Open main menu

Nass El Ghiwane (Arabic: ناس الغيوان‎) are a musical group established in 1971 in Casablanca, Morocco.[1] The group, which originated in avant-garde political theater, has played an influential role in Moroccan chaabi (or shaabi).[1] Nass El Ghiwane were the first band to introduce Western instruments like the modern banjo. Their music incorporates a trance aesthetic, reflecting the influence of local Gnawa music.[2] Their music is inspired by ancient North African Sufi poetry, most prominently that of Abderrahman El Majdoub, whose work was a direct inspiration to the band. They are also credited for helping bring a new social movement to Morocco.[3]

Nass El Ghiwane
Nass El Ghiwane, in 1972
Background information
OriginCasablanca, Morocco
Years active1971 (1971)–present
MembersRachid Batma, Hamid Batma, Redouane Raifak, Allal Yaala, Omar Sayed
Past membersAbd El-Aziz Tahiri, Abderahmane Kirouche (Paco), Boujemaa Brahim, Larbi Batma

In filmEdit

The band is the focus of music documentary Trances, directed by Ahmed El Maanouni, who described Nass El Ghiwane as Morocco's soul music.[4] Originally released in 1981, it was restored in 2007 by the World Cinema Foundation at Cineteca di Bologna /L’Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory. The film was picked specifically by Martin Scorsese for the World Cinema Foundation's first release and was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007 and at Djemaa el-Fna square in Marrakesh, Morocco.[3] The film has since been distributed by the Criterion Collection.[5]

The band's song "Ya Sah" appears in the film The Last Temptation of Christ and on the associated album Passion – Sources.[6][7]



  • Assallama
  • Hommage à Boudjemma
  • Ya bani el-insan
  • Ya Nass El Maana
  • Wannadi Ana
  • Taghounja
  • Aali ou Khalli
  • Houde Ennaana
  • Soubhane Allah
  • A lotf Allah el khafi
  • Fine ghadi biya khouya
  • Lebtana
  • Narjak Ana la M'chite
  • Ya saielni
  • Mahmouma
  • Oulad el Aalam
  • L'jamra
  • Salama
Live albums
  • Nass El Ghiwane Live Olympia 76
  • El ghaba - Live
  • Echams Etalaa - Live Olympia
  • Nass el Ghiwane Live Casablanca
  • Nass el Ghiwane Live (feat. Boudjemaa)
Contributing artist


  1. ^ a b Eyre, Banning (2001). "Shaabi". Afropop Worldwide. Moroccan Shaabi. Archived from the original on 31 January 2002. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  2. ^ Kapchan, Deborah (2009). "Interview: Deborah Kapchan, Gnawa music". Afropop Worldwide (Interview). Interviewed by Banning Eyre. Archived from the original on 26 December 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  3. ^ a b World Cinema Foundation[full citation needed]
  4. ^ Trances on IMDb
  5. ^ "Trances (1981)". Criterion Collection. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  6. ^ "Passion – Sources". Real World Records. Archived from the original on 7 June 2008. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  7. ^ Gabriel, Peter. Liner notes. Passion - Sources by Various artists. Real World CDRW02, 1989.