Hassan Hakmoun

Hassan Hakmoun during Jam Night at the Ottawa Jazz Festival 2003.

Background information

Native name
حسن حكمون

(1963-09-16) September 16, 1963 (age 53)

Marrakech, Morocco

World fusion
Gnawa music

musicianActor ) producer


Years active
1970s – present

Healing Records


Hassan Hakmoun (Arabic: حسن حكمون‎‎) (born September 16, 1963) is a New York City-based Moroccan musician. He specializes in the Gnawa style. He is currently married to Chikako Iwahori.[1]


1 Early life
2 Career

2.1 Later career
2.2 Later years (2002 present)

3 Discography
4 References
5 External links

Early life[edit]
Hakmoun was born to a family of musicians[2] who introduced him to the musical world of the Gnawa. By age four, he performed alongside Great Master’s of The Gnawa all over Morocco (including king of the Gnawa genre, master Sam) and in Casablanca for Lila. His mother is known throughout the city as a mystic healer. At the age of fourteen he became Master of Gnawa music.[3]
His mother is a mystic healer known in Marrakesh for her derdeba trance ceremonies, often all-night affairs involving hypnotic playing and chanting to exorcise spirits. Hakmoun began learning Gnawa music after witnessing his first trance ceremony at the young age of four. Hakmoun proceeded to study Gnawa Music. after a musical ceremony that healed his sister Mina Hakmoun.
He eventually chose the sintir as his main instrument, a three-stringed lute with a body made of camel skin stretched over nutwood. The strings of the sintir are pitched low, enabling the instrument to serve as the bass foundation much like the Western string bass, while its tone is sweet, making it well-suited to carry the melodic line of a composition. By drumming on the body of the instrument, Hakmoun added his own percussion while contributing vocals, thereby creating a unique foundation for his musical explorations and growth. By the age of fourteen, he was an established musician performing at Gnawa lila ceremonies with his own ensemble. today Hakmoun is the godfather of gnawa music.
Later career[edit]
Hakmoun made his U.S. debut in 1987 at Lincoln Center in New York City with Etian and Blanca Lee’’s Trio Gna & Nomadas dance group. He subsequently relocated to New York where he was received by artists such as composer and p