Mauritania’s Noura Mint Seymali to tour Europe

Noura Mint Seymali, one of Mauritania’s foremost musical emissaries, is set to tour various cities across Europe from 16 October.

Mauritania's Noura Mint Seymali
Mauritania's Noura Mint Seymali

The tour will see her play at WOMEX, the Oslo World Music Festival and the Crossing Border Festival in the Netherlands. The tour is in support of her latest album Arbina which was released digitally in the US on 16 September this year. The album is expected to be released on vinyl on 14 October.  

Thematically Arbina is described as a traditional album immersed in Moorish culture and societal norms. Religion and spirituality play key roles but are joined by more grounded, practical and modern concerns. The album was produced by drummer Mathew Tinari with engineering by Pere Ubu and Brooklyn legend Tony Maimone.

Born into a prominent line of Moorish griots, Noura began her career at 13 as a supporting vocalist with her step-mother, the legendary Dimi Mint Abba. Trained in instrumental technique by her grandmother, Noura mastered the ardine, a harp reserved for women.  Noura's father sparked her compositional instincts.

Reared in a transitive culture where sounds from across the Sahara, the Magreb and West Africa coalesce, Noura currently drives the legacy forward as one of Mauritania's most adventurous young artists.

Seymali is married to the musician Jeiche Ould Chigaly, and they have been playing music together for more than 18 years. Their musical lineage goes back much further, both coming from griot families. Their union was fueled by the exploratory sound of Chighaly’s emotive psych guitar lines. The couple formed their first “fusion band” in 2004. 

After two albums, Tarabe (2006) and El Howl (2010), released locally in Mauritania and years of experimentation adapting Moorish music to various pop formations, Noura Mint Seymali's current band is a return to the roots. Led by the "azawan," which in Hassaniya refers to the collective ensemble of traditional instruments, the ardine, tidinit, guitar, the four piece band has made a formidable debut on the international stage, releasing two EPs, Azawan (2012) and Azawan II (2013), and touring widely. 

The band's first full-length album for the international market – Tzenni was released via Glitterbeat Records in 2014.  

After her tour of Europe, Seymali is expected to tour North America in early 2017. The full dates for her Europe tour are:

  • 16 October: Mupa, Budapest, Hungary
  • 19 October: Tollhaus, Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 22 October:  WOMEX, Santiago de Compostela Spain
  • 27 October: Lido, Berlin Germany
  • 28 October: Moods, Zurich Switzerland
  • 31 October: Lucerna Music Bar, Prague Czech Republic
  • 2 November: Oslo World Music Festival, Oslo Norway
  • 3 November: Global CPH, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 4 November : Crossing Border, The Hague, Netherlands

For more information about the tour visit Seymali’s website.

 

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