Tuesday, April 23

Noga Ritter to play Manchester Jewish Museum

On Mother’s Day, Sunday, 10th March, Manchester Jewish Museum will welcome Noga Ritter, an Israel-born, London-based eclectic singer-songwriter, for a performance in the museum’s 150-year-old Spanish & Portuguese synagogue. Noga’s new album “Ima” (Hebrew for “mother”) is her debut solo album, dedicated to the artist’s mother, “a healer, mover and true artist”.

Noga Ritter is an eclectic singer-songwriter, band leader and workshop facilitator whose music fuses Hebrew Jazz with global grooves. Her songs, sung in both Hebrew and English, weave intimate and personal stories into a potent narrative of social-global issues. Her performances, whether in stripped-down formats or her full 9-piece band, are as passionate as they are energetic, getting any audience to dance and join in on her soulful journey.

Her debut solo album “Ima”, released in May 2023, features 14 incredible musicians, including the award-winning artists Seckou Keita on Kora, Byron Wallen on trumpet, Tony Kofi on saxophone and produced by Liran Donin. Imagine soaring trumpet solos over Gnawa grooves, Jewish melodies backed with Senegalese Sabar drums and blissful kora (west African harp) improvising alongside Israeli jazz piano subtleties. These are just some of the colours Noga used to paint her musical stories in this remarkable body of work, which she will share with the audiences during her upcoming show at Manchester Jewish Museum. For this concert, she will be joined by Giuliano Osella on percussion and Tomer Eldon on piano.

But “Ima” also tells a family story. The Hebrew word translates to “mother”. In the below interview Noga talks about the story behind the title and how it resonates with the upcoming show on Mother’s Day.

Photo: Tatiana Gorilovsky

Hello Noga! Your last performance at MJM, during Synagogue Nights 2022 was a brilliant show and we received amazing feedback. What have you been working on since then?

That show was incredible. Such a beautiful space to perform and such a warm and welcoming audience. I can’t wait to be back!

Since my last gig at MJM I released my debut solo album “IMA” on Galileo Music Label. We launched it with a 10-piece band at a sold-out show at the Forge Camden in London. After the launch, I toured the album in the UK, Italy, Germany, and Brazil. It’s been incredible to bring the music to new audiences, play in new places I’ve never been before and with new musicians. It’s amazing to see how people can connect to my music, no matter if they understand the lyrics or what genres they normally listen to.

How was it for you to release a debut solo album? What were your highlights from this process?

It was an incredible process, very intimate and challenging at times. I’ve learned so much from it about myself, and my songwriting and I believe this album is the closest I’ve got to myself and refining my sound.

I was fortunate to work with an amazing producer and my dear friend, Liran Donin, who helped me throughout the project. I’ve learned a lot from working with him. This album helped me bring together a family of incredible musicians together which is the key element of the unique sound of this record. Working with them inspired me and lifted my music to new heights.

The new album has so many beautiful flavours and influences, how would you describe it if you had to sum it up in a few words?

Hebrew Jazz with global grooves. The album reflects my journey, encounters, and collaborations. Living in London and travelling a lot, I got to meet many interesting artists from different backgrounds. These meetings inspired the eclectic sound of my album and the story behind my art.

Can you tell us a bit more about the album’s title, “Ima”?

“Ima” means “mother” in Hebrew. I dedicate this album to my mum, Michal Ritter, who passed away in March 2022. It’s also the title song of the album, featuring the award-winning kora player Seckou Keita.

My mum was one of my biggest inspirations. She encouraged me to follow my heart and take on this artistic path. She was a healer, a Feldenkrais therapist, and an artist. I wrote the song ‘Ima’ as a blessing for her 60th birthday, for her to fly high and shed anything that weighs her down. A year later she discovered she had cancer, straight after I recorded the album. The song became an encouragement for her on her healing journey. In these months she immersed herself in art: painting, sculpting, and dancing. She was reflecting and sharing her insights about how women often support other people and artists before taking space for their art. After she passed away this song became my way to connect with her.

Does it feel special to perform songs from “Ima” on Mother’s Day?

Yes, I think it’s a good opportunity to celebrate all mothers and to remind ourselves how precious they are. In this album, there is also a song about my grandma and my dear friend Saskia. With this album I celebrate women and mothers, the real creators of life!

Ahead of your show, you’ve worked with one of our creative groups, The Crafty Corner, who took inspiration from your music to create art. How did you find this process?

It was fascinating. During the session I shared with the group the creative process I learned from Brierley Thrope, the very talented body painter who did the body paint on my album cover.

We listened to one of the songs on my album, titled “Departure” as I shared the meaning behind the lyrics and then the group responded to the music creatively with painting and print. And it was fantastic. I love it when art inspires more art, especially when it’s multi-disciplinary. It keeps the art alive.

What’s next? What should we look out from you in the future?

I’m continuing to tour “Ima” this year, before I start working on a new album next autumn. There is already a lot of new music in the pipeline, waiting for me to give it attention and love, so stay tuned for that!

Noga Ritter Trio will perform on Sunday, 10th March, at 7pm at Manchester Jewish Museum’s historic Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue. Tickets can be booked online or by calling 0161 834 9879. Manchester Jewish Museum is open seven days a week from 10am-5pm and will be open from 6pm on event evenings.

EVENT LISTING

• Title: Noga Ritter Trio: “Ima”

• Date: Sunday, 10 March, 7 – 8:30PM

• Address: Manchester Jewish Museum, 190 Cheetham Hill Road, M8 8LW, Manchester

• Tickets: £16 Full, £15 Concessions, M8 Members and MJM Members

• Website link: https://www.manchesterjewishmuseum.com/event/noga-ritter-trio-2024/

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