World Music Festival presents Noura Mint Seymali
Noura Mint Seymali, step-daughter of the legendary Dimi Mint Abba, represents the new generation in Mauritania. Since beginning her career at the age of 13 as a backing vocalist with her step-mother, Noura has emerged in her own right as a nationally beloved star and one of Mauritania’s foremeost musical emissaries. Composing for an ensemble of traditional instruments – ardine (harp), tidinit (lute), t’beul (bowl drum) – and fortified by western bass and drumkit, Noura employs the instruments and modal structures essential to Moorish tradition while simultaneously delivering ideas with a pop-song format, the ever potent currency in contemporary Africa.
With an already formidable debut on the international stage at events like the Festival au Desert in Mali, the Festival Taragalte and the Festival Timitar in Morocco, and the Festival Pirineos in Spain, Noura has begun to collaborate with such well known artists as Tinariwen, Bassekou Kouyate, and Baba Maal. Noura is steadily gaining wider recognition and is determined to bring the musical traditions of Mauritania to the world stage.
Reared in a cultural collision where sounds from across the Sahara, the Magreb and West Africa collide with the West, Noura’s success has come from her ability to combine a rare classical mastery with musical idioms that speak to the emergent realities of today’s youth culture in West Africa and beyond. To an international public largely unaware of Mauritania’s unique cultural and geographic situation – a desert nation physically and socially between North and SubSaharan Africa – Noura Mint Seymali provides the missing musical link between the Medinas of Fez and Algiers and the dance clubs of Bamako and Dakar.