Yasmin Levy is an internationally celebrated singer deeply steeped in the traditions of Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) music. But Yasmin Levy is much more than just a Ladino singer. She’s a singer-songwriter with an extraordinary range of influences and styles, singing in modern Spanish as well while adding the wonderful textures of Flamenco, Turkish and Persian music together to create a style all her own.
Ladino, is a Romance language based largely on 15th century Spanish but which has incorporated words from Turkish, Hebrew, Aramaic and other languages. It is the language spoken by Jews who were forced to flee Spain in the Inquisition and who traveled largely along the Mediterranean before settling in the Balkans, Greece and Turkey. For nearly five centuries Sephardic Jews kept the language of those Spanish exiles alive although Ladinoq has recently recognized by The United Nations as an Endangered language.
Yasmin Levy grew up in Jerusalem, a true melting pot of peoples and cultures, listening to Turkish versions of Moroccan music, classical, chanson, jazz, Jewish and Muslim music, and church music.
Recently, she has collaborated with artists such as Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Enrico Macias, Yiannis Kotsiras, Eleni Vitaly, Natacha Atlas, Montse Kortes, Kubat, Ibrahim Tetlises, and Maria Toledo, and has performed on some of the world’s best-known stages, including New York’s Carnegie Hall and Sydney’s Opera House, among many others.
The release of Libertad, her fifth studio disc, followed three years after the release of Sentir, which took Levy on a two-year journey around the globe, including multiple tours of the USA, Europe, and Israel. Her prior disc releases include Mano Suave, La Judería, and Romance & Yasmin, and she also published a book of songs in 2010.
Yasmin Levy is the winner of the International Songwriting Competition and her composition “Me Voy” has also won the Anna Lindh Award for cross-cultural collaboration. She has been nominated for numerous other awards, including the BBC World Music Award and Holland’s Edison Award. She has also been the subject of an Arte TV documentary entitled Music Mon Amour and has appeared in the TV film My Sweet Canary, a tribute to legendary Rebetika singer Roza Eskanazy. In 2008, she was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for Children of Peace, a UK-based charity fighting to alleviate the plight of all children caught up in the Middle East crisis.