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Noa (singer)

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Achinoam Nini (Hebrew: אחינועם ניני‎, romanized: Aẖinóʿam Nini; born (1969-06-23)June 23, 1969), also known professionally as Noa (נועה), is an Israeli singer-songwriter, percussionist, poet, composer, and human rights activist[1] working internationally. She is accompanied by guitarist Gil Dor and often plays the conga drums and percussions as she sings.[2] Noa represented Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009 together with singer Mira Awad, with the song "There Must Be Another Way". Her music is known to fuse languages and styles. She has performed in 52 countries and was the first Israeli artist to perform in the Vatican.

Noa was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, and she is a fifth-generation Sabra to family of Mizrahi Jewish (Yemenite-Jewish) descent. She 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, serving as a singer in the military band of the Northern Command.[5] After her release she studied music at the Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music in Ramat Hasharon, Israel, where she met her long-time partner and collaborator Gil Dor, then a faculty member of the school.[6]

Noa is married to Asher Barak, an Israeli pediatrician. They have three children.[7]

Noa has performed in a variety of locations around the world, including 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, the Stockholm Water Festival in Sweden and Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona.

Noa has recorded songs in English, Hebrew, Yemenite Hebrew, Spanish, Neapolitan, French, Italian, Sardinian, Galician, and Arabic. Noa and Gil Dor have had various ensembles since their early days as an acoustic duet. Noa and Dor's ensembles vary from album to album, ranging from collaborations with musicians such as: Zohar Fresco, Steve Rodby, Solis String Quartet, Hila Carni and symphonic orchestras around the world. Noa'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 Noa's Yemenite roots and Dor's background in jazz, classical rock, have created Noa and Dor's unique sound audible through hundreds of songs written and performed by the duo. Noa plays percussion, guitar and piano.

In 1994, Noa performed Ave Maria with English lyrics she wrote 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.

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