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Etty Ben-Zaken, Eitan Steinberg, Ensemble Yatan Atan



One of the most significant roles that music has played throughout history is preserving folklore and heritage. Etty Ben-Zaken's plaintive "El Rey De Fransia" demonstrates the beauty and power of centuries-old Sephardic folk music. Using traditional voice, strings, percussion, and recorder, Ben-Zaken and musical director Eitan Steinberg craft a magical tale of love and hope.

Ben-Zaken's first exposure to many of the pieces on Ladino Love Songs was while listening to a daily radio broadcast in her grandmother's kitchen in Israel. While helping prepare leek balls, Ben-Zaken would listen as her grandmother sang along to the daily broadcast of Ladino songs. Ben-Zaken writes, "The old folk songs were like good red pomegranates: some eat them, some use their juice for cooking, others say blessings on them at the High Holiday table, and everybody praises their beauty."

Ladino Love Songs includes works from Sephardic communities in Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Israel, and Morocco.