Achinoam Nini

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Achinoam Nini
Achinoam Nini.jpg
Noa (2012)
Background information
Birth nameAchinoam Nini
Also known asNoa
Born (1969-06-23) June 23, 1969 (age 49)
OriginTel Aviv, Israel
GenresPop, world, Hebrew, jazz, blues
Occupation(s)Singer
Years active1990–present
LabelsNMC, Geffen Records, Universal Records
Associated actsPat Metheny
WebsiteOfficial website

Achinoam Nini (Hebrew: אחינועם ניני‬; Aẖinóʻam Nini; born June 23, 1969; known outside Israel as Noa), is an Israeli singer.[1] She is accompanied by guitarist Gil Dor and often plays the conga drums as she sings.[2] Nini represented Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009 together with singer Mira Awad, with the song "There Must Be Another Way."

Biography[edit]

Achinoam Nini was born in Bat Yam, Israel, to a Yemenite Jewish family, and moved to New York City at the age of two.[3] She attended SAR Academy and Rabbi Joseph H. Lookstein Upper School of Ramaz High School, remaining in New York until her return to Israel alone at the age of 16.[4]

She completed her mandatory service in the Israel Defense Forces performing with a military entertainment troupe.[5] After her release she studied music at the Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music in Ramat Hasharon, where she met her long-time partner and collaborator Gil Dor, then a faculty member of the school.[6]

Nini is married to Asher Barak, a pediatrician. They have three children.[citation needed]

Music career[edit]

Nini has performed in Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York City, Olympia in Paris, Rome's Colosseum, The Barbican in London, Zellerbach Auditorium in Berkeley, California, the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands, and the Stockholm Water Festival in Sweden, as well as having done numerous successful tours in major venues and festivals throughout Europe, the USA, Canada, Brazil and Japan.

Achinoam Nini at the Bardentreffen festival 2014
Noa and Gil Dor at the Bardentreffen festival 2014

Nini has recorded songs in Arabic, English, French, Hebrew, Italian, and Spanish.

Nini and Gil Dor have had various ensembles since their early days as an acoustic duet but their longest musical relationship has been with the percussionist Zohar Fresco. Nini and Dor's ensembles vary from album to album, ranging from collaborations with bands such as Solis String Quartet to tours with symphonic orchestras. Nini's music is influenced by the singer-songwriters of the 60s such as Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, and James Taylor. These musical and lyrical sensibilities, combined with Nini's Yemenite roots and Dor's background in jazz, classical, country and rock, have created Nini and Dor's unique sound audible through hundreds of songs written and performed by the duo. Nini plays percussion, guitar and piano.

Achinoam Nini performing at the opening of the Peres Institute for Peace

In 1994, Nini performed the English version of Ave Maria for a live audience of 100,000 and a TV audience of millions at the closing event of the International Year of the Family at the Vatican, Rome, Italy, witnessed by Pope John Paul II.

Nini and Dor have performed on numerous occasions with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. They recorded an album during a live performance at Tel Aviv's Mann Auditorium in 1997. Over the years they have collaborated with symphonic orchestras from Lille, Messina, Parma, Murcia, and Florence. In September 2003, Nini performed a song entitled L'isola della Luce (after the Greek island on which it was performed) which was written by Nicola Piovani especially for her. The work was commissioned by the Cultural Olympics Committee in Athens. In May 2004, the duo performed with the Israeli rhythm and dance troupe Mayumana between the two final games of the Euroleague basketball championship.

Together with Arab-Israeli singer Mira Awad, Nini represented Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest 2009. Their song "There Must Be Another Way" qualified for the first semi final but eventually finished in 16th place.[7]

Awards[edit]

  • In 1999 Noa was honored with the "Crystal Award" by the "World Economic Forum" in Davos, Switzerland, where she performed together with Palestinian artists and participated in numerous panels dealing with peace in the Middle East and the role of art and artists towards bringing it about.
  • In 2000, the mayor of Melpignano, Italy,[who?] awarded honorary citizenship to Noa and Nabil Salameh (a Palestinian singer songwriter) for their activity for peace.
  • On April 3, 2005, Noa became the first woman to receive the medal of the "Galileo Galilei" order from the "Grand Orient", the Italian arm of the Freemasons.
  • On August 7, 2005, Noa received the "Gemona Seminar" prize for artistic excellence and her contribution to peace and understanding.
  • Noa won the "Critics' Award" at the 56th Sanremo Music Festival in Italy, appearing with the Solis String Quartet[8] and Carlo Fava.[9]

Discography[edit]

Over the span of their 24-year career, Nini and Gil have written and produced three albums: Achinoam Nini and Gil Dor Live, Achinoam Nini and Gil Dor (also known as Rachel and Leah), and Achinoam Nini. Their five 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, Now (produced by Gil Dor & Yoad Nevo) and Genes & Jeans (produced by Gil Dor) for Universal Music.

In addition, Noa recorded a live album with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and a live CD and DVD with The Solis String Quartet.

Studio albums[edit]

  • Achinoam Nini and Gil Dor (September 1993)
  • Noa (March 1994)
  • Calling (May 1996)
  • Achinoam Nini (April 1997)
  • Blue Touches Blue (March 2000)
  • Now (September 2002)
  • Genes & Jeans (April 2008)
  • Noapolis - Noa Sings Napoli (February 2011)
  • The Israeli Songbook (March 2011)
  • Love Medicine (2015)

Live albums[edit]

  • Achinoam Nini and Gil Dor Live (July 1991)
  • Achinoam Nini & the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (April 1998)
  • Noa Live - DVD/Double CD with the Solis Quartet (October 2005)
  • Napoli-Tel Aviv (September 2006)

Compilations & other albums[edit]

  • First Collection (March 2001)
  • Noa Gold (October 2003)
  • There Must Be Another Way - with Mira Awad (2009)

Singles[edit]

  • Mishaela (Be'eineiha) (1992)
  • Uri (Akara) (1992)
  • He (Boi Kala) (1993)
  • Nocturno (Keren Or) (1993)
  • I Don't Know (1994)
  • Ave Maria (1994)
  • Wildflower (1995)
  • Child of Man (1995)
  • U.N.I (1996)
  • Too Proud (1996)
  • Lama (1996)
  • Mark of Cain (1996)
  • By the Light of the Moon (1996)
  • Vivre (1997)
  • Nanua (1997)
  • Mushrooms (Pitriot) (1997)
  • But Love (Aval Ahava) (1997)
  • Babel (1999)
  • One Becomes Two (1999)
  • Beautiful That Way (2000)
  • If I Give You Everything (2000)
  • The Beauty of That (2000)
  • Again and Again (Otra Vez) (2001)
  • Eye in the Sky (2002)
  • We (2002)
  • Now Forget (2003)
  • Shalom, Shalom (2003)
  • Dreamer (2008)
  • Genes & Jeans (2008)
  • There Must Be Another Way (2008)
  • Someone Out There (Yesh Ey Sham) (2011)
  • There Were Nights (Hayu Leilot) (2011)
  • Autumn Wind (Ruach Stav) (2011)
  • Lullabye (Shir Eres) (2011)
  • Nothing But a Song (2014)

Soundtracks[edit]

In 1998, Noa recorded the part of Esmeralda in French for the original soundtrack of the multi-Platinum selling "Notre Dame de Paris", but did not play the role in the musical. Her song "Babel", written in English, French and Hebrew as theme song for the Gerard Pullicino movie of the same name, topped the charts in France the following year.

Noa collaborated with French composer Éric Serra on two songs for film: "The Experience of Love" from the James Bond film GoldenEye, and the song "My Heart is Calling" from the Luc Besson film "The Messenger."

In 2000, Noa recorded the theme song "La vita è bella" of the film "Life Is Beautiful", Roberto Benigni's Oscar award-winning film. Noa also wrote the lyrics to the song now titled "Beautiful That Way", together with Dor. The song was recorded and released with the album Blue Touches Blue, and also appears on the soundtrack to the film as well as on her album Noa Gold in two versions.

Duets and collaborations[edit]

Nini and Dor have collaborated with Arab and Palestinian artists from around the world, including Khaled from Algeria, Nabil Salameh, of Palestinian origin, born in Lebanon, Handallah from Nablus, Rim Banna from Nazareth, Amal Murkus from Kfar Yasif, and Mira Awad from Kfar Raameh. On November 4, 1995, she was onstage performing at the peace rally in Tel Aviv just before Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated. From 1995-98, she performed many concerts in memory of Rabin.[citation needed]

In May 2002, she took part in a concert at the Rome Colosseum, under the banner of "Time for Life - A Tribute for Peace", featuring Ray Charles, Mercedes Sosa, Khaled, Nicola Piovani, and artists from Afghanistan, Sarajevo, Belgrade, Africa and Ireland. In May 2004, she performed in "We Are the Future": a globally telecast fund raising concert for children in conflict areas. On July 2, 2005 she performed in Bono and Bob Geldof's "Live 8" concert in Rome's Circo Massimo.[10] In September 2005, she performed at the Ambrosetti Forum which took place in Villa d'Este, Como, Italy, in the presence of Shimon Peres, Saeb Erekat and Amr Moussa. In November 2010, Nini and Mira Awad performed at the closing concert of the Science for Peace event hosted by the Fondazione Umberto Veronesi at the Bocconi University of Milan, Italy.

FAO ambassador[edit]

In October 2003, Nini was named Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Views and opinions[edit]

While Nini has been criticized in Israel for her left-wing political views,[11] she has performed at Israel Independence Day celebrations in London[12] and Vancouver.[13] She is also an outspoken opponent of the movement to boycott Israel, noting that she herself has been "a victim of its hypocritical and harmful activity." [14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Birchmeier, Jason. "Biography: Achinoam Nini". Allmusic. Retrieved April 9, 2010.
  2. ^ "A little bit of Berklee in Tel Aviv". The Boston Globe. HighBeam Research. December 6, 1992.
  3. ^ "Noa's biography". Goldenland.com. Archived from the original on November 17, 2011. Retrieved November 29, 2011.
  4. ^ optimistic about peace Archived December 29, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Jewish Independent, July 8, 2011.
  5. ^ Life is Beautiful Archived November 5, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Nini, Achinoam, Jewish Virtual Library
  7. ^ "Arab-Jewish singing duo go to Eurovision on sour note". jWeekly. May 7, 2009. Retrieved June 17, 2009.
  8. ^ "Bio". Solis.it. April 20, 2007. Archived from the original on 2012-04-26. Retrieved November 29, 2011.
  9. ^ "Carlo Fava: official website". Carlofava.it. Archived from the original on 2011-09-28. Retrieved November 29, 2011.
  10. ^ "Noa biography". Noasmusic.com. Archived from the original on September 28, 2011. Retrieved November 29, 2011.
  11. ^ Singer Achinoam Nini says she was threatened at airport, called 'Israel-hater' By Yaniv Kubovich and Dafna Arad, Haaretz, Mar. 22, 2015.
  12. ^ "DEATH THREATS FORCE ARAB ISRAELI EUROVISION SINGER TO CANCEL LONDON APPEARANCE AT ISRAEL INDEPENDENCE DAY SHOW". Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  13. ^ "Israel to Fund Achinoam Nini's Show in Canada After JNF Pulls Out Over BDS Claims". Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  14. ^ Jane Eisner, Why Accuse Israeli Singer Noa of Backing BDS, When She Rejects It Outright?, Jewish Daily Forward, Feb. 22, 2016

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Bo'az
with The Fire In Your Eyes
Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest
(with Mira Awad)
2009
Succeeded by
Harel Ska’at
with Milim