Towards trance and beyond – or how Gnawa rhythms and songs are reinvented in contact with Afro-beat, free music, reggae or ethio-jazz.


Global Gnawa was founded in 2009 and is the meeting of Jaouad El Garouge, Thierry Fournel and Mehdi Chaïb. They are talented musicians (and parnters) deeply at the service of an authentic music, rich in improvisations and open to other musical sonorities. Global Gnawa uses delicacy and a strong sens of improvisation to weave new links between Gnawa rituals music, jazz and the particular universes of each of the musicians.


Global Gnawa develops arrangements and compositions exploring the ancestral Gnawa rhythms and songs (traditionally brought from West Africa to the Maghreb) in all their spiritual and harmonic dimensions. Jaouad El Garouge‘s haunting chants find an echo in the musicians’ chorus and invite the audience to join in. Global Gnawa‘s musical research is anchored in the meeting of this heritage with jazzy flights of fancy carried by the free-jazz energy of Mehdi Chaïb‘s saxophone, but also by influences of afrobeat, reggae, or ethio-jazz. The musician-researcher Thierry Fournel offers a very subtle playing animated by electric guitar solos with a certain groove.

Jaouad El Garouge‘s guembri (3-string gut bass) guides and federates all the traditional or more modern instruments in a dialogue that inexorably leads the audience to trance, dance and transcendence!


Global Gnawa has just integrated the excellent percussionist Adhil Mirghani to form an explosive quartet and proposes from 2022 its new show Magic Rainbow.


Pedagogical concerts and workshops to discover gnawa songs, rhythms and dances. Find out more


Jaouad El Garouge - gumbri, karkabu, lead vocal
Mehdi Chaïb - saxophones soprano & tenor, percussions, choirs
Thierry Fournel - guitar, n'goni, choirs
Adhil Mirghani - percussions, choirs



« In this dancing mix, traditional Berber instruments (guembri, karkabous) rub shoulders with the oud, the n’goni, the guitar and the jazzy sax, very free, quite galvanizing, by Mehdi Chaïb (…) this festive trance accommodated with afrobeat, reggae or ethio-jazz sauce, whose Métis groove invites you to dance. »


Opéra de Lyon

« Here, no sweeping fusion, no artificial and clever cross-over, but a common will to find diagonals, tangents and other musical lines of flight allowing to connect these ancestral rhythms and songs to the spirit of free jazz as well as to the palpitations of afro-beat, the melodies of ethio-jazz as well as the pulse of reggae. A unique way to transcend trance, quite simply. »


Algeria Day

« Made of reggae, ethno-jazz and gnawi, the fusion of » Global Gnawa « quickly caught the audience audience by the harmony existing between these styles enriched by energetic percussion or balafon melodies, designed to dress up songs of gnawa music known to all. »


Journal de Créteil

« Ces musiciens originaires d’Essaouira, d’Agadir ou de Casablanca vous offriront une expérience sensorielle et visuelle étonnante »


France: Palais de la porte dorée - Opéra de Lyon – Institut du Monde Arabe – la Petite Halle – Festival des Suds –Le Point Fort – Divan du Monde – Africa Ménil Festival – Festival de la Solidarité Internationale – Jamel Comedy Club – Fête de la Goutte d'Or – Espace Jean Lurçat – Juvisy (Tinariwen opening act) – Les Nuits d'Orient Festival– Maison des Metallos in Paris – Hôtel de ville de Paris (Ramadan night) – La Fraternelle – Magic Mirrors


Europe: Hořice Festival (Czech Republic) – La Nuit africaine (Belgium) – Me you zic Festival (Luxembourg) – Charleroi Danse Festival (Belgium)…


World: Instituts français tour (Moroco and Algeria) – Festival International de la Musique Diwane (Algeria)


The band is based in France and available on request for concerts, workshops and pedagogical encounters.