29 April 2010

Noa's concert in Seattle (USA)

Noa, the Woman From Hope

The Israeli pop star talks about the reality of relations with Palestinians.

By Chris Kornelis Wednesday, Apr 28 2010 When Noa, one of Israel's biggest pop stars, brings her Palestinian friend, Mira Awad, to the

Paramount Theater on Thursday, the pair will sing in English, Hebrew, and Arabic—but they won't bring any of the religious fervor that has divided their homelands.

"Religion is fanning the flames of this whole thing," says Noa. "Can you name one horrible conflict in the world that is not religious-based?"

Instead, Noa (known in Israel as Achinoam Nini) hopes the tour will help contribute to Americans' awareness of the situation and to why it's important for them to tune in. "There are many conflicts going on in the world which, in the kind of world we're living in today, are all connected and interlocked, and everything affects everybody. This conflict should be significant for Americans." (More of our conversation can be found on Reverb, our music


SW: What don't Americans get about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict?

Noa: Most newspapers will not ever report on the organizations working for peace in Israel and Palestine. There are so many groups that are doing incredible work for bringing people together, for promoting tolerance and dialogue, and trying to disintegrate the fear that is so strong-rooted in some of these peoples' hearts. What you do know is every rock thrown and every drop of blood shed. There's sort of like a spiral of hopelessness that comes as a result of that, and it's a shame, because it's not the way it is really here.

You were born in Tel Aviv but raised in New York City, and then returned to Israel when you were 17. Why did you return?

I fell in love with a man, whom I'm actually married to now. I met him at a summer vacation in Israel. I was just 15 at the time. A few years later, I decided to return to Israel.

Did you know that you were going to have to serve in the military when you went back?

I was in a state of denial for a year. I had a good job. I was singing in the military entertainment unit. I would have preferred to do other things with those two years between 18 and 20. It would be great if it weren't like that. I don't want to send my kids to the Army, but if there's no choice and I am living in this country, then I'll do it. It's like paying taxes. It's part of being a citizen here.

How was your outlook different when you came out of the Army?

Well, I decided to do everything I can to work for peace.

Do many international artists tour in Israel?

The bigger ones. Nick Cave is hugely popular in Israel. People love him in Israel. He's great, but I think he's more popular in Israel, proportionally, than any other place in the world.

STG Presents Israeli international pop star Noa at The Moore Theatre on Thursday, April 29, 2010. Opening for Noa is Mira Awad, a Palestinian actress, singer and songwriter. This is both artistsí first performance in Seattle. The two represented Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow in 2009, with the song ìThere Must Be Another Way.î

Israel's international pop star offers a beautifully orchestrated concert of her most beloved songs reflecting her American/Yemenite/Israeli heritage. The concert, developed and originally performed with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, has been presented throughout Europe, and most recently with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in celebration of Israel's 60th anniversary.

Aside from her four hugely successful Israeli albums, Noa has released numerous international albums, ìNoa,î ìCalling,î and ìBlue Touches Blueîand ìNoa Nowî among them. In 2006 the Hebrew language release, ìNapoli-Tev-Avivî with the Solis String Quartet, was followed by her first Neapolitan recording of the same title, in the original language in which the songs were created. Her latest release, Genes and Jeans, May 2008, was born from Noa's wish to seek and revive the Yemenite songs I heard from my grandmother as a child. Noa will be touring North America in the 2010-11 seasons performing with symphony orchestras around the country.

Noa, together with her musical partner, Gil Dor, and world-renowned percussionist Zohar Fresco have toured extensively in Europe, Asia, South America and the United States. She has been invited numerous times to perform at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and New York. She performed for a TV audience of millions at the culmination event of ìThe Year of the Family: at the Vatican in 1994 and returned there to perform again in 2000. She has performed in some of the worldís most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York.

Mira Awad:
Palestinian actress, singer and songwriter living in Israel, Mira Awad was born in the Rama village in the Galilee to a Palestinian father and a Bulgarian mother. She studied at the Rimon School for Jazz and Contemporary Music from 1996-2000. Mira participated in improvisational workshops in Israel and the UK sponsored by the BIArts, British Council, and studied in the body theatre school with a scholarship from the America-Israel Culture Foundation. Mira collaborated with Noa (Achinoam Nini) in her album "Now", Idan Raichel in his second album "Mema'amakim", Greek singer George Dalaras, and with hip hop artist Guy Mar. Mira is also working as an actress with the Tel-Aviv Cameri Theatre, and on the TV series "Arab Labour". She is featured in the movie "The Bubble", directed by Eytan Fox and recorded the theme songs for the films "Forgiveness" by director Udi Aloni, and "Lemon tree" by Eran Riklis. Her debut album "Bahlawan-Acrobat" was released in May 2009, and was musically produced by guitarist Amos Ever-Hadani.

International artist Noa, known in her native Israel as Achinoam Nini, will come to Seattle on April 29 to give a special performance with Israeli-Arab musician Mira Awad.
ìWhen I heard her speak on the Yair Lapid show on Channel 2 in Israel, I was extremely impressed,î says Noa about her friend and co-performer Awad. ìI was looking for a partner to perform with, but although I did not hear her singing, her intelligence struck me, and so I got in touch and asked her to work together.î
That was 10 years ago.
Since then, Noa and Awad have established a long-lasting relationship and friendship that has had terrific results. The two have performed together throughout Europe and the United States, including representing the State of Israel in the Eurovision contest of 2009. They have also recorded an album together. The culmination of this relationship is their joint performance on the tour that lands them in Seattle later this month.
Noa was born in Israel, but moved to New York as an infant when her parents came to the U.S. to study. After finishing their studies, her parents decided to stay. But at the age of 17, Noa fell in love with an Israeli guy, who later became her husband, and moved to Israel to be with him. Later on, her parents took the hint and returned to Israel as well, but in the meanwhile Noa completed her studies in a Jerusalem boarding school and later joined the army. Now living in Shefayim, a kibbutz 10 miles north of Tel Aviv, with her husband and three kids, Noa performs all over the world.
Despite having given birth to her most recent child less than two months ago, Noa will be conducting an 11-day tour across the U.S., from Boston to Seattle and plenty of places in between. In addition to herself and Awad, the show will host her longtime collaborator Gil Dor, as well as Gil Zohar, a guest musician she considers to be extraordinarily gifted.
As a songwriter who spent most of her life in the U.S., Noa writes almost exclusively in English, though she sometimes writes music for written works by Israeli poets.
ìI am of Yemenite origins, and this has played a bigger part of my music in recent years,î Noa told JTNews during a recent interview. ìSome of my works are songs I have learned from my grandmother, and incorporated with original music and lyrics.î
Her latest solo album, Genes & Jeans, includes many songs that incorporate this style, and many of them will be included in the concert.
ìMy work has evolved naturally over my career,î she says. ìIíve become a mother, travelled all around the world, and this is evident in my songs. I have a very characteristic style that my followers can easily identify, because Iím all about the content and lyrics, not about producing popular music. I feel that my music is courageous ó itís not trying to imitate anybody or to reach the common denominator. Just like me, my music does whatever it feels like, and I believe that my fans find that appealing.î
Last year, Noa and Awad represented Israel in the annual Eurovision song contest, one of the longest-running television shows in history. Itís relatively unknown in the United States, but it is watched by an estimated 600 million European viewers each year. Noa and Awad were selected to participate in the competition that took place during May of 2009, choosing their song ìThere Must be Another Way.î
Noa said the contest, held just a short time after the Gaza War, came at a time when public opinion of Israel was very low.
ìMany have opposed Israelís participation, and there were demonstrations and a lot of negativity,î she said.
Noaís collaboration with Awad, who is Palestinian, in performing in the competition was a monumental achievement and sent a very important message, they believe. ìOur presence there, as a Jew and an Arab, was very important, and we received a lot of grateful letters from excited fans, many of them from Arab countries,î Noa said.
The duo was scheduled to perform in London for Israel Independence Day, though the JTA news service reported that Awad had to cancel due to scheduling conflicts, and Noa will perform on her own. Following their U.S. concert tour, the quartet ó Noa, Awad, Dor, Zohar ó will launch a European tour.
Noa's latest solo album, Genes & Jeans, can be found online, as can her joint album with Awad, There Must Be Another Way.

27 April 2010

Noa's concert in New York (USA)

Achinoam Nini, Israelís international pop star also known by her stage name Noa, is releasing a new album next month with Mira Awad. In the video above they sing There Must Be Another Way, which they performed together for Eurovision Israel 2009.
They will be together again on April 27 at the 92nd Street Y. Noa will offer a beautifully orchestrated concert of her most beloved songs reflecting her American/Yemenite/Israeli heritage. The concert, developed and originally performed with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, has been presented throughout Europe and most recently with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in celebration of Israelís 60th anniversary.

Tickets can be purchased here. We are offering our loyal blog readers a 20% discount off the regularly priced ticket; use code NMA at checkout to receive the discount.