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Mahmoud Guinia - Sound of the desert



El Maallem Mahmoud Guinia also spelled Mahmoud Gania is a musician from Morocco. He has appeared on a number of recordings, most notably with Verve recording The Splendid Master Gnawa Musicians of Morocco.

The Guinia family are from the costal town of Essaouira, which is situated around 350 km south of Casablanca. Mahmoud Guinia was originally the second son of the late and great master of gnawa music, Maâllem Boubker Gania (1927-2000) and the famous clairvoyant and "moqaddema" Aicha Qabral. The first son, Ahmed, died as an infant. After Mahmoud was another son, Lahcen "Zitoune", who also died, then there is a sister, Zayda, who has followed in her mother's footsteps, and today also leads a band of sufi women. Then there is another brother, Abdelah, who is also a great master, there was a sister, Chmeia, who died a few years back, and finally there is Mokhtar, who is also a great master.



The origins of the family is West Africa, i.e. the area around the famous city of Timbuktu in present day Mali. The family were not abducted as slaves, as so many other Gnawa were, but were employed as soldiers in the sultan's army. They are regarded as the main exponent for the style of Essaouira, the souiri style, although Mahmoud Guinia is married to a woman from Marrakech, with whom he has two sons and a daughter. Both sons are rapidly on the way to become musicians and can be seen in the band at the annual Gnaoua World Music Festival in Essaouira in June.

Maâllem Mahmoud Guinia has put out a number of CDs, where the most famous was recorded by Bill Laswell and Oz Fritz and featured the American saxophone player Pharoah Sanders. Due to misunderstandings his name was spelled "Ghania", but the true spelling is Gania, which is in the passport and national ID.



Countless films and recordings have been done with this great Maâllem, who is one of the foremost in Morocco today, alongside his two brothers, Maâllem Abdelah Gania and Maâllem Mokhtar Gania, as well as the masters from Marrakesh in the Baqbou family, Maâllem Abdeltif Sidi Amara, the masters from Casablanca, like Hamida Bouzzou and Hamid El Kasri of Rabat.

Thanks to unknown blogger.

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