Tales from Two Ends of the Sephardi World: Yasmin Levy, Bea Lewkowicz & Hilary Pomeroy
Chair: Dennis Marks
Cultural historian Hilary Pomeroy revealed the enchanted world of abducted princesses and power-crazed kings of the ballads sung by Moroccan Sephardi women, based on poems from Spain before the expulsion of Jews 500 years ago. Israeli diva Yasmin Levy will sing some of them. Social anthropologist Bea Lewkowicz presents stories from Salonika, a once thriving Sephardi community annihilated by the Nazis, but whose collective memory is kept alive by the narratives she has gathered.
Born in Jerusalem 27 years ago, Yasmin Levy was introduced to Ladino singing and culture from a very young age. Her father was the leading figure in the world of research into and preservation of the Judeo-Spanish culture, dating back to the 15th century in Spain. In her deep, spiritual and moving style of singing, Yasmin preserves and revives the most beautiful and romantic songs from the Ladino/ Judeo-Spanish heritage, mixing it with Andalusian Flamenco. She has made two albums: “Romance & Yasmin”.and “La Juderia”. She performed in various international festivals and events including WOMAD Singapore, Forum Barcelona, Bath Festival and the BBC’s New Year’s Day concert in London as well as New York’s Carnegie Hall.
Bea Lewkowicz is a social anthropologist and oral historian. She studied in Cologne, Cambridge, and London, and received her PhD from the London School of Economics. She curated the exhibition ‘Continental Britons’ for the Jewish Museum, London and currently co-directs the AJR ‘Refugee Voices Audio-Visual Testimony Project’.
Dr. Hilary Pomeroy, lecturer in Sephardic Culture and History at University College London, chairs the British Conference on Judeo-Spanish Studies and is a specialist in the Spanish and Sephardic ballad.
For twenty years Dennis Marks was an acclaimed director and producer for the BBC and the independent sector. His work has ranged from high profile cultural and historical documentaries, social histories filmed to award winning films of contemporary operas. In 1986 he took up the post of Head of Music BBCTV. In 1993 he was appointed General Director of English National Opera. In 1998, he returned to film and television production, broadcasting and journalism, founding the independent production company Directors Cut.
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