Noura Mint Seymali is a one of Mauritania’s foremost musical emissaries. Born into a prominent line of Moorish griot, Noura began her career at age 13 as a supporting vocalist with her step-mother, the legendary Dimi Mint Abba. Noura also mastered the ardine, a 9-string harp reserved only for women. In the past few years, she has expanded her musical reach, combining her traditional background with with an ear for global influences, rock and psychedelia.
She is now backed by a rhythm section composed of Ousmane Touré (bass) and Matthew Tinari (drums). Her husband, guitarist Jeiche Ould Chighaly provides ngoni-inspired, distortion- fueled psych guitar lines. Her music has found a new audience in Europe and North America.
The quartet released its first full-length album for the international market via Glitterbeat Records and has performed at events like Festival-au-Desert (Mali), Hayy Festival (Egypt), Jeux de Francophonie (France), Globafest (US) and Festival Timitar (Morocco). Through collaborations with artists like Tinariwen, Bassekou Kouyaté, and Baaba Maal, the band is actively exposing Mauritanian roots music to the world. In a rare merger of cultural authority and experimental prowess, Noura Mint Seymali applies the ancient musical traditions of the griot with a savvy contemporary aesthetic.
75 Dollar Bill
Percussionist Rick Brown and guitarist Che Chen started playing as 75 dollar bill in 2012. Their raw electric music is informed by early American guitar boogie, the stringed instrument traditions of West Africa, India and the Middle East as well as by the space chords of Sun Ra and the minimalist and No Wave histories of their hometown. After a series of self-produced cassette/digital releases, their first “official” record, Wooden Bag was released by Other Music in January 2015.