Rim Banna

was born on December 8th in 1966 in Nazareth. She studied at the Higher Music Conservatory in Moscow. Banna first achieved popularity in the early 1990s, after recording her own versions of traditional Palestinian children's songs that were on the verge of being forgotten. Many such songs and rhymes sung by Palestinian families again today are said to be thanks to Banna's work in preserving them via her recordings.

Banna's popularity in Europe began after Norwegian music producer Erik Hillestad invited her to participate on the CD Lullabies from the Axis of Evil (2003). The album, dubbed "a musical antiwar message to U.S. President Bush from female singers in North Korea, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Cuba, and Afghanistan, to sing traditional lullabies from their lands in duet form with English-language performers whose translation allows the songs to reach a Western audience.

The meeting with Hillestad resulted in a collaboration with his company Kirkelig Kulturverksted (KKV) and releases of a number of solo albums on the Norwegian independent label during the years to follow, among them “The Mirrors of My soul” (2005), “April blossom” – a children’s album (2009) and “Revelation of Ecstasy and Rebellion» (2013). Norwegian musicians like Bugge Wesseltoft, Knut Reiersrud, and Eivind Aarset were often to find in the bands who took part in the recordings and concerts

Rim Banna composed her own songs and adds melody to Palestinian poetry and to poems from other Arab countries. Her message was often focused on the fight and suffering of the Palestinian people.

Nothing stops Rim. Despite being diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and with paralysis of her vocal cords in 2015, the iconic Palestinian singer and activist defiantly worked on her 11th solo album “Voice of Resistance” with Checkpoint 303 and Bugge Wesseltoft, while continuing to lend her voice to the voiceless in her occupied homeland Palestine and across the world.

Rim’s art and existence are lessons in humanity, resistance, justice, and freedom. Rim passed away in her hometown on March 24th, 2018. May she rest in peace and power.


Solo albums:


  • «Jafra» (1985) 
  • «Your tears Mother» (1986) 
  • «The Dream» (1993) 
  • «New Moon» (1995) 
  • «Mukaghat» (1996) 
  • «Al Quds Everlasting» (2002) 
  • «The Mirrors of My Soul» (2005, Kirkelig Kulturverksted) 
  • «Seasons of violet» (2007, Kirkelig Kulturverksted) 
  • «April Blossoms» (2009, Kirkelig Kulturverksted) an album for children, was dedicated to the children martyrs in Gaza 
  • «Revelation of Ecstasy and Rebellion» (2013, Kirkelig Kulturverksted), Produced by Bugge Wesseltoft 
  • «Voice of Resistance» (2018, Kirkelig Kulturverksted), with Checkpoint 303 and Bugge Wesseltoft


Collaborations and Compilations:


  • «Lullabies from the Axis of Evil» (2004, Kirkelig Kulturverksted – Various female artists) 
  • «Krybberom» (2003) Rim Banna & SKRUK (2003, Kirkelig Kulturverksted) 
  • «This was not my story» (2006) Rim Banna & Henrik Koitz 
  • «Songs across Walls of Separation» (2008 Kirkelig Kulturverksted – Various artists from the Middle East, Africa, Central America, North America, and Europe) 
  • «A Time to cry» (2010, Kirkelig Kulturverksted), was recorded in one of Sheikh Jarrah's houses which is under a constant threat to be evicted from the part of their house (with 3 Palestinian singers) 
  • «Tomorrow» (Bokra) 2011, a single song of the American legend composer Quincy Jones, who chose Rim Banna to represent Palestine in this project which will be released in an Album and a video clip in September 2011 
  • «Songs from a Stolen Spring» (2014, Kirkelig Kulturverksted)