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artist information

Yasmin Levy

Yasmin Levy, born on December 23, 1975 in Jerusalem, is an Israeli singer-songwriter of Sephardic music. Her late father, Isaac Levy, was a composer and cantor, pioneer researcher into the long and rich history of the Ladino music and culture of Spanish Jewry and its diaspora, being the editor of the Ladino language magazine Aki Yerushalayim. With her distinctive and emotive style, Yasmin has brought a new interpretation to the medieval Ladino/Judeo-Spanish song by incorporating more "modern" sounds of Andalusian Flamenco and Turkey, as well as combining instruments like the darbuka, oud, violin, cello, and piano. In her second album, La Judería (Sp: "The Jewish Quarter"), she also covered the popular songs Gracias a la Vida by Violeta Parra and Nací en Alamó from the film Vengo, directed by Tony Gatlif, which in its original version won the 2001 César Award for Best Music Written for a Film.

Her debut album was Romance & Yasmin in 2000, which earned her a nomination as Best Newcomer for the fRoots / BBC Radio 3 World Music Awards 2005, followed in 2005 with her second album La Juderia. In 2006 she was nominated again, then in the category Culture Crossing.

Yasmin's work earned her the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation Award for promoting cross-cultural dialogue between musicians from three cultures. In her own words:

I am proud to combine the two cultures of Ladino and flamenco, while mixing in Middle Eastern influences. I am embarking on a 500 years old musical journey, taking Ladino to Andalusia and mixing it with flamenco, the style that still bears the musical memories of the old Moorish and Jewish-Spanish world with the sound of the Arab world. In a way it is a ‘musical reconciliation’ of history.

Yasmin is currently on a world tour to promote her new album Mano Suave, which was released in October 2007.

Discography

  • 2004: Romance & Yasmin
  • 2005: La Judería
  • 2006: Live at the Tower of David, Jerusalem
  • 2007: Mano Suave