Akua Naru and Noa land in Luxembourg as part of the annual Printemps Musical Festival
On Wednesday, the brilliant Akua Naru’s lyrics took us on a complex journey invoking Toni Morrison, Nina Simone and Lauren Hill but also made it impossible for the Lux audience to merely spectate. Naru’s mix of spoken word hip hop and jazz backed by some seriously talented musicians laying down backing beats meant that the entire crowd went from head bobbing to shoulder rocking to jumping up and down. As part of our wonderful musical voyage, we were transported to an African American Pentecostal Church as she led us through call and response and made the audience feel as if they were indeed instruments in the ensemble. The result is a mix of incredible energy, heartbreak and romance. Only in Luxembourg would you get to be this intimate with an artist. A truly fantastic show as part of the Printemp festival. Kudos to the Tourist Office for securing such dazzling talent.
Later in the week we were delighted by a completely different version of a star: Noa. Noa’s true name is Achinoam Nini, but it could be any other Mediterranean name: her features are so universally recognisable that her face could easily appear on the flip side of a Roman sestertium, and her music spans throughout so many genres that she ends up embracing them all.
The Israeli -Yemenite- American artist gifted Luxembourg with what was possibly one of her best performances to date. The Auditorium of the Conservatoire of Luxembourg listened to a repertoire covering two decades of Noa’s career while also shedding some light on her future artistic path. She performed everything from her own standard (“Life is Beautiful”) to some new songs from her latest album (“You-Tu”, written with Spanish legend Joaquin Sabina, or “Shalom” from a Gilberto Gil classic) and tributes to Bobby McFerrin.
Noa charmed Luxembourg’s music lovers with support from her guitarist Gil Dor, who has been touring with Noa since the beginning of her career. Noa wasn’t shy about showing off her own drumming talents; pure energy spread across the Auditorium for little less than two hours, and there was no shortage of surprises. She delighted the Grand-Duchy audience by performing, for the first time ever, three beautiful, currently nameless pieces, she wrote based on music by J. S. Bach.
This show was an absolute masterpiece and represents the quality of an initiative like the Festival de Printemps, which is a welcome addition to the Grand-Duchy’s cultural offer and its art-craving inhabitants.
There are three remaining shows in the Printemps Festival (Snow Owl “The Blue Road”, Yuri Buenaventura “Paroles- Tournée 2017” and the Steve Gadd Band “Way Back Home Tour”) and we highly recommend checking them out.