Operating out of New York City, Innov Gnawa explores the deep traditions of Gnawa, a Moroccan heritage music rooted in ritual poetry and trance-like rhythms and dancing. Staffed by a group of Moroccan expatriates, the band issued their eponymous debut in 2016, followed in 2021 by Lila, which came out on the soul-driven Daptone label. Augmenting their sound with a wider breadth of African and Latin percussion, Innov Gnawa has played major New York venues ranging from the Lincoln Center to the Music Hall of Williamsburg.

Conceived in 2014 by Samir LanGus, Innov Gnawa's sound relies heavily on Hassan Ben Jaafer, the group's maalem. In Gnawa tradition, a maalem is a master musician who guides the songs during lila, a communal night of celebration. Gnawa's raw, rhythmic sound can be traced in part back to former Black slaves and soldiers who, over time, integrated into Morocco's culture. As ex-pats living in New York, Innov Gnawa put their own spin on Gnawa music, adding flourishes from other African cultures and even Latin percussion. Their self-titled 2016 debut earned a Grammy Award nomination and helped establish them well beyond New York's world music scene. For their 2021 follow-up, they signed with Brooklyn-based funk and soul label Daptone Records. Recorded in a single five-hour session, Lila captures the immediacy of Innov Gnawa's hypnotic approach. ~ Timothy Monger, Rovi

Top Tracks
Innov Gnawa - Toura Toura
Innov Gnawa "Hammadi"
Innov Gnawa - [5] “FatHa & La ilaha illa Allah”
Innov Gnawa - [2] “Foulani Hiriza & Soye”
INNOV GNAWA: Live @ B'nai Israel Synagogue, Baltimore, 10/21/17, (Set 1)
Innov Gnawa | B-Side
Innov Gnawa - [4] “Banwari”
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