The Odyssey




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Hear Sharifi and Hakmoun perform
Through the Veil

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Jamshie Sharifi and Hassan Hakmoun
Jamshied Sharifi was exposed to the music of the Middle East through his father, a native of Iran, but he also developed an ear for jazz and classical music while growing up in Kansas City. In the 1980s, after studying and teaching at Boston's Berklee College of Music, he began to look outside of Western tradition for inspiration.

On this track, Sharifi teams up with another musical voyager, Moroccan Hassan Hakmoun, who is now based in New York City. A highly revered Gnawa musician, Hakmoun is also prone to cross-cultural collaboration having worked with Don Cherry, Adam Rudolph, Peter Gabriel and many others.

At the end of the Sixteenth century, the Moroccans captured Timbuktu (now Sudan), returning with black slaves whom they quickly converted to Islam. Spread over North Africa, there are numerous religious brotherhoods, all Muslim, but with varying doctrines and practices. Many of these cults use music and dancing to induce a state of trance in the participants. The aim is to placate spirits, good or evil.

Related Dispatch
Berber Family
Who we are - The Berbers
Relive it here!
The Gnawa have devotees all over Morocco, though the strongest concentrations are in the South, particularly Marrakesh. The musicians perform as a group in unison accompanied by a sentir, a three string Moroccan bass, with percussion provided by hand-clapping and by qarqaba, double hand cymbals of sheet iron.

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This information and world music sample are compliments of Putumayo World Music. Putumayo’s mission is to introduce people to other cultures through music, and towards this end they have released dozens of CDs and cassettes featuring some of the best music from around the world.

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