Sephardic Jews descended from the Jews expelled from Spain and Portugal during the Inquisition. While most American Jews descend from Yiddish-speaking Eastern European immigrants, Sephardic Jews settled in the countries around the Mediterranean. They inherited a variant of Spanish called Ladino or Judeo-Espanyol, which also included Arabic, Hebrew and other elements. Their rich repertoire of song, featuring poetic lyrics and beautiful melodies with a Spanish or Middle Eastern flavor, is becoming widely performed around the world, especially in the US and Israel. This program includes a sampling of love songs, lullabyes, and songs from the Sephardic religious tradition, both popular and liturgical.
Bonnie Robiczek Meadow, who composed the guitar accompaniments, is well known in the Woodstock area as a lutanist, guitarist, composer and choral conductor.
Mezzo-soprano Judith Kerman has performed in the Phoenicia Festival of the Voice productions of “Carmen,” “Pagliacci” and “Tosca” as well as other choirs and early music groups over many years. A poet and translator from Spanish, she researched and refined the lyric settings.