Category: Proms & Orchestras; Radio 3
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
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.
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
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 bbc.co.uk/radio3.
bbc.co.uk/proms continues to offer the
best source of news and up-to-date information about the season.
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 bbc.co.uk/proms
(£2.50 booking fee applies).
Up to 1,500 promming (standing) places available
on the day at £5 each.