A smallish woman from Mauritania in Western Africa, she ruled the stage with a fiery intensity that only the most powerful divas can maintain. It was an amazing experience, and in fact Seymali has been making big waves in the US since the release of her most recent album, Tzenni , on European label Glitterbeat. Backstage, we hung out a bit and talked about Mauritanian life and culture. But Seymali is a griot, a hereditary musician and songwriter who bears the weight of centuries of tradition that have been handed down to her. Seymali is the daughter of the famous and respected Mauritanian musician Seymali Ould Ahmed Vall who was responsible for modernizing much of Mauritanian music, for notating the Moorish traditions in sheet music, for basically being the main ambassador of Mauritanian music to the West.