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Sufi Music Ensembles

The Aissawa Ensemble
Said El Guissi's Aissawa Ensemble is rooted in the holy city of Fes, Morocco. Considered to be among Morocco's most famous and accomplished groups to emerge from the centuries-old Aissawa tariqa, or Sufi organization, the group uses trumpets and pipes to pierce through a barrage of polyphonic drumming, creating a trance-inducing wall of sound.

René Brunel, writing about the Aissawa in the 1920s, described his experience of “the furious tempest of drums and oboes”, saying the spectators were “in the grip of the terrifying staccato music seized by this contagious madness and ecstatic frenzy which none can resist". The music of the Aissawa tariqa is considered fabulously rhythmic, with long horns intended 'to wake the faithful', both literally and figuratively.

Support for Aissawa Ensemble is provided by the Moroccan American Cultural Center.

The Al Taybah Ensemble
The vocal ensemble Al Taybah consists of soloist Junayd Bourret (vocals and daff), supported by Ismaïl Bourret (solo and choir), Omar Jouineau (choir), Larbi Benmelouka (choir) Zachariyya Thibon (choir) and Zayd Bertrand (daff). S. Muhammad Said directs the group.

The love of God and His Messenger for humankind is the central theme of the Al Taybah Ensemble, a theme drawn from verses of the Qur’an. Taybah’s musical suites (waslât) are punctuated by prayers for the soul of the Prophet, religious hymns (anasheed) to the glory of God and His Messenger, as well as poems inspired by mystic Sufism.