Magazine article New Internationalist

La Juderia

Magazine article New Internationalist

La Juderia

Article excerpt

La Juderia

by Yasmin Levy

(Connecting Cultures CC 50024 CD)

If Jewish diasporic music now has a strong international presence - think of the late Ofra Haza's Yemenite pop or the international klezmer bands - there's one significant form that's so far remained in the shadows. No longer. Ladino music, a sound that originated in the cultural crosscurrents of medieval Spain, is getting its long overdue break with virtuoso singer Yasmin Levy.

La Juderia, the second album from the Jerusalem-based Levy, offers a sonic world that's familiar. There's the mix of flamenco rhythms and trills from Levy's band - she favours a traditional instrumentation of oud, qanun and ney. But listen closely and you hear 500 years of history on La Juderia.

Levy calls the album a 'musical reconciliation' and you can hear her point. The wide space of 'Nad en Alamo' (I Was Born in Alamo) is an excellent place to hear how sinuous Levy's voice can be. …

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