Music in a European Capital

This conference looks at the complex situation of musical practice within a Muslim community. Perpetually disapproved of because it is associated with immoral behaviour, music is nevertheless one of the central elements of the ritual of the Gnawa, a confraternal community originating from Morocco. In the Brussels diaspora, music occupies a very important place in the lives of the Gnawa, who devote themselves almost entirely to it. In addition to the rituals that feed their spirituality and the concerts that build bridges between different populations in the city, the Gnawa have gradually positioned themselves as the privileged performers of wedding repertoires in the Moroccan community. We will see how, living from and for music, the Gnawa of Brussels juggle these various activities and their contradictions, and transform the paradoxes by creating bridges between worlds.


In partnership with la Maison des Cultures du Monde as part of the 24e Festival de l’Imaginaire, and Muziekpublique


Th 4 November 2021 | 20:00

Online tickets

Service culturel Migros Genève, rue du Commerce 9, Genève, 058 568 29 00
Stand Info Balexert
Kiosque culturel de l'ONUG
Sur place, 1h avant le début des représentations

Plein tarif : CHF 25.-
Tarif réduit : CHF 18.-
Enfants jusqu’à 14 ans : 12.-
Carte 20 ans/20 francs :   10.- 

* membres ADEM, AMR, SAMEG, ONU, Barbier-Mueller, professionnels, étudiants, apprentis, AVS/AI, chômeurs, carte côté Courrier

Alhambra - 10, rue de la Rôtisserie, Genève 

T : +41 (0) 22 919 04 94


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