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World Music Concerts & Festivals

Photo by AKWA Betote

September 22, 2005 - October 9, 2005


Nawal is the first Comoran woman singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist to give public performances and will be a featured performer at a number of celebrated festivals and venues beginning September 22, 2005. A list of festivals and other venues in New York, Ohio, Illinois, Illinois and Pennsylvania is included at the end of this release.

Nawal, known as the "Voice of Comoros," originally comes from the
Comoros Islands, also known as the "Perfume Islands" or "Islands of the Moon," located in the Indian Ocean off the eastern coast of Africa. Putumayo featured Nawal's song "Hima," recorded with Donna Africa, on th! e "Women of Africa" compilation released in 2004.

Born into a family with many musicians, Nawal bathed in both popular and spiritual music from a young age, in her native islands and also in her new home in France. Between traditional and contemporary, Nawal's music weaves a rich dialog of cultures, a reflection of the diverse character of life in her native islands. Indo-Arabian-Persian music meets Bantu polyphonies, Sufi chants and the syncopated rhythms of the Indian Ocean. An acoustic roots-based fusion, her music is rhythmically compelling and beautifully lyrical.

Nawal has gained international praise as a self-produced artist with her powerful voice and socially progressive commentary. She has performed professionally for 20 years, and as a multi-instrumentalist she plays the gambusi (Comoran banjo-like instrument, cousin to the oud), the daf (Iranian frame drum), and guitar, among others.

Earlier this year, an international jury selected Nawal as one of the four composers for the prestigious "Sahel Opera," an African opera commissioned by the Prince Claus Fund in Holland. The Opera will premiere in 2006 in Bamako, Mali and will later tour in Europe and America.

Nawal is currently performing and touring as part of a trio. Along with Nawal, the trio includes Idriss Mlanao on contrabass and Melissa Cara Rigoli on mbira and percussion.


9/22 Chicago World Music Festival, Chicago, IL
9/23 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), Champaign, IL
9/24-25 Bloomington IN Lotus World Music & Arts Festival
9/28 University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
9/30 Wilbert's Music, Cleveland,