Nassouli (Gnawa Oulad Sidi Ensemble)


One of the remnants of this culture is Andalusian music, a mix of Arab styles and southern Spanish genres, such as flamenco. The Amsterdam Andalusian Orchestra has the ambition to propagate this music in the Netherlands, thereby contributing to intercultural collaboration and dialogue. One of the orchestra's most important sources of inspiration is the ensemble of the legendary Abdesadaq Chekara (1933-1998) from Tetuan in Morocco. His grandson Idriss Emrane Chekara, an associate of the Amsterdam Andalusian Orchestra, is one of the people preserving Chekara's legacy. The orchestra perform in the Netherlands as well as in Morocco, presenting contemporary interpretations of classic Arabic genres, such as chaabi andalus and sufi andalus. They also perform cross-over styles, as in their Malhoun Jazz project, their flamenco programme Tiempos Nuevos and their music theatre performance De Thuiskomst van Odysseus (Odysseus' Homecoming), which blends classical Arab music with Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria.  The Gnawa Oulad Sidi Ensemble hail from the Souss region especially from the cities of Taroudant and Dcheira in Southern Morocco, near the city of Agadir. The members live in a brotherhood which is made up of musicians as well as psychic-therapists. Engaging in their musical, ritual, therapeutic and initiatory activities they harmoniously combine their Islamic faith with their sub-Saharan roots. The ensemble's dance movements bear the marks of their people's history as slaves in Morocco, when their necks were tied to their wrists and ankles. The Gnawa Oulad Sidi Ensemble are a group who carry on this tradition as authentically as possible, true to its social and artistic aspects.