Hazan Semtob Knafo
1. Podhé Adonaï Néfech Abadav. (God, Fee the Souls of Your Slaves.")
1959, Video 2015
First of three. Recorded by Paul Bowles at Essaouira, Morocco. August 6, 1959 "Semtob Knafo is the hazan or cantor of the Hévrat David Hamélékh, at the Synagogue Elkahal, in Essaouira. In these recordings he read the words from a book while he intoned. At times he kept the rhythm with his foot on the floor; the sound can be heard. Amran Castiel is a young man who has studied with him. Not all the cantors of Morocco use the Andalucian tradition in their chanting because not all of them know it perfectly. Knafo asked me previously whether I wanted the "antique style", and assured him I did. The best example of the style is number 1. hese recordings were made possible through the kind collaboration of the Rabbi Berdugo of Essaouira.
Note: Essouira (sic) is now the official name of Mogador, which for the past two centuries has been the it of one of Morocco's most important Jewish colonies."
Source: Bowles, Paul F. "Essaouira"from Folk, Popular, and Art Music of Morocco.
The Paul Bowles Moroccan Music Collection. Washington,
DC: American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, 1959-1962.
The Paul Bowles Moroccan Music Collection (AFC 1960/001), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., Courtesy of the Paul Bowles Estate and Irene Hermann / Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies