Globetrotting Mexican Gypsy

Nuriya - Tanita
Nuriya

Tanita (Musical Almaya, 2011)

One of the great discoveries of the past months is Mexican singer Nuriya. Even though her background is Middle Eastern, Nuriya loves the Andalusian Gypsy sounds of Spain and Eastern Europe. Her stunning album Tamita incorporates Spanish Gypsy rumba, Eastern European brass sounds and even Jamaican dub.

Since early childhood, Nuriya was nurtured and immersed in Middle Eastern and Mexican cultures. “My story is not one that begins simply with me,” says Nuriya. “One must delve a bit further into past generations to understand the evolution of the person you see and hear now. I come from a family of Middle-Eastern Jews who fled their countries, Iraq and Syria, due to religious persecution. All of them were bound for the U.S. However the majority ended up being re-routed and sent to Mexico as U.S. immigrant quotas were filled upon their arrival.”

Nuriya has traveled, studied, and performed throughout Latin America, Europe, Israel and more recently, the United States. “Thanks to my mother, who was studying in conservatory at the time, my most formative years were abundant with music – Middle-Eastern, Mexican, South American, Caribbean, Flamenco, African, and Classical music,” adds Nuriya. “The sounds within me and my curiosity have taken me all over the world to learn and play music. David Oquendo, a long time teacher and friend, sent me to Cuba to study folkloric Afro-Cuban music and dance with the Muñequitos of Matanzas. In Israel with my cousin, Yair Dalal, I studied the Hebrew and Arabic melodies that have inspired some of those heard half way across the globe in Afro-Cuban music. Further enriched with these experiences, I went on to Paris to compose and tour Europe.”

Nuriya’s band on Tanita includes a multinational band on percussion, bass, horns, flute, guitar, piano, and violin.

Tanita shows us the passionate talent of one of the new young divas in the world music scene.

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