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Dimi Mint Abba and Radio Tarifa - world music at the BBC Proms

Category: Proms & Orchestras; Radio 3

Date: 12.07.2006
Printable version

4 August 2006, 10.15pm, Royal Albert Hall


Mauritania's 'diva of the desert' Dimi Mint Abba will perform at the BBC Proms in August.


Not heard in England for nearly a decade, Dimi joins the bill with the acclaimed Spanish group Radio Tarifa for a rousing late-night world music Prom, part of the UK-wide Festival of Muslim Cultures.


This will be Radio Tarifa's last-ever UK performance, as the band retire to pursue other interests.


Dimi Mint Abba replaces the late Cheikha Rimitti who was originally billed to perform.


In her native Mauritania (northwest Africa), Dimi Mint Abba is a superstar. She is one of the few home-grown artists to have an album released internationally and is widely regarded as one of the country's best-loved female griot.


The griot occupies a special place in Mauritanian society - much more than a singer or musician as through their songs they act as historian, biographer, social commentator, poet, soothsayer and storyteller, but are equally adept at singing love-songs and entertaining at social gatherings.


Although the music of neighbouring countries (Mali, Senegal, Algeria and Morocco) is better known outside Africa, the modern and traditional music of Mauritania are unfamiliar.


The desert republic is at the crossroads of Africa, and its musical repertoire has been formed over centuries of contact with a wide variety of African and Arabic cultures to produce a passionate, expressive singing style over complex rhythms.


In turn it has been a strong influence on the music of other countries: the impassioned singing and hand-clapping has been a powerful influence on flamenco.


Spanish group Radio Tarifa play their last ever UK gig at the BBC Proms after 13 years together.


The band was created with a distinctive sound that evolved from Spanish folklore, with gypsy and flamenco influences.


Their sound had constantly grown and changed and at the turn of the millennium they proposed a new voyage into Iberian music with diversions to Renaissance and traditional Japanese music, to spectacular acclaim.


Radio Tarifa are one of the few Western acts to be invited to play in the Palestine territories - they have performed in Jerusalem and Ramallah.


Radio Tarifa work with musicians from all different walks of life and musical backgrounds - flamenco, jazz, rock, Arab music, classical.


They use different sounds and timbres, from traditional Mediterranean instruments like the Derbuka, el Ney or the Ud to medieval instruments such as the cromorno and oriental instruments like the Bansuri (Hindu flute).


They also use many modern instruments including the electric bass, electric guitar and Hammond organ.


The 2006 BBC Proms season features an eclectic mixt of great music, artists and events, including birthday celebrations for Mozart and Shostakovich, an 80th-birthday concert for Her Majesty The Queen, a day devoted to The Voice and the world premiere of Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March No.6.


Each Prom is live on Radio 3 and available to Listen Again for seven days after broadcast at continues to offer the best source of news and up-to-date information about the season.


Listings information


Dimi Mint Abba, Radio Tarifa

BBC Proms. 10.15-c11.45pm, 4 August 2006

Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AP

Tickets £9 - £12.50. Available in person from the Royal Albert Hall box office (no booking fee) or via telephone 020 7589 8212 and online at (£2.50 booking fee applies).


Up to 1,500 promming (standing) places available on the day at £5 each.






Category: Proms & Orchestras; Radio 3

Date: 12.07.2006
Printable version


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