Festival of Gnawa in Essaouira, June 2013: (from the left to the right) Jazz singer Eska Mtungwazi, Maâlem Hicham Merchane , and Maâlem Abdelkebir Merchane
Maâlem ( Master) Hicham Merchane is the son of Maâlem Abdelkébir Merchane (also known as Abdelkébir Lachheb). Hicham Merchane was born in 1976 in the city of Marrakech. He learned to sing, dance and play all Gnawa instruments with the great Maâlem Ahmed Bakbou known as "the talking gimbri" (three-stringed bass lute-drum. The key Gnawa music instrument). Ahmed Bakbou is the first son of Maâllem Layaachi Bakbou.
During the process of his initiation within Gnawa brotherhood Mâalem Hicham Merchane has palyed with different Maâlems among them Ahmed Bakbou in Morocco during several years, Abelkebir Merchane in the United Emirates Arab and France, Mahmoud Guinea in Morocco, Abdeslam Alikane in Belgium and France, Hassan Hakmoun in the United States.