Heidi Trautmann

173 - Yasmin Levy - Voice of Ladino - in Famagusta at Salamis Amphitheatre



About Yasmin Levy


The Ladino singer was born Yasmin Levy in Bakaa, Jerusalem, Israel, on 23 December 1975. A “very small, beautiful neighbour-hood”, Bakaa is filled with narrow alleys and warrens dating back many hundreds of years. The area is still a vital part of the history of this great city and, for Yasmin, her roots. Whenever she has time off, she loves to return to Jerusalem and spend time with her mother, brothers, sister and their families.


Yasmin’s musical interests began as a child. At six years of age, she was taught to play piano and she continued with her studies until age eighteen. At twenty, she began singing seriously but it wasn’t until a year later that she made her first public performance as a guest in a concert given by her mother. Other local concerts followed but it wasn’t until WOMEX 2002 that she made her international début and embarked on a singing career.


Her first album Romance And Yasmin (Connecting Cultures) focused on Ladino music and Turkish influences and was greatly influenced by the work of her late father Yitzhak Levy. Born in Turkey in 1919, he worked as both a composer and cantor.  After the creation of the State of Israel, Yitzhak was appointed head of the Ladino department at Israel's national radio station.


His life's work was devoted to the collection and preservation of the songs of Sephardic Jews: these songs had been passed down orally from  generation to generation over a period in excess of 500 years. During his lifetime he published 4 books containing Sephardic romances and another 10 volumes of liturgical songs.  He also recorded many of these same songs for the national radio.  Sadly, Yitzhak Levy passed away when Yasmin was little over one year old. Nevertheless she grew up knowing her father's love for this music and his heritage as he had also taught her mother Kochava the Sephardic repertoire and she, in turn, passed the songs on to their daughter. When Yasmin was preparing her first disc Romance And Yasmin, she was she says “helped enormously by the books and recordings my father left behind”.


For her second album, the highly acclaimed La Juderia (Adama Music), Yasmin continued her work within the Ladino tradition but began to experiment more with the flamenco influences that date back to her residence in Spain during 2002. In that year, she was awarded a scholarship by the Christina Herren Foundation to study flamenco in Seville. There she was influenced strongly by the unique singing style that she then added to her own Sephardic one.


With her third album Mano Suave (World Village / Harmonia Mundi), released in October 2007, Yasmin embarked on a mature reinvestigation of her Ladino roots. Recorded in London's Livingston Studios in February 2007, it had Lucy Duran  and Jerry Boys co-producing. Continuing Yasmin’s tradition of using the best musicians available, this album featured players from Iran, Armenia, Greece, Paraguay, Israel, Turkey and Spain. Mano Suave also featured a very moving duet with guest vocalist Natacha Atlas on the title track, which is a Beduin song in which Natacha’s Arabic interwove stunningly with Yasmin’s Spanish vocals.


A brand new (and fourth) album Sentir (World Village / Harmonia Mundi) will be released on 5 October 2009. With it Yasmin has finally honed a musical vision that integrates effortlessly all of her previous musical preoccupations with fresh, new directions. With Sentir, Yasmin’s music truly becomes ’of the world’. Produced by the acclaimed Javier Limón (who has worked previously with the likes of Portuguese fado star Mariza), the new album’s programme draws songs not only from Ladino (’Mi Korason’, ’Londje de Mi’) and flamenco (Javier Limón’s ’Nos Llego El Final’) traditions but also contemporary material (by Javier, Yasmin) and even Leonard Cohen (in a remarkable and fresh version of ’Hallelujah’).


As mentioned earlier, an important factor in Yasmin’s life and musical direction has been the legacy of her father Yitzhak Levy, who died when Yasmin was only one year old. Sentir’s ’Una Pastora’ allows Yasmin, by the miracle of modern technology, to duet with him. As she says ”This is one of the most beautiful songs my father ever recorded…His singing is something holy for me and I was afraid to touch it…until I realised that it was my own fears I needed to overcome."


Yasmin’s deep, spiritual singing, passionate vocal delivery and striking good looks continue to entrance fans new and old. She has thrice been nominated for BBC Radio 3 World Music Awards and her appearance on BBC 2 TV’s Later…With Jools in November 2005 was one of the highlights of that particular series.  More recently she has appeared on Holland’s acclaimed Vrije Geluiden television programme as well as featuring on television and radio in countries as diverse as Australia, Germany, Israel, Sweden, Spain, Austria, and on the popular Turksh television programme Ibo Show in July 2008. In January of this year she was featured in France’s Concert FIP, a prestigious live radio series devoted to exposing the talents of artists from all over the World.


Yasmin’s touring activities have already taken her to many parts of the Globe.  Through 2008 to 2009, she has toured Australia (culminating in a sold-out performance at the prestigious Sydney Opera House on March 1, 2008, Austria, Switzerland, Finland, Poland, Holland, Germany, France, Bulgaria, Montenegro and a sold out concert at Israel’s National Opera House in Tel Aviv.


She has appeared at WOMAD Festivals in Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, UK and Canary Islands as well as at New York’s Carnegie Hall amongst many others. 2009 sees Yasmin at the Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House, London on 22 July and making her début National Tour of the United States with concerts planned there for November.


In October 2008, Yasmin was nominated for Holland’s prestigious Edison Award, the Dutch equivalent of the Grammys, in the category Best World Music Album. This nomination confirms the very positive acceptance of her most recent release at both a critical and commercial level with the album having charted in the Top 30 of the main retail charts. Mano Suave also charted in the Top 10 of Sweden’s mainstream pop music charts and has performed extremely well across Europe as well as in Australia and Israel.


In December 2008 Yasmin won the USA Songwriting Competition in the category Best Song (World) for her composition “Me Voy” (”I’m Leaving”).


Some months earlier, in September 2008, she was named 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.  As part of this role, Yasmin has committed to giving at least two workshops a year to Middle Eastern children from all sides of the conflict, talking about her career and trying to imbue these children with the hope that through music they may still live their dreams


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. The award reflects many of her hopes for the future. On a musical level, these have been distilled into the music and songs on her penultimate album Mano Suave  and, perhaps even more so, on the brand new album Sentir. On a more global scale, Yasmin simply desires “that people will have more compassion towards each other and learn to live in harmony”.


About Ladino:

For those new to the music and its language and history, Ladino is the collective term for the Judeo-Spanish languages spoken by the Jews of Spain: these languages infuse the original ancient Spanish with other languages including Arabic, Turkish, Greek, Slavic languages, Portuguese, French, Italian and Hebrew. The geographical spread of communities in North Africa, Turkey, Greece and the Balkans, each with distinct dialects and religious customs, is reflected in the musical variety of Judeo-Spanish folk songs carried down to the present day. UNESCO has recently recognised Ladino as one of the world’s endangered languages as they estimate there are fewer than 200,000 Ladino speakers world-wide.




Romance And Yasmin (Adama Music)

La Juderia (Connecting Cultures)  

Mano Suave (World Village/Harmonia Mundi)

Sentir (World Village/Harmonia Mundi)


For more information about Famagusta festival:



Ticket Price: 25TL


Ticket Sales & More info About the Festival;

Gazimağusa Municipality Public Relations Department (0392 366 09 54)


For more info about Yasmin Levy & the festival:

Pasion Turca - SINAN NERGIS - 0532 2447434 - sun@pasionturca.net & CENK ERDEM - 0212 2744348 & 0533 4994149- cenk@pasionturca.net 


Sefarad şarkılarını flamenkoyla buluşturan, geleneksel ladino müziklerinin yaşayan efsanesi YASMIN LEVY SENTIR Albümünün dünya turnesi kapsamında 31 Ağustos'ta 14. Uluslararası Magusa Kültür ve Sanat Festivali'nde!


15.yüzyıl İspanya'sından tüm Akdeniz'e yayılan en güzel Sefarad şarkılarını sesiyle dinleyenlerin yüreklerine saplayan, Endülüs flamenkosu ateşini geleneksel ladino şarkılarıyla buluşturan Yasmin Levy 14. Uluslararası Mağusa Kültür ve Sanat Festivali kapsamında 31 Ağustos'ta Salamis Antik Tiyatro'da KKTC'ye konuk oluyor.   

Vengo'da  kullanılan "Naci en Alamo" şarkısıyla yıldızı parlayan , Financial Times'dan The Guardian'a kadar dünyanın en prestijli yayınlarının dünya müziğinin yükselen süperstarı olarak gösterdiği Yasmin Levy en güzel aşk ve ayrılık şarkılarını 31 Ağustos'ta hayranlarına KKTC'de söyleyecek.


"Bir kere duyduğunuzda bir daha asla unutamayacağınız ses" olarak tarif edilen Yasmin Levy Sefaradların çok kültürlülükle içiçe olan tarihlerini yeniden yaşatıyor. Romance & Yasmin, La Juderia, Mano Suave ve Sentir albümleriyle dünya müziği sahnesin de kısa sürede yıldızı parlayan Kudüs doğumlu Yasmin Levy, Sefarad kültürünü yoğun olarak Anadolu etkileriyle sunarak üzerinde beşyüz yılı aşkın zamanın tozu bulunan şarkıları gün yüzüne çıkarıyor. 

İzmir yakınlarında büyük bir Sefarad cemaatinin içinde doğan babasının kilise korosu şefliği ve şarkı derleyiciliği yapmış olması dolayısıyla bugünkü repertuarının kaynağını bulan Yasmin Levy şarkıcılık kariyerine Flamenko söyleyerek başlamış. Fakat Ladino dilinin yok olmaması adına kendisini ciddi bir sorumluluğun beklediğini fark etmesiyle Sefarad şarkılarına yönelmiş. Yasmin Levy bunu yaparken de İran, İsrail, Paraguay, Türkiye ve İspanya'dan gelen müzisyenlerle çalışmış. Özellikle şarkılarında gitar, perküsyon, darbuka, arp, kontrbas, klarnet, ney, zurna gibi farklı kültürlerden ve disiplinlerden enstrümanları bir arada duymak mümkün. Böylece tüm şarkıların düzenlemelerinde Ortadoğu, Balkan ve İspanya etkilerinin birbiriyle kaynaşması sağlanmış. Geleneksel Sefarad şarkılarının yanı sıra sözü ve müziği Levy'e ait parçalarla dünya müziğinin en etkileyici seslerinden biri olan Yasmin Levy dünya müziğinin en güçlü kadın seslerinden biri.

Dünyanın en önemli basın kuruluşlarından The Guardian'ın 'dünya müziğinin sıradaki Süperstar'ı olarak tanımladığı Yasmin Levy, şarkılarıyla Sefarad müziğinin kalbine dokunuyor. Flamenkoyu da şarkılarıyla ustalıkla harmanlayan sanatçının çizgisi için Financial Times ise şu yorumda bulunuyor "Yasmin'in müziği gerçekten 'dünyaya' ilişkin."

Magusa Konseri bilet satış noktaları ve konser hakkında daha fazla bilgi için;
Gazimağusa Belediyesi Halkla İlişkiler Birimi (0392 366 09 54) 

Yasmin Levy Magusa konserinin bilet fiyatı 25 TL'dir. 

Yasmin Levy Hakkında daha fazla bilgi, görsel ve röportaj istekleri için;
Pasion Turca - Cenk Erdem - 
cenk@pasionturca.net - 0212 274 43 48 - 0533 4994149





Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' most important festival which brings worldwide famous stars to North Cyprus is celebrating 14th issue in 2010.


The city where poet and novelist Namık Kemal exiled 38 months, where Leonardo Da Vinci designed the door of the port and where Shakespeare's Othello piece had the inspiration is expected to host more than 30.000 people in the 7 acts in the 14th edition of the festival starting with worldwide famous reggae band the Wailers' concert at Salamis Ancient Theatre on August 24th and ending with one of the most important flamenco/copla singer of Spain, Buika's concert at Salamis Ancient Theatre on September 7th.  


In the last 14 years, the festival gave the chance to bring many national and international stars together with Turkish Cypriots and many Greek Cypriots and tourists from UK, Germany and Scandinavia as well. Festival hosted many famous Turkish stars; Nilüfer, Candan Erçetin, Sertab Erener, Zülfü Livaneli, Timur Selçuk, Yıldız İbrahimova, Bülent Ortaçgil, Özdemir Erdoğan, Burhan Öçal, Leman Sam, Okay Temiz, Kardeş Türküler, Laço Tayfa, Ezginin Günlüğü, Ferhat Göçer, MFÖ, Özlem Tekin,Işın Karaca, Zuhal Olcay, Mor ve Ötesi and Teoman...etc and as well as many international stars; Loreena McKennitt, Bonnie Tyler, Cesaria Evora, Boney M, Monica Molina, Pink Martini, Goran Bregovic, Vicente Amigo, Weather Girls,Amelita Baltar, Los Vivancos, Roby Lakatos, Los Paraguayos, Aswad, Paco Pena,BalletBolshoi, Compania Aida Gomez, Jazzing Flamenco by Compania Antonio Najarro, Viktorio Tolstoy, Third World....etc


This year presents the festival program as below;


24 August 2010 - The Wailers

26 August 2010 - Zerrin Özer

31 August 2010 - Yasmin Levy
02 September 2010 - Fatih Erkoç

03 September 2010 - Cypress Classica

06 September 2010 - Koçani Orkestar

07 September 2010 - Buika


All concerts will take place in Salamis Ancient Theatre. 


For more information about Famagusta festival:



Ticket Prices: Cypress Classica Concert is 10TL and rest of the concerts are 25TL each


Ticket Sales & More info About the Festival;

Gazimağusa Municipality Public Relations Department (0392 366 09 54)


For more info about the artists and concerts & shows:

Pasion Turca - SINAN NERGIS - 0532 2447434 - sun@pasionturca.net & CENK ERDEM - 0212 2744348 & 0533 4994149- cenk@pasionturca.net






14 yıldır Kuzey Kıbrıs Türk Cumhuriyetinde kültür sanat dünyasının nabzını tutan ve sanatseverleri  dünyaca ünlü starlar ile buluşturan festival bu yıl da birçok yerli ve yabancı starı Kuzey Kıbrıslılar ile buluşturmaya hazırlanıyor.


Tarihle sanatın içiçe olduğu Gazimağusa'da ,24 Ağustos'ta Salamis Antik Tiyatro'da dünyaca ünlü efsane reggae grubu The Wailers konseri ile başlayacak olan 14.Uluslararası Mağusa Kültür ve Sanat Festivali, 7 Eylül'de Salamis Antik Tiyatro'da Buika konseri ile son bulacak.


Namık Kemal'in 38 ay sürgünde kaldığı, Leonardo Da Vinci'nin tasarladığı Liman Kapısını ve Shakespeare'in ünlü Othello eserine ilham kaynağı olan Othello Kalesini barındıran Mağusa şehri geçen seneki festivalde 30.000'i aşkın seyirciyi ağırlamıştı.


Son 14 yıl içinde Nilüfer, Candan Erçetin, Sertab Erener, Zülfü Livaneli, Timur Selçuk, Yıldız İbrahimova, Bülent Ortaçgil, Özdemir Erdoğan, Burhan Öçal, Leman Sam, Teoman, Okay Temiz, Kardeş Türküler, Laço Tayfa, Ezginin Günlüğü, Ferhat Göçer, MFÖ, Özlem Tekin, Işın Karaca, Zuhal Olcay, Mor ve Ötesi ve Teoman gibi Türk yıldızları ve Loreena McKennitt, Bonnie Tyler, Cesaria Evora, Boney M, Monica Molina, Pink Martini, Goran Bregovic, Vicente Amigo, Weather Girls,Tango'nun Divası Amelita Baltar, Los Vivancos, Roby Lakatos, Los Paraguayos, Aswad, Paco Pena ve grubu, Bolsoy Balesi, Compania Aida Gomez, Jazzing Flamenco by Compania Antonio Najarro, Viktorio Tolstoy, Third World gibi dünyaca ünlü isimleri ağırlayan

festivalin bu seneki programı aşağıdaki gibi sıralanıyor;


24 Ağustos 2010 - The Wailers

26 Ağustos 2010 - Zerrin Özer

31 Ağustos 2010 - Yasmin Levy
2 Eylül 2010 - Fatih Erkoç

3 Eylül 2010 - Cypress Classica

6 Eylül 2010 - Koçani Orkestar

7 Eylül 2010 - Buika


Geçtiğimiz senelerde katılımın çok yüksek olması nedeniyle tüm etkinliklerin muhteşem atmosferi ile Salamis Antik Tiyatro'da gerçekleşecek olan festivale bu sene Türkiye ve Güney Kıbrıs'tan da yüksek bir katılım bekleniyor.


Magusa Belediyesi tarafından düzenlenen festival hakkında daha fazla bilgi edinmek için:



Bilet satış noktaları & Festival Hakkında daha fazla bilgi için;

Gazimağusa Belediye Halkla İlişkiler Birimi (0392 366 09 54)


Bilet Fiyatları: Cypress Classica konseri için bilet fiyatı 10 TL; diğer tüm konserlerin bilet fiyatları 25 TL'dir.


Festivale katılan sanatçılar hakkında daha fazla bilgi, görsel ve röportaj istekleri için;

Pasion Turca - SINAN NERGIS - 0532 2447434 - sun@pasionturca.net & CENK ERDEM - 0212 2744348 & 0533 4994149 - cenk@pasionturca.net


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