Tag Archives: Noura Mint Seymali

An Excellent Black Atlantic 2019 Festival

The second edition of the Black Atlantic series brought an excellent sampling of African and Afro-rooted music to Durham, North Carolina.

Kinobe, Derek Gripper and Jaja Bashengezi – Photo by Angel Romero

The first concert featured South African musician Derek Gripper, Congolese guitarist Jaja Bashengezi and Ugandan multi-instrumentalist Kinobe. Classically-trained Gripper has adapted the kora technique to the guitar. Kinobe played a fascinating Baganda harp called ndongo. This was a relaxed, virtuosic concert, focusing on the melodic side of African music. Derek Gripper has two albums related to his kora reinterpretations: One Night on Earth (2012) and Libraries on Fire (2016).

Fatoumata Diawara – Photo by Angel Romero

One of the highlights of the festival was Malian artist Fatoumata Diawara. I had seen her a few years ago when she was a rising artist. Years later, she has blossomed into one of the finest acts from West Africa and the world music scene in general. Her sold-out concert featured an explosive mix of modernized Malian traditional music, Afrobeat and Afro-rock. She speaks English very well and engaged the audience easily with her charisma and charm.

What surprised me (and the audience) the most is when she picked up her electric guitar several times and started soloing, ranging from Malian desert blues to Afro-rooted rock. Clearly spectacular. Fatoumata’s recent albums include Fatou and Fenfo.

Noura Mint Seymali – Photo by Angel Romero

The third concert in the series featured the captivating, trance-like Western Saharan sound of Mauritanian singer and ardine player Noura Mint Seymali along with her electric band. Her discography includes Tzenni (2014) and Arbina (2016).

Daymé Arocena – Photo by Angel Romero

Next was another highlight, spectacular Cuban singer Daymé Arocena. She also expressed herself in English very well, encouraged dancing and call and response interaction with the audience, and explained how Cuba is proud of its African and Spanish roots. Daymé bridges traditional Cuban, Afro-Cuban and American jazz. Her dazzling band featured world class Cuban instrumentalists, who obviously love jazz-rock fusion when they get opportunities to jam. Daymé’s highly recommended albums include Nueva Era (2015) and Cubafonía (2017).

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the Friday and Saturday concerts, although a colleague reported that the Dafnis Prieto Big Band concert was stunning. The show featured a 17-member big band performing Afro-Cuban jazz and ballads. This format appears in Dafnis Prieto’s album Back to the Sunset.

Kudos to Duke Performances for this highly successful series and special thanks to Eric Oberstein and King Kenney for their support.


Black Atlantic, a weeklong Series in Durham celebrating the music of Africa and the African diaspora

Noura Mint Seymali, one of the artists scheduled to perform

Throughout March 2019, Duke Performances will be presenting some of the finest world music acts from Africa and the African diaspora with Black Atlantic. The series is a week-long festival that will take place at Durham’s iconic Motorco music club (and one addiitonal concert at Duke University’s Baldwin Auditorium).

Black Atlantic will feature artists from South Africa, Mauritania, Mali, Cuba, Brazil and the USA.  The concert by Nigerien band Tal National was cancelled.

Black Atlantic Schedule

Black Atlantic: Derek Gripper & Africa Strings
Monday, March 25, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. (20:00)
Motorco Music Hall

Black Atlantic: Fatoumata Diawara
Tuesday, March 26, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. (20:00)
Motorco Music Hall

Noura Mint Seymali: Public Demonstration and Q&A
Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at 12 pm

Black Atlantic: Noura Mint Seymali
Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. (20:00)
Motorco Music Hall

Caique Vidal: Public Demonstration and Q&A
Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 3 pm

Black Atlantic: Daymé Arocena
Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. (20:00)
Motorco Music Hall

Black Atlantic: Dafnis Prieto Big Band
Friday, March 29, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. (20:00)
Baldwin Auditorium

Black Atlantic: The Campbell Brothers
Friday, March 29, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. (20:00)
Motorco Music Hall

Black Atlantic: Danilo Brito
Saturday, March 30, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. (20:00)
Motorco Music Hall

More information and tickets at dukeperformances.duke.edu/event-category/black-atlantic


Acclaimed Mauritanian Musician Noura Mint Seymali to Perform in Philadelphia

Noura Mint Seymali

Crossroads Music will present Noura Mint Seymali, one of the leading acts from Mauritania, on Sunday, February 26, 2017.

Noura is a skilled ardin (a 9-string harp reserved only for women) player and vocalist. Her band features the psychedelic guitar lines delivered by her husband Jeiche Ould Chighaly.

The current band features a powerful rhythm section, composed of Ousmane Touré on bass and Matthew Tinari on drums. Noura Mint Seymali released Tzenni, her first full-length album widely available to international audiences in 2014. It was followed by Arbina in 2016.

7:30 pm
801 South 48th Street, Philadelphia


Transglobal World Music Chart for November 2016

Mauritanian musician, vocalist and innovator Noura Mint Seymali is the Transglobal World Music Chart’s number 1 artist this month.

1. Noura Mint Seymali – Arbina (Glitterbeat Records)



2. Constantinople & Ablaye Cissoko – Jardins Migrateurs (Ma Case)
3. Kayhan Kalhor, Aynur, Cemîl Qoçgirî & Salman Gambarov – Hawniyaz (Harmonia Mundi)
4. Kristi Stassinopoulou & Stathis Kalyviotis – Nyn (Riverboat Records)
5. Khmer Rouge Survivors – They Will Kill You, if You Cry (Glitterbeat Records)
6. Richard Bona & Mandekan Cubano – Heritage (Qwest Records)
7. Tanga – Madagascar: Le Trésor des Ancêtres (Buda Musique)
8. Refugees for Refugees – Amerli (Muziekpublique)
9. V.A. – Urgent Jumping!: East African Musiki wa Dansi Classics (Sterns Africa)
10. Tuuletar – Tules Maas Vedes Taivaal (Bafe’s Factory)

11. Jean-Guihen Queyras, Bijan Chemirani, Keyvan Chemirani & Sokratis Sinopoulos – Thrace: Sunday Morning Sessions (Harmonia Mundi)
12. Abou Diarra – Koya (Mix et Métisse)
13. Barcelona Gipsy balKan Orchestra – Del Ebro al Danubio)
14. Vieux Kanté – The Young Man’s Harp (Sterns Africa)
15. Orkesta Mendoza – ¡Vamos a Guarachar! (Glitterbeat Records)
16. Bitori – Legend of Funaná: The Forbidden Music of the Cape Verde Islands (Analog Africa)
17. Bonga – Recados de Fora (Lusafrica)
18. Harold López-Nussa – El Viaje)
19. Çiğdem Aslan – A Thousand Cranes)
20. Kepa Junkera & Sorginak – Maletak)

21. Moussu T e lei Jovents – Navega!
22. Terrakota – Oxalá (Terrakota)
23. Dawda Jobarteh – Transitional Times
24. Calypso Rose – Far from Home
25. Jitka Šuranská Trio – Divé Husy
26. Metá Metá – MM3 (Jazz Village)
27. Ana Alcaide – Leyenda (ARC Music)
28. Alsarah & The Nubatones – Manara
29. Constantinople – Passages
30. Söndörgő – Live Wires

31. Waed Bouhassoun – La Voix de la Passion
32. Bashka – Fihi Ma Fihi (Orient Records)
33. Zomba Prison Project – I Will Not Stop Singing (Six Degrees Records)
34. Fungistanbul – Phenology (Hits on Air Music)
35. Kolektif İstanbul – Pastırma Yazı (Ada Müzik)
36. Quique Sinesi – Cuchichiandos: Legizamón x Sinesi, Vol. II (Sura Music)
37. Quintet Bumbac – Libre Voyage dans les Musiques des Balkans (Collectif Çok Malko)
38. Acid Arab – Musique de France (Crammed Discs)
39. Mabiisi – Mabiisi (Akwaaba Music)
40. Bossacucanova – The Best of Bossacucanova (Six Degrees Records)


Ferociously Cool Noura Mint Seymali

Noura Mint Seymali – Arbina (Glitterbeat Records, 2016)

I remember looking at the photograph of Noura Mint Seymali on the cover of the 2010 Glitterbeat Record release of Tzenni. Posed with her ardin or four stringed lute, Ms. Seymali possesses this little mysterious smile and an I-know-something-you-don’t-know twinkle in her eye. Then I listened to this remarkable Mauritanian griot singer, musician and songwriter and I knew what that smile and twinkle meant – this woman it utterly kickass.

Wrapped up in Moorish musical traditions, draped in desert blues and ornamented in some psychedelic rock, Ms. Seymali’s sound is razor sharp and savagely hip. So it must be that all the music junkies out there are jumping for joy because Glitterbeat is set to release Ms. Seymali’s upcoming Arbina on October 14th. I can admit that after I received my own advance review copy and gave it a listen it’s powerful, mesmerizing and utterly righteous.

Vocals belted out against a backdrop of the kora-like ardin, searing guitar licks offered up by Ms. Seymali’s husband and fellow griot Jeiche Ould Chighaly, thrumming bass lines by Ousmane Toure and rocking drums by Matthew Tinari, who is also the recording’s producer, puts Arbina squarely in the wickedly good section of desert blues/rock genre.

From the opening title track “Arbina,” Ms. Seymali and company savage out a sound that’s hypnotic and intensely satisfying. Comprised mostly of praise songs in the griot tradition where poetry and praise go hand in hand, Arbina sets us poor listeners on a path of fierce guitar laced grooves as in “Na Sane” and “Suedi Koum.”

Tracks like “Richa” and “Ya Demb” seems to shimmer up from the very earth they are that good. If that’s weren’t enough, tracks like “Ghlana,” “Soub Hanak” and the richly lush “Ghizlane” thrum with all the power of the ancient griots.

Arbina is fiery and ferociously cool. Arbina no doubt will earn Ms. Seymali another Best Female Artist in North Africa award from AFRIMA (All Africa Music Awards) to go along with the one she earned in 2014. Well earned, indeed.

Buy Arbina in the americas

Buy Arbina in Europe


Noura Mint Seymali Releases Na Sane Music Video

Noura Mint Seymali
Noura Mint Seymali

Mauritanian sensation Noura Mint Seymali has released a new music video titled “Na Sane”. This song appears in Noura Mint Seymali’s upcoming album “Arbina” scheduled for release on September 16th, 2016.

The video was directed by Loïc Hoquet. Noura Mint Seymali’s band includes Noura Mint Seymali on vocals and ardin; Jeiche Ould Chighaly on guitar; Ousmane Touré on bass; and Matthew Tinari on drums.

Arbina is Noura Mint Seymali’s second international recording. Her previous album was the critically acclaimed Tzenni.

Buy Arbina