10 January 2011

Noa's concert in New York (USA)

Known in Israel by her given name Achinoam Nini, Noa is Israel's leading international concert and recording artist. Born in Tel- Aviv in 1969, Noa lived in NYC from age 2 until her return to Israel alone at the age of 17. Her family is originally from Yemen. After serving the mandatory two years in the Israeli Army in a military entertainment unit, Noa studied music at the Rimon School where she met her long-time partner and collaborator Gil Dor.

Noa's strongest influences come from the singer-songwriters of the 60s, like Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. These musical and lyrical sensibilities, combined with Noa's Yemenite roots and Gil Dor's strong background in Jazz, Classical and Rock, have created Noa and Gil's unique sound, manifested in hundreds of songs written and performed together. Noa plays percussion, guitar and piano. She is married to Dr. Asher Barak, they have two children, Ayehli and Enea, and live in Israel.

On record

Over the span of their 15 year career together, Gil and Noa have written and produced 4 hugely successful Israeli albums : "Achinoam Nini and Gil Dor Live", "Achinoam Nini and Gil Dor " (also known as "Rachel and Leah"), and "Achinoam Nini". Their four international albums are "Noa" (produced by Pat Metheny) and "Calling" (produced by Rupert Hine) for Geffen records, "Blue Touches Blue" (produced by Mike Hedges) for Mercury records and "Now" (produced by Gil Dor & Yoad Nevo) for Universal Music. In addition, Noa has recorded a live album with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and a live cd and dvd with The Solis String Quartet. There are also various compilations available. The songwriting duo have sold over a million and a half copies of their current catalogue.

Duets and Collaborations

Noa has toured and sang with rock superstar Sting, performed her song "Child of man" with Stevie Wonder for a CBS TV special in the US, and shared the stage and microphone with many great artists, including Carlos Santana, Sheryl Crow, George Benson, Jhonny Clegg, Zucherro, Peter Maffay, Pino Daniele, Rita Marcotulli, Massimo Ranieri, Carlo Fava, Florent Pagny, Jean Jaques Goldman, Lokua Kanza, Jorge Drexler, Joan Manuel Serrat, Miguel Bose, Donovan, Maurane, Eric Serra, Pascal Obispoe, Patrique Bruel, Mike Manieri, Al Dimeola and Bustan Avraham.

The Ensemble

Noa and Gil have had various different ensembles since their early days as an acoustic duet. Their most long lived musical relationship has been with the extraordinary percussionist Zohar Fresco. The three of them have played hundreds of concerts together all over the world. Recently Noa and Gil have added the wonderful Solis String Quartet to their stage show. The meeting between the Israeli trio and the Neapolitan quartet has brought a wonderful new dimension to Noa and Gil's music.

Nini is a singer who tries to enjoy both the worlds of popular and classical music.But as Nini puts it, "there is an intrinsic connection between the music of Gil [Dor, her ongoing musical partner] and myself in our pop activities and classical music. We didn't have to bend our songs. It is a most natural extension."

Is this extension indeed that natural? Does it make sense to hear Nini sing with a full symphony orchestra? Does it makes sense for her to perform this way? As a matter of fact, nothing could be more natural. And those who attended the special Sasha Argov concert organized by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra several years ago, have already seen that Nini can be at her most natural with a full symphony orchestra backing her up.

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