Imazighen is a musical ensemble that plays ‘Gnawa’ music, a word which comes from ‘berbers’, homeland of the ethnic indigenous race from North Africa, in a territory called ‘Tamazgha’. It stretches from the Canary Islands along the continental Atlantic coast to the Siwa Oasis in Egypt, and from the Meditarranean Sea to Sahel. Gnawa music is one of the main genres of Moroccan folklore. The instruments used are the guembri, a skin covered three-stringed lute with a baselike sound, the tbel, a large drum played with a curved stick and qraqeb, heavy iron castenets. The music is very rhythmic and is characterised by a song resembling a chant featuring a main vocalist with a responding chorus, accompanied by a simple melody on the guembri. Imazighen interprets this music respecting its tradition but blending it smoothly with other more current trends such as jazz, rock and even other root/folk music.
The groups members are Kino Achraf El Idrissi, multi-instrumentalist born in the locality of Alhucemas (Morocco); Sergio Díaz, drummer and self-taught percussionist who began his education studying the piano at the Conservatorio Superior de Música (Higher music Conservatory) in Santa Cruz de Tenerife; Kike Perdomo, musician, producer, sound engineer & composer, recipient of a scholarship from the Berklee School of Music in the year 1989 and also the ‘Grado Superior en Jazz’ (Advanced Level of Jazz) at the Escola Superior de Música (Higher School of Music) in Cataluña, ESMUC; Alberto Méndez, bassist, guitarrist, producer and sound technician, who was a member of the group Taburiente for fourteen years; Julio González, percussionist born in Tenerife; David González, who attended classes with a great many top level tutors, among the most noteworthy being Joan Chamorro, Albert Bover, Polo Ortí & Soren Moller; and Torsten de Winkel, who travelled from Frankfurt to the Berklee College of Music in Boston to study music, philosophy & psychology (achieving the maximum distinction summa cum laude), and then from Boston to New York, where he worked as a guitarrist and multi-instrumentalist with an extraordinary range of top artists on the international scene, among them being the Pat Metheny Group, Michael Brecker, Joe Zawinul, Whitney Houston, Grandmaster Flash…
Sergio Díaz: Drums.
Julio González: Percussion.
Alberto Méndez: Bass.
David González: Piano.
Kino Ait Idrissen: Guimbri & vocals.
Kike Perdomo: Saxophones.
Torsten de Winkel: Guitar.