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.
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.
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.
Noa has performed in Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in NYC, Olympia in Paris, Rome's Colloseum, The Barbican in London, Zellerbach Auditorim in San Francisco, the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, the Montreaux Jazz Festival and Paleo Music festival in Switzerland, Palau de la Musica in Barcelona, the North Sea Jazz Festival and Carre Auditorium in Holland and the Water Festival in Stockholm, as well as numerous successful tours of major venues and festivals throughout Europe, the US, Canada, Brazil and Japan. Noa was the first Israeli Artist formally invited to perform in Morocco. Her appearance in the Sacred Music Festival in Fez lead to a 15 minute special on her as part of CNN's popular music program, World Beat.
In 1994 Noa performed her version of "Ave Maria" for a live audience of 100,000 and a TV audience of millions at the culmination event of the "year of the family" at the Vatican, witnessed by Pope John Paul II. She performed during the Jubilee in the year 2000, before the Pope and an audience of 500,000 students, together with Alanis Morissette, Lou Reed, Gerarad Depardieu, Dave Stewart and Andrea Bocelli. Following these performances, Noa was invited to participate in two of the annual Christmas concerts at the Vatican, sharing the stage with artists like Dionne Warwick, Mick Hucknell, The Coors, Lionel Richie and Deedee Bridgewater. When Pope Jhon Paul II passed away, Noa was invited to Rome to sing in the Italian television's main broadcast in his memory.
Noa and Gil have performed on numerous occasions with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. They recorded an album with them during a live performance at Tel Aviv's prestigious Mann auditorium in 1997, then in January 1998 they played a concert for 20,000 people in Phildelphias' Corestates Arena with the Israel Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Philharmonic together conducted by Zubin Mehta. Maestro Mehta also conducted a gala concert for the Weizman Institute of Science with Noa and the I.P.O. which took place at the Sorbonne in Paris in May 2003. Over the years their symphonic projects have multiplied, including concerts with Symphony Orchestras from Lille, Messina, Parma and Murcia, an exciting evening in the Piazza de la Signoria in Florence with the Firenze Symphony in front of 18,000 people in 2005, and a concert with the Israel Philharmonic in Israel's Yarkon Park in front of an audience of 100,000, also in the summer of 2005. All of these events were conduced by Ilan Mochiach who also arranged Noa and Gil's songs for orchestra.
In September 2003 Noa performed a vocal work entitled: "L'isola de la Luce " (after the Greek island on which it was performed) written by Nicola Piovani especially for her voice. The work was commissioned by the Cultural Olympics Committee in Athens.
On May 1st. 2004, Noa and Gil, together with the successful Israeli group "Mayumana", gave an amazing joint performance between the two final games of the Euro-league basketball championship, broadcast to millions of television viewers around the world.
Singing for Peace / The Human Connection
Noa and Gil have collaborated frequently with Arab and Palestinian artists from around the world, including Khaled from Algeria, Nabil Salameh from Lebanon, Handallah from Nablus, Rim Banna from Nazareth, Amal Murkus from Kfar Yasif, and Mira Awad from Kfar Raameh. These collaborations enable the duo to express, musically, their belief in the power of communication and dialogue as a means of promoting peace and understanding.
On November 4th 1995, Noa was on stage performing for an audience of 50,000 at the historic peace rally in Tel-Aviv just minutes before the late Yitchak Rabin was assassinated. She was the first and only major Israeli artist who agreed to have her name posted on the billboards calling for participation in this fateful rally.
In March 1999 Noa sang for President Clinton at the White House in the event held by the Yitzhak Rabin Foundation honoring the late Rabin's 77th birthday. She was also invited to sing in Oslo for the anniversary of the Peace accord signed there, before an audience that included President Clinton, Ehud Barak, Yasser Arafat and the King of Norway. Noa was awarded the "dove of peace" by Nobel-peace prize laureate Shimon Peres, and has performed and collaborated on numerous occasions with the Peres Center for Peace.
In February 1999 Noa appeared together with Steven Spielberg for the Shoah foundation in Berlin. That same month, she was honored with the "Crystal Award" by the "World Economic Forum" in Davos, Switzerland, where she has performed together with Palestinian artists and participated in numerous panels dealing with peace in the Middle East and the role of art and artists in possibly bringing it about. In 2001 Noa was again invited to participate in the WEF in NY, where she had the honor of performing in a star-studded gala evening produced by Phil Ramone and Quincy Jones, featuring artists such as Bono, Peter Gabriel, Lauryn Hill, India Arie and many others. In this special concert she performed John Lennon's immortal "Imagine" together with the Algerian singer Khaled, in Hebrew, English and Arabic.
In 2000, the Mayor of Melpignano awarded Noa and Nabil Salameh, Lebanese singer songwriter of the group "RadioDervish", honorary citizenship for their activity for peace. Two years later year, Nabil dedicated one of the group's albums to Noa's son, Ayehli.
In May 2002, Noa took part in the first-ever concert at the Rome Colloseum, under the banner of "Time for Life - A Tribute for Peace". The event featured Ray Charles, Mercedes Sosa, Khaled, Nicola Piovani, and various artists from Aghanistan, Sarajevo, Belgrade, Africa and Ireland. Thousands watched the concert on giant video screens.
On october16th 2003, Noa was nominated "good will ambassador" for FAO (the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). In a ceremony which took place in Rome she joined ambassador-celebrities like Roberto Baggio, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Debbie Ferguson, Gilberto Gil, Gina Lollobrigida, Yousou N'Dour, Khaled and Dionne Warwick.
In May 2004 Noa performed in "We Are the Future": a globally telecast fund raising concert for children in conflict areas. The event, which was produced by Quincy Jones and hosted by the mayor of Rome Walter Veltroni, featured an international line-up of stars and performers such as Oprah Winfrey, Angelina Jolie, Chris Tucker, Naomi Campbell and Serena Williams, Patti Austin, Carlos Santana, Alicia Keys, Andrea Bocelli, Carmen Consoli, Josh Groban, Herbie Hancock, Stomp, Take 6, Angelique Kidjo and others. The concert was performed live in front of an audience of 350,000 in Rome's "Circo Massimo", and broadcast on MTV, VH1 and various other channels to millions more around the world (this performance was held during Noa's 6th month of pregnancy!).
On April 3rd 2005 Noa became the first woman to receive the "Galileo Galilei" order medal from the "Grand Orient", the Italian arm of the Free Masons Oranization.
On July 2nd Noa performed in Bono and Sir Bob Geldorf's "Live 8" concert in front of hundreds of thousands of people that filled Rome's Circo Massimo and millions of TV viewers across the world. The concert's aim was to put pressure on the world's leading nations to erase third world debts. The Rome line up included: Duran Duran, Faith Hill, Lorenzo (Jovanotti), Nek, Pino Daniele, Antonello Venditti, Claudio Baglioni, Tim McGraw, Velvet and many others
On August 7th Noa received the prestigious "Gemona Seminar" Prize for artistic excellence and her contribution to peace and understanding. In September, she performed at the Ambrosetti Forum which took place in Villa d'Este, Como, Italy, before distinguished participants such as Shimon Peres, Saeb Arekat and Amer Mussa. She took advantage of this stage, as she has many times before, to express her belief in the importance of dialogue and the need for vision-driven, selfless leadership.
Singing for Film and Theater
In 1998, Noa recorded the part of Esmerelda in French for the original soundtrack of the multi-Platinum selling "Notre Dame de Paris". Her song 'Babel', written in English, French and Hebrew as theme song for the Gerarad Pullicino movie of the same name, topped the charts in France the following year.
Noa collaborated with French composer Eric Serra on two songs for film: 'The Experience of Love' from the James Bond film 'Goldeneye', and the song 'My Heart Calling ' from the Luc Besson film "Joan of Arc".
In the year 2000 Noa and Gil were asked to write lyrics for Nicola Piovani's musical theme for Roberto Benigni's Oscar award winning movie "Life Is Beautiful". The song was recorded and released with the album "Blue Touches Blue", and became a huge hit for the song-writing duo.
In July 2004, During Noa's 8th month of pregnancy with her daughter Enea, Noa and Gil, together with Palestinian singer Rim Banna, wrote and recorded the theme song for the animated film "Pace of Peace". The short film, a joint project of Israeli and Palestinian high-school students, was awarded special notice in the 2005 Venice Film Festival.
Noa and Gil Dor's Performance Benefiting the Jewish Federation - Rochester, New York - Thursday, September 22, 2011
Noa and Gil were amazing – truly amazing.
Personable, spiritual, soulful, light and love – these are words that only begin to describe how they connected with the audience and what they conveyed and shared.
Thank you for helping to make it possible to bring Noa and Gil Dor to Rochester!
Our event attendance increased by 25% as compared to prior years.
Let’s continue to work together on bringing Noa here to Rochester again soon! I look forward to working with you to bring other artists here to Rochester and in promoting Noa and Gil now and in the future.
Kol Tov and Shabbat Shalom,
Assistant Executive Director
Financial Resources Development Director
Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester
441 East Avenue,
Rochester, New York 14607