Thursday, February 14, 2013

Maâlem Benaïssa

its  one step  from  hoddu to gimbri 

Born in 1965 in Algiers, Benaissa Bahaz is considered one of the rare and brilliant maâlem of Algerian Gnawa. Having bathed at an early age in the arts, his father quickly introduced him to gumbri, traditional musical instrument of the Gnawa people. The Gnawa are the descendents of former slaves from populations of black African origin. Besides this introduction, his father has also instilled discipline in work and respect for ancestors.

However, Benaissa will not be long to break free from tradition and use the gumbri to discover new sounds, including working with other artists. If he draws his inspiration from spiritual Alla Bechar, he discovers the world of rock Algerian in company with the group T34. Benaissa then moves through the city of Kenadsa, one of the greatest cultural crossroads of Algeria and the Mecca of Gnawa.

Years pass, and here the artist joins the group Diwan Dzair. Naturally, he became the leader because of his musical experience and his art in handling gumbri.

While harmonizing the various influences, the group focuses more specifically to the trends jazz and blues. But it is by his gumbri and through his serious and fed sounds Benaissa catches the attention of his audience. The band performed in many concerts and festivals all across Europe, Africa, Middle East and even in Cuba.

Time passes, and Benaissa becomes a great maâlem and clean up the music Diwan Dzair to make an album of pure Diwan, entitled "Daoui. The return to roots and traditions is endorsed. In 2005, Benaissa sign the soundtrack to the documentary film "Tagnawitatitude. For a while he stands on its own.He is thus one of the headliners of the first international festival of Gnawa music.

Benaissa Behaz died Friday, November 7, 2008 at the age of 43 years.




  1. A walk from hoddu to gimbri ... passing by xalam and ngoni
    Ditto/Ídem : thanks Sodium :-D