The Kennedy Center

Hoba Hoba Spirit


Hoba Hoba Spirit is one of the most exciting and popular groups to emerge from Morocco in recent years. Formed in 1988 in Casablanca by friends Adil Hanine (drums), Anouar Zehouani (guitar), Saâd Bouidi Oubiz (bass guitar), Reda Allali (vocals and guitar), and Othmane Hmimar (percussion), Hoba Hoba Spirit has now become a national phenomenon. Calling their signature sound “Haiha Music,” loosely translated as “Wild Partying Music,” the group is equally inspired by indie rock, punk, and Gnawa, the Sufi music of Morocco brought to the country by slaves from Mali and other West African countries over many centuries.
With their lyrics in at least three languages, and an explosive blend of western rock and traditional Arab, Berber, and African sounds, the song “Haiha Music,” the band’s semi official anthem usually played at the end of each of their concerts, neatly sums up the uniqueness of Hoba Hoba Spirit:
Call it African folk
Call it Gnawa Blues
It is just Haiha music
Coming from deep of our soul
Call it Chaabi Funk
Call it Ayta Jazz
It is just Haiya music
Coming from deep of our soul
Haiha music wo yoyoooo.

Watch Past Performances

Video 9/9/2014: Hoba Hoba Spirit

The popular reggae, rock, and gnawa (a mixture of African, Berber, and Arabic religious songs and rhythms) band returns following its 2009 appearance in the Kennedy Center’s ARABESQUE: Arts of the Arab World festival. Part of Center Stage, a program created by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, in partnership with New England Foundation for the Arts.

Hoba Hoba Spirit