Noura Mint Seymali
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Noura Mint Seymali

Nouakchott, Nouakchott, Mauritania

Nouakchott, Nouakchott, Mauritania
Band World Blues




"Jeiche Chighaly: The Life Of A Mauritanian Griot"

Jeiche Ould Chighaly, Noura MInt Seymali's guitarist / tidinitt player. - okayafrica

"African Music Treasures"

These next two recordings feature the singers Nora mint Seymali ould Hamed Vall and Sidi ould Seymali ould Hamed Vall. They were both trained by their father Seymali ould Hamed Vall, who was the first Moorish musician to formally study music; he spent several years in Iraq studying at a music conservatory in Baghdad. Both Nora and Sidi were also, at different times, part of Dimi mint Abba’s group; their father Seymali was Dimi’s first husband. First up is Nora accompanied by her husband Jheich ould Chighaly. This is a recording I made in their living room after midnight on March 28, 2003 as a sandstorm punished Nouakchott. This is a song that they perform frequently at weddings. This recording gives you a great idea of Jheich’s slippery guitar playing and Nora’s warm voice (the heat of the sandstorm was making her voice crack). Look closely at Jheich’s guitar in the picture above…check out his customized microtonal fretboard. - Voice of America

"Noura MInt Seymali @ Festival in the Desert 2012 in Timbuktu - Mali"

The absolutely spellbinding vocalist Noura Mint Seymali from Mauretania is ready to claim the role of her famous stepmother the late Dimi Mint Abba. Noura comes from the great griot tradition of the family of Seymali Ould Mouhamed Val and began her career as a backup vocalist to here stepmother Dimi. She has the depth of training in the classical traditions of Mauritanian song craft to be compelling in the vocal pyrotechnics of this poetic and devotional song style. Incredible to hear once more in Timbuktu as Noura had graced the stage in 2007 at Festival au Desert. She has also bridged the classical and the modern in her music as she transitioned to a more electric band configuration. With her strong charisma and appeal to the audience she will become a major star. What I hope for is that the West will finally open its ears and hearts to the beauty, subtlety and craft of this Islamic music. Noura is incredible! - Afropop Worldwide

"Noura Mint Seymali: Diva of Mauritania" - okayafrica

"Reuters documentary: Musican Mixes Styles in Mauritania"

Noura Mint Seymali is turning heads in the conservative Muslim country with her blend of Mauritanian music and styles like jazz, zouk and reggae. - Reuters


EL HOWL (2010)
TARABE (2006)

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Noura Mint Seymali began her precocious musical career at the age of 13, touring internationally as a backing vocalist with her mother - the renowned Dimi Mint Abba. Growing up in a prominent griot family in Mauritania (praise singers and gatekeepers of oral tradition found throughout West Africa), Noura is a unique tradition bearer of an under-exposed music culture in which the melodies, rhythms, and people of Arab and Sub-Saharan Africa coalesce.

A dynamic young artist, eager to push the stylistic boundaries of Mauritanian music and engage contemporary social issues, Noura launched a solo career in 2004, quickly becoming a national star with a style of pop music often termed "tradi-moderne." With the release of two albums - El Howl (2010) and Tarabe (2006) - she has become hailed locally as the voice of a new generation in Mauritania, singing courageously on matters of development, religion, and femininity.

Forever a musical ambassador, Noura Mint Seymali has toured extensively in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. She has shared the microphone with such luminaries of African music as Tinariwen, Baaba Maal, and Bassekou Kouyate. Performances at Mali's Festival-au-Desert and Spain's Festival Pirineos have helped to bring her music to new audiences, while she can be seen regularly in Nouakchott.

In addition to being trained as a vocalist and theoretician, Noura Mint Seymali is a master of the ardine, a harp-like instrument played only by women. She composes with ardine in hand, often together with her husband Jeiche Ould Chighaly, the band's guitarist / tidinitt (lute) player and a revered griot in his own right. The result is a style in which Moorish music of Mauritania drives compositions with influences in jazz, blues, hip-hop, reggae, Senegalese mbalax, and Algerian Rai. The ardine, tidinitt, and t'beul (bowl drum) constitute a traditional formation which may stand alone, a melody core that is reinforced by bass and drum set, a "modern" rhythm section enlisted for stylistic agility and to propel Noura's ground swelling voice into its highest gears.