Concerts overview

CD-release ‘Jola - Hidden Gnawa Music in Brussels’

Cancelled: Lila Gnawa au VK | Baraka Sounds
Wednesday 15 April 2020 - 18h30
De Vaartkapoen - Rue de Manchester 13-15, 1080 Molenbeek-Saint-Jean.
WED 15/04

As part of the Gnawa Festival, and to celebrate the release of the JOLA album – Hidden Gnawa Music in Brussels, Muziekpublique is linking up with VK for this second and final Lila gnawa in their building on rue de Manchester.  The musicians of Gnawa Black Koyo will lead the ceremony. The lila (« night » in Moroccan dialect) is a communal ritual of trances and possessions which lasts the whole night, to honour the entities of the invisible world, the Saints and God. For one night, the lila will leave the family home, where it is usually practised, and will take place in the Vaartkapoen. The lila normally begins as night falls, and includes a succession de dances and chants in a precise order which varies according to the aim of the ritual, the region of origin of the musicians and the participants, and the context of the performance.

Exile, deracination, and re-establishment in a country where customs are different, form an integral part of Gnawa identity. The ancestors of the Gnawa were brought to Morocco from sub-Saharan Africa and sing of their native land, their rivers and their forests. Today the Gnawa dispersed among the diaspora still feel the nostalgia of their ancestors and reconnect to this intimate sentiment, born of their displacement.


18:30 Parade through Molenbeek

19:30 Welcome

20:00 Start of the ceremony

24:00 Communal meal

01:00 End


  • Hicham Bilali
  • Driss Filali
  • Badr El Hernat
  • Mohamed Zafzaf
  • Hanane Abdallah
  • Gnawa Black Koyo

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