Tales from Two Ends of the Sephardi World

Bea Lewkowicz, Yasmin Levy, Hilary Pomeroy

01/03/2006 11:30 am

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.

Bea Lewkowicz

Bea Lewkowicz is co-director of the filmed interviews: Refugee Voices and is currently the director of Sephardi Voices UK, an audio-visual oral history project which records testimonies of Jews from North Africa and the Middle East in the UK. Her many research interests and publications include: The Jews of Salonika: History, Memory and Identity.

Yasmin Levy

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.

Hilary Pomeroy

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.

Dennis Marks

Dennis Marks is a writer, broadcaster, filmmaker and seasoned traveller. Hespent seven years in charge of BBC Television’s Music Department and five years as Director of the ENO. His current projects involve works on Joseph Roth, Sir Michael Tippett and the history of Jews in the Ottoman Empire.