Noga Ritter, Ima Review
by Triana Klostman
From the vibrant creative hub of London’s music scene emerges the eclectic singer-songwriter Noga Ritter, who, with her 9-piece band, weaves a rich tapestry of global grooves infused with Hebrew jazz in her debut album, Ima, on the Galileo Music record label. Ritter and her ensemble present a compelling fusion of personal narratives and social-global issues that embody both a passionate performance and an immersive experience through the nine compositions.
Ima, which means mother in Hebrew, is a testament to the inspiration and power of women. The album takes listeners on a journey with influences from Ritter’s nomadic upbringing and multifaceted musical stimuli. The music has elements of Gnawa grooves, Jewish melodies, Senegalese sabar drums, and Israeli jazz and showcases an intersectionality of sound that defies musical genres.
Ritter’s commitment to celebrating diversity is represented in her choice of award-winning musicians, including Seckou Keita, Byron Wallen, and Tony Kofi, and in her embrace of different cultures through her music. Her work bridges gaps, connects people, and initiates a global conversation transcending language barriers.
The title track, “Ima,” dedicated to her mother, Michal, who succumbed to cancer a year ago, exudes an empowering energy. Keita’s unique kora harmonies accentuate the song, embodying Ritter’s blessings and aspirations for all women to embrace their creativity. The song is a testament to the infinite potential of women and a tribute to mothers as the creators of life.
Before her solo work, Ritter was known for collaborating with the group Vocal Global. With a history of international performances, she’s shared her talent on stages from the Royal Festival Hall to the EFG London Jazz Festival while appearing on prominent platforms such as BBC1 morning TV.
However, Ritter’s impact is not limited to stages and recordings. As a workshop facilitator, she brings her passion for music to special needs schools, hospitals, care homes, and refugees, embodying music’s transformative and healing power. In addition, she regularly works with Live Music Now and CREATE, illustrating the social impact of her artistry.
With the release of Ima, Ritter marks an essential milestone in her musical journey. This work is not just an album but a deeply personal narrative transformed into an audial canvas that resonates with global sentiments and individual experiences. Noga Ritter, with her fusion of global grooves and Hebrew jazz, is a force that illuminates the power of diversity in today’s music scene.