When I was in Morocco I met a young man. He was Moroccan, he taught English in Tangier. And he told me about the Gnawa people. These are people who originally came from West Africa and they were taken as slaves and soldiers up to North Africa, in like 16th Century. And they produce a powerful spiritual music. And I met them and I heard what we do. It is traditional form. When I heard their music I heard the blues, I heard Black jazz, I heard the music of the Caribbean, I heard the foundation which proved to me that the rhythms of Africa, they remained alive, but disguised in different forms, whether it's in Honduras, or Haiti, or Jamaica, or Trinidad, or Brazil, or Mississippi, or whatever the music is, it's the spirit of Mother Africa in that music. And that music is a healing force. It's a music that makes you grow, makes you feel good, you see. And it's a world music.
In this excerpt from the podcast, Weston explains what he heard when he was first introduced to Gnawan music. [1:05]