Sefarad: Music of the Jews of Spain, Portugal and their diaspora
By Judith Cohen
Thursday, May 18
12:00 pm PT / 3:00 pm ET
The talk will last approximately 90 minutes
About this talk
Sefarad is both a geographical place and a concept - it's Spain and Portugal, and it's the centuries and continents of the Sephardic diaspora, to the present. We'll travel - musically - from medieval Jewish life in Spain and Portugal through the diaspora in Morocco and the eastern Mediterranean, former Ottoman lands. Old ballads with hypnotizing stories, irresistible wedding song rhythms, songs of the Jewish calendar cycle and the popular love songs and songs of daily life will be presented both live and in archival recordings, with photos and stories of the Sephardim who kept this tradition alive against all odds.
Judith Cohen is a Canadian ethnomusicologist and singer known for her work in Sephardic music, and related traditions. Village songs of Spain and Portugal, narrative ballads and stories in English and pan-European traditions, Balkan singing, songs of French Canada, Yiddish - and music of Medieval Europe are among her performance and workshop repertoires. Besides, she has spent many years of fieldwork and research on music in the lives of Portuguese Crypto-Jews, who maintained their identity throughout the centuries of the Inquisition.