World Music Memorial Yanna Momina

Producer Ian Brenan reported the passing of Yanna Momina, a leading artist from the northeast African nation of Jibuti (Djibouti), on Sunday, June 18th. Brenan said: “Yanna Momina Abass 1947-2023. We are saddened to announce the death of Yanna Momina at age 76. Momina had been scheduled to perform at this year’s WOMAD Festival, but fell ill in the spring. Her presence will be missed, but her one-of-a-kind voice lives on.”

Yanna Momina was a singer-songwriter and a member of the Afar people, Jibuti’s second-largest ethnic group. She became known locally for her extraordinary talent and powerful vocal delivery. Yanna was discovered while accompanied on a two-string shingle played with nails and a matchbox for maracas. She made a name in the region, presenting her musical traditions on her album “Afar Ways” (Glitterbeat, 2022) which was recorded live in a stilt-hut on the Horn of Africa with American producer Ian Brennan.

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