Klezmer, Ladino, and New Music Fusion
I always have an ear out for new music, especially music that brings together sounds and styles from different parts of the world. Two of my favorites include the music of the Afro-Celt Sound System and Rebbe Soul, both of which are quite innovative and energizing.
Recently, I discovered two new groups—The Sarah Aroeste Band and Oi Va Voi—that create a similar kind of sound-fusion by bringing Jewish ethnic flavors back into the groove. As a five-member group, The Sarah Aroeste Band melds rock, funk, and blues with Sephardic melodies and Ladino lyrics. With her family roots in Spain and Greece, Aroeste is determined to keep Ladino—the ethnic form of Castilian Spanish developed by Spanish Jews after their expulsion from Spain in 1492—alive, vibrant, and trans-continental through her music.
In a similar fusion vein, Oi Va Voi, an experimental London ensemble, fuses indie rock and electronica with Klezmer and other global rhythms drawn from Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, and beyond. Before becoming a multi-platinum solo artist, K.T. Tunstall was a guest vocalist for Oi Va Voi. Who knew?
Both of these groups have been around for some time now, but have simultaneously put out new albums which are gaining momentum.
I think they’re pretty great. Listen to their music on MySpace: Oi Va Voi and The Sarah Aroeste Band.
How to cite this page
Namerow, Jordan. "Klezmer, Ladino, and New Music Fusion." 21 August 2007. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on June 2, 2023) <https://jwa.org/blog/fusion>.
Now that you've mentioned wonderful new Jewish fusion music, I feel compelled to throw in a couple of my own recent favorites: Pharaoh's Daughter has a new album out, "Haran," that is the best yet from a group that does wonderful middle-eastern/Long Island hasidishe fusion.
And now touring again after lead singer Jewlia Eisenberg is largely recovered from a horrible bicycle accident is the a capella group Charming Hostess. If I say that their most recent album consists of poems written in Sarajevo during the siege, set to scintillating, often danceable music, by three powerful women's voices you only begin to get a sense of how much fun the band is.
I have reviews and other information about them at the KlezmerShack--http://www.klezm...
I discovered the Sarah Aroeste Band this past February - they're super!
You might also like to check out the Luminescent Orchestrii (some songs on myspace) They describe themselves as "gypsy tango klezmer punk" and they're pretty amazing. I saw them at PAs in Somerville and they got everyone moving--somehow the room full of Bostonite hipsters, including Amanda Palmer from the Dresden Dolls, etc. all ended up dancing the horah together. That you do not see everyday.