Mehdi Nassouli

OneBeat 2017 Fellow

Composer, Guembri Player, Singer

Agadir, Morocco

Mehdi Nassouli is a Moroccan guembri player whose passion for preserving Moroccan music is matched by his energetic and engaging stage presence. Growing up in Taroudant, Mehdi was immersed in traditional Gnawa culture, a spiritual music of ancient and rich African heritage. Inspired and surrounded by the sounds of Moroccan musical heritage, Mehdi devoted himself to studying deqqa, a traditional form of art from Taroudant and spent the better part of a decade learning several traditional musical styles across Morocco. Mehdi was featured on French guitarist Titi Robin’s album Les Rives (2012) and the two later collaborated on a joint album, Taziri (2015), with both albums yielding extensive international touring. Mehdi has since fused his traditional North African style with jazz and other world styles in his own band and his collaborations with luminaries like Herbie Hancock, Fatoumata Diawara, Nneka, Justin Adams, Hindi Zahra, Andy Emler, Benjamin Taubkin and Alpha Blondy.