Tonight is the final part of our series Nisa’a/Women: Muslim Cultural Identity-Six Women on Stage and in Conversation. Nisa’a celebrates the powerful artistry of women with roots in Muslim communities in the U.S. and around the world. During extended engagements in the city, these artists perform and participate in conversations with students at Baltimore City schools and audiences at the Creative Alliance. The dialogue focuses on challenging prevalent stereotypes and building a deeper understanding of the vast artistic identity that is part of the extraordinarily diverse Muslim cultural world.
Noura Mint Seymali is a nationally beloved star and one of Mauritania’s foremost musical emissaries. Born into a prominent line of Moorish griot (West African praise singers, poets and musicians) Noura began her career at age 13 as a supporting vocalist with her step-mother, the legendary Dimi Mint Abba. From a very early age, she was trained in instrumental and vocal technique by her grandmother, Mounina, mastering the ardine, a harp reserved only for women, and singing at weddings with family. Seymali Ould Ahmed Vall, Noura's father, was similarly an important teacher, himself a seminal figure in Mauritanian music who devised the first system for Moorish melodic notation and composed many works popularized by his wife, Dimi. Seymali sparked Noura’s compositional instincts and encouraged her earliest experimentations with fusion music. Reared in this rich and transitive music culture where sounds from across the Sahara, the Magreb and West Africa coalesce, Noura Mint Seymali currently drives the legacy forward as one of Mauritania's most adventurous young artists.
Fueled by the exploratory sound of her husband Jeich Ould Chighaly’s emotive psych guitar lines, Noura and Jeich formed their first "fusion" band in 2004 after working together for many years as a duo in the local traditional circuit. Jeich, a master of the tidinit (aka. ngoni, xalam), brings the force of yet another important line of Moorish griot to bear, adapting the tidinit's intricate phrasing to a modified electric guitar with heroic effect. His unique sound, mirroring Noura's vocal lines and refracting their melodies into the either, was born out of years of practice presiding over wedding ceremonies where solo guitar or tidinit directs the dance. In parallel to his work with Noura, Jeich remains one of Nouakchott's most sought after guitarists within the griot community until present.
ABOUT THE KONJOUR COLLECTIVE
Konjur Collective is a Baltimore based arts collective/band devoted to creating free flowing spiritual and radical Black Art. Bashi Rose and Michelle Rodwell founded the collective in 2018. Since then it has grown to 10 members with musical backgrounds including free jazz, hiphop, spoken word, West African drumming, and more.
FRI MAR 29 | 8PM | $13, $10 MEMBERS (+$3 at the door)