Noura Mint Seymali is a nationally beloved star and one of Mauritania’s foremost musical emissaries. Having begun her career at age 13 as a supporting vocalist with her legendary step-mother Dimi Mint Abba, Noura was reared in a transitive culture where sounds from across the Sahara, the Magreb, and West Africa coalesce in the dynamic language of the Moorish griot. Fueled by the exploratory sound of her husband Jeiche Ould Chighaly’s distortion-tinged psych guitar lines and backed by a declarative, funk-driven rhythm section - Ousmane Touré (Bass) & Matthew Tinari (drums), the band has made a formidable debut on the international stage. Performing at events like globalFEST (USA), Festival-au-Desert (Mali), Hayy Festival (Egypt), and Festival Timitar (Morocco) and collaborating with artists like Tinariwen, Bassekou Kouyaté, and Baaba Maal, Noura Mint Seymali is actively exposing Mauritanian roots music to the world. In a rare merger of cultural authority and experimental prowess, Noura Mint Seymali applies the ancient musical traditions of the griot with a savvy aesthetic engagement in our contemporary moment, emerging as a powerful voice at nexus of a changing Africa.
"Noura Mint Seymali, from Mauritania, comes from an ancient family of griots, and she has a commanding, wide-open voice…the pentatonic melodies of her songs had something in common with the blues. But her fusion was particular and selective…She only meets American music on her own terms." +++ The New York Times, Jan 13th, 2014
"This lady shakes the rafters with her voice, and she outsings many of the accepted tropes about "desert blues" and music from around the Sahara.” +++ NPR, Jan. 16th, 2014
With special guest Huda and Kamyar: A Palestinian oud player and an Irani Daf player meet in Washington DC. A mystical journey and an exploration of region's rich musical repertoire begins. The duo delves into the universe of Mashriq rhythms to create a transcending musical dialogue, influenced by the zaar, sufi thikr and more.