It was in 2004, at a student concert, that Djmawi Africa was formed in Algiers: Djamil on guitar, Fethi on violin and Zouhir on derbouka were joined spontaneously by Abdou on electric guitar, Mehdi on percussions and Karim on bass. The encounter was euphoric, and things really took off. Lamine the percussionist, Moh the drummer and M’hamed the clarinettist and saxophonist were soon added to the small troupe. Together, they offer their audiences joyful performances based on a particular idea: the African origins of Algeria.
Since then, the group has undergone some changes: Mehdi left the group, and the drummer’s place was taken by various musicians, up to Nazim Ziad today. The biggest shake-up occurred with the departure in 2015 of Djamil, who took up a solo career. The group then brought in Issem Bosli on vocals. He provides a memorable voice and new musical influences. These eight musicians are immersed in different musical styles: from chaabi to rock and including classical, reggae, metal and, at the heart of all this, Gnawa music, that of a mixed North African people, which has marked rock and jazz for decades. This is an explosive blend that provides their music with its great richness and refinement, marked by their culture and by an invigorating freshness.
For 13 years now, they have been on stages all over the world and are recognized as being among the pioneers of Algeria’s musical renewal. In 2008, an initial album was released. Then came the Echfaa boxed set in 2012, which includes a live performance and all their collaborations, followed by the album Avancez l’arrière in 2013. A Best of album appeared in 2016.