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Achinoam Nini
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Background information
Birth name Achinoam Nini
Also known as Noa
Born June 23, 1969
Origin Tel Aviv, Israel
Genres Pop, World, Hebrew, Jazz, Blues
Years active 1990–present
Labels NMC
Geffen Records
Universal Records
Associated acts Pat Metheny

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

Music career

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.

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

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 Be by Mayumana|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.

Discography

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

  • 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

  • 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

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

Singles

  • 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

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

Nini and Dor have collaborated with 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.

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.

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.


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