Musical Performance: Nawal: the Voice of Comoros

Fri, September 27, 2013 8:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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Nawal: the Voice of Comoros in concert at Alwan for the Arts

“To listen to Nawal is an invitation to dream, dance, meditate
and soar over the Indian Ocean...”

Between traditional and contemporary, Nawal’s compositions are an acoustic roots-based fusion, a reflection of the diverse character of the Comoros and beyond. Indo-Arabian-Persian music meets Bantu polyphonies and rhythms mixed with Sufi trance. Nawal sings mostly in Comorian (Shikomor) a language in the Swahili family, also with French, English and Arabic. She also espouses the philosophy of her great grandfather Al Maarouf, a grand Sufi master, who was inspired by mysrical trends in Islam.

A self-produced artist, Nawal has performed professionally for over 20 years, with concerts internationally in Europe, North America, Africa, the Indian Ocean and the Middle East. In 2011 Nawal celebrated the release of “Embrace the Spirit(Jade/Warner), with a tour in the USA. In 2007 Nawal released her second album “Aman” (Peace of the Soul) which was awarded stunning reviews from the international press. Her first album “Kweli” (Truth) was released in 2001 (Mélodie).


Tickets: $20 General (*buy now) | $15 for Students, Members and Seniors (*buy now) available at the door or online.

(*A small online fee is applied - use printout as your ticket)

Doors open at 7:30 pm



Nawal 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. Born into a family with many musicians, Nawal bathed in both popular and spiritual music from a young age. Now living in France, today she is recognised as being a key figure from her native islands: the ever rising star of Comoros. A singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Nawal plays guitar, gambusi (traditional lute, inherited from Yemen), and diverse percussion. Nawal states “My main instrument, before anything, is the voice.” Aptly called a "mystic pop diva", Nawal communicates something bigger than music – she has the capacity to touch people’s hearts with her powerful voice and message.

Reviews for "Embrace the Spirit"

"SoundRoots Top 20 Global Albums of 2011”
Scott Allan Stevens, 2011

“Nawal continues to dazzle us with her Sufi-inspired collection of songs... Nawal knows how to entertain our spirit and grace our presence with her divine musical prowess”
M. Forss 2011

“Singer/songwriter Nawal is like an orchestra in and of herself... with instruments more original than others. The whole album is filled with wisdom and humanity, where every song is an invitation to voyage.”
by Iza M’madi, 2011

“On Embrace the Spirit (Milan), Nawal delivers a powerful one-woman meditation that salutes the recent uprisings in the Middle East and the human desire for freedom and peace.” by PM, Chicago Reader, USA, 2011

“An embrace for the whole human race. The whole CD, in fact, seems designed to transport mind and soul to places beyond the material world. It gets you there with varying doses of rhythm, melody, wide open space and, most importantly, the lulling but strong voice of a singer the entire world would do well to pay attention to.”
by Tom Orr, 2011

“Intimate, poetic and powerful... Nawal, artist originally from the Comoros Islands, continues her musical and humanist ways...”


Alwan's music program is made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in Partnership with the City Council.

Last updated: 2014-01-06 14:29:41

Nawal: the Voice of Comoros
Nawal: the Voice of Comoros

Alwan for the Arts

16 Beaver Street, 4th Floor
(between Broad St. and Broadway)
New York, NY 10004
(646) 732-3261

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