With a bare midriff and Mediterranean eyes, singer Sarah Aroeste has been called “the Jewish Shakira,” reinterpreting music of her ancient Sephardic heritage from Salonika, Greece and Spain.
Aroeste performs in Ladino, the Spanish based language of Jews expelled from Spain in 1492. It was used by Sephardic Jews throughout the Mediterranean, absorbing elements of Greek, Turkish, Arabic, Portuguese, French, Italian and Hebrew. Though easily understood by Spanish speakers, this sexy pan-Mediterranean tongue is now rarely spoken.
Aroeste revives the Greek Sephardic musical tradition with pop-rock takes on 500 year-old Romanceros, traditional Ladino songs. Like her family name, which means “of the West,” Sarah fuses traditional eastern sounds of oud and dumbek with western electric guitar and a strong American rock and blues sound, the Sarah Aroeste band is as diverse as Sephardic culture itself.
It features French-born bassist Emmanual Mann (Habrera Hativ’it, Bustan Abraham), percussionist Liron Peled, fellow Greek Jew Alan Cohen on guitar and Moroccan-Israeli musical director Yoel ben-Simhon (Sultana, Storahtelling) on oud, guitar and piano.
“Ethnic eclecticism from a sultry warbler of Greek – Jewish – Spanish ancestry… Shakira eat your heart out!” - The Village Voice
In the Beginning
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