Music from Portugal – Zeca Afonso

Zeca Afonso (1929-1987) was a Portuguese folk and political musician. Zeca lived in Angola and Mosambik in his youth and later studied in Coimbra, Portugal. In 1974, his politicaly banned song “Grândola, Vila Morena” was played by the radio after midnight and became a symbol in the fight against the dictatorship and started the Carnation Revolution.

Really an amazing musician so have a listen to “Canção de Embalar” too:

Music from Algérie – Hasna El Bacharia

Hasna El Bécharia is extraordinary. She is still the only woman in the Maghreb to play gnawi music, a ceremonial beat that has remained an exclusively male preserve since the animist beliefs of the Bilad es-Sudan, (in Arabic, the Land of the Blacks – today’s Guinea, Senegal, Mali, Niger and Chad) encountered the monotheist faith of Islam from across the desert. Her choice has exposed her to a great deal of rejection and sarcasm, but Hasna’s mind and soul are irrevocably bound up with the mystic trance music learnt from her father, a pious man who was himself a maâllem or master of gnawi (the plural of gnawa) syncretism, a black Sufism forged by the descendants of sub-Saharan slaves in White Africa, also called diwan in East Algeria and stambali in Tunisia. Here is her song “Hakmet Lakdar”

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