Israeli singer on return visit

October 28, 2012 by J-Wire Staff
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Yasmin Levy, the extraordinary interpreter of Ladino music, returns to Australia with her brand new CD, ‘Libertad’, a hand-picked international ensemble, and a slew of accolades from her interim release (‘Sentir’), highly acclaimed live concerts worldwide, and film appearances.

Yasmin Levy

Her previous sold out tour to Australia ignited and awakened audiences to a gripping young performer and composer on the cusp of international stardom in a musical form unheard on our shores.  The depth and breadth of her unforgettable voice, her ravishing beauty, the surprising maturity of her stage presence, the range of sound and texture in her music conspired to create a veritable sensation.
With her newest CD, ‘Libertad’, Yasmin bares her musical soul in a way she has never done before, diving into the fervour of Spanish Flamenco, the sensuality of Argentinian Tango, and the heart-rending blue notes of Portuguese Fado.   Produced by Ben Mandelson for Adama Music, the striking addition of swooping, soaring Turkish strings adds an extra element of vibrancy and passion to this truly original work.
She says “it is who, what, and where I am in my life right now.  I feel totally free on this project in every aspect.”  Levy’s new sense of freedom has clearly been influenced by the birth of her first child in 2011.  There is also a new-found maturity and confidence within her that allows her to be who she is and open up to her audience in a way in which she never previously felt comfortable.
For ‘Libertad’ Yasmin composed 5 of the 12 songs.  The disc also includes cover versions of one of the pearls of Turkish music, Firuze, as well as a unique cover of the classic Persian song, Recuerdo (originally titled Soghati).
Yasmin Levy’s Sephardic heritage traces its roots from Turkey back to Spain, and ’Libertad‘ draws on the influences of both Spanish and Turkish music.  These have been the hallmark of her Ladino songs on her previous CDs, and today she is dramatically leading them in an entirely new direction.
Intrinsic to her musical philosophy is a belief and wish that cultures can peacefully, and positively, co-exist explaining why in March 2006, Yasmin was presented with the Anna Lindh Award for promoting cross-cultural dialogue for her work with musicians covering three cultures and her connection with the history of Spain. In 2008 Yasmin was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for Children of Peace, a UK-based charity fighting to alleviate the plight of all children caught up in the decades-old Middle East crisis.
These beliefs have all been distilled into her new project that aims to merge two worlds of importance to Yasmin.  She has taken the passion of Flamenco, and complemented that with the emotional tones from the world of her ancestors, that of Turkish music.  Additional elements also feature, but it is this fusion of flamenco guitar, embellished with the distinctive Turkish strings, and a small hint of Cuban and other piano that create an entirely new feel to this musical adventure.  More than anything else, ’Libertad’ is about Yasmin Levy and her own music; the singer and increasingly recognized song-writer, and her unique mix of influences that creates such an emotionally-driven and unforgettable experience, both on disc, live on stage, on television, and in recent film appearances.
Ladino is the collective term for the Judeo-Spanish languages spoken by the Jews of Spain who were expelled in 1492. These languages infuse the original ancient Spanish with other languages including Arabic, Turkish, Greek, Slavic languages, Portuguese, French, Italian and Hebrew and is considered today to be an endangered language spoken by only approximately 150,000 people worldwide.  Yasmin’s father, the Turkish-born Itzhak Levy, was a renowned scholar and collector of this music.
November Australian Tour Dates:
Saturday 17th Factory Theatre, Sydney www.factorytheatre.com.au
w/ VERY special guests; BABY ET LULU…
Sunday    18th Playhouse, The Arts Centre, Melbourne www.artscentremelbourne.com.au
Thursday 22nd The Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane  www.brisbanepowerhouse.org
Saturday  24th Star Court Theatre Lismore www.starcourttheatre.com.au

Yasmin Levy’s Australian tour has been made possible thanks to the Embassy of Israel.

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