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Oral History Interview with Hassan Ben Jaafar, February 12, 2018

Scope and Contents

Hassan Ben Jaafar discusses his early life in Morocco, especially regarding his culture and his musical education through his father's school. He also speaks about coming to New York City, especially to the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn. He expands on his musical influences; performances in a variety of venues across New York City, and work with his band, Innov Gnawa. He also talks about his memories of the September 11 Terrorist Attacks in 2001; surviving a house fire; being robbed while working at a store; and involvement in Masjid Farooq in the Boerum Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn. This interview includes extensive conversation in Moroccan Darija. Interview conducted by Liz H. Strong.

Biographical / Historical

Hassan Ben Jaafar was born in 1962 in Fès, Morocco. He studied music under his father, following in his footsteps to become a Maâlem (master musician). After coming to New York in 2000, he collaborated with a wide variety of musicians, performing both individually and with his band, Innov Gnawa.

Conditions Governing Access

This interview can be accessed onsite at the Center for Brooklyn History's Othmer Library and online at the Oral History Portal.

Center for Brooklyn History
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201