Otsfm logo

Concerts & Events

Wednesday, October 19, 2022  ·  8:30 PM CDT

Bnat Al-Hourayiat & Esraa Warda

4544 N Lincoln Ave · Gary and Laura Maurer Concert Hall · 773.728.6000

World Music Wednesdays

A weekly showcase of world music and dance featuring the best local and touring talent! Most shows are Wednesday nights at 8:30 PM.

Most World Music Wednesday concerts are free with a $10 suggested donation. TO GUARANTEE YOUR ENTRY MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS IN ADVANCE EITHER ONLINE OR BY CALLING THE BOX OFFICE AT 773.728.6000. Reservations unclaimed 10 minutes before showtime will be released to waiting patrons.

Based in Marrakech, Morocco, Bnat el Houariyat and Esraa Warda are an intergenerational all-women's group preserving ancestral Moroccan Chaabi and Houara musical and dance traditions "au féminin”.

Bnat el Houariyat is a Moroccan all-women 7 piece women's music and dance group of chaabi and houara music lead by Khadija el Warzazia. They use voice and traditional Moroccan percussion - bendir, darbouka, taarija, dohdoh, and tebsil, Khadija's songs are about the romantic, the personal, the spiritual, the societal, and the natural - representing the raw spectrum of human experience. She is known for her unique fusions of Gnawa prose into these musical styles dedicated to praising female spirits.

Known as "laâbat" in Morocco, women's groups who entertain in all-women's home gatherings or weddings, Bnat el Houariyat bring the ambiance of Moroccan celebrations to the concert stage and are known to leave audiences in a trance with their polyrhythms, call and responses, and rhythmic climaxes.

An active group for over 20 years, Bnat el Houariyat has mentored the younger generation with bringing on New York based dancer Esraa Warda in 2017 who rejuveninated the group. Known for her “jedba" (trance-like state through hair swaying) , she joined Bnat el Houariyat when Khadija picked her out of the crowd in a home wedding in Marrakech's medina. She handed Warda a kaftan (a traditional Moroccan dress) and requested she perform with the group that night. Impressed with her knowledge of Chaabi dance, Khadija recruited Warda as the youngest woman and apprentice of the group.

Bnat el Houariyat and Esraa Warda's energy is contagious. They represent the power of North African women and intergenerational transmission, while giving audiences permission to be free without inhibitions.