At Big Ears 2019, Moroccan musician Mehdi Nassouli will team with West Virginia fiddle and banjo player Ben Townsend for one-third of the Mosaic project. Their concert will be an exploration of lila, an ecstatic overnight ritual that is part of Morocco’s gnawa tradition. Nassouli spent much of his early life traveling Morocco, learning all the lessons he could about its cultural bounty. He now pushes those traditions ahead with a modern enthusiasm, playing the three-string guembri with a guitar hero’s élan. Watch him perform at the World Music Expo in 2016—leading his band, dazzling the crowd, and grinning all the while. He’ll also perform during our 12-hour All Night Flight drone concert.