Nadine Altounji (Syria / Canada)
Nadine Altounji is a Montreal-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist whose musical passion and skills are deeply rooted in the rich soil of her family’s Syrian homeland. In addition to being a talented vocalist, Nadine is a consummate musician, playing the piano, guitar, bass, and oud. A first generation Canadian, Nadine grew up hearing her Syrian grandmother play Middle Eastern classics on the piano, learning to play herself at the tender age of five. Nadine formalized her interest in music and its cultural significance by studying guitar at Concordia University and earning a BFA in Integrative Music Studies. Recently, Nadine has turned her focus towards exploring and connecting with her Middle Eastern heritage, learning how to play the oud, a traditional Middle Eastern instrument that her great grandfather played.
Moroccan singer Noura Toutain joins Altounji on the song “Dans la Folie des Nos Temps” (In the Madness of Our Times), a powerful commentary on the intractability of divergent political beliefs and featured on "Global Café." “Everyone has an opinion / Everyone believes they are right / What do you do with your isolation / Do you dare to think otherwise / Are you caught in front of your screen / In the madness of our times.”
“No Lo Olviden” (Do Not Forget), featured on "Acoustic World 5," is a powerful anti-war song that calls for justice and healing for families and cultures that have been torn apart by armed conflict. Altounji sings in Arabic and Spanish, “Hunger increases but faith remains / While the General waits for the fall / Children do not forget, do not forget, please / That love only love can conquer this misery / My trembling hands seek to rest / In an embrace with the promise of happiness / Give me back my laughter and my innocence / That the turmoil of war took away.”