|Ruth Yaakov Ensemble: Ziara|
Sephardic Women's Songs of the Balkans
Ziara - Pilgrimage
One of them is known as "GERUSH SEPHARAD" - the expulsion of the Jews from Spain and Portugal in 1492 under the regime of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. Sephardi refugees were invited by Sultan Bayezid II. to settle in the Ottoman Empire.
Thessaloniki, Istanbul, Sofia, Sarayevo, as well as Jerusalem became important centers of Sephardic life and culture. Ladino (Judeo-Spanish), the domestic language of this culture, is based primarily on Castilian Spanish and interweaves words and expressions from Hebrew, as well as from languages in the various countries where Sephardim have settled.
The pilgrimage to Jerusalem symbolizes the mental and physical yearning of the believer to God. In this private journey, the Jew fulfills the pilgrimage of all generations. Time crosses roads, past and future meet, thus the Jew experiences eternity arriving the temple.
Ruth Yaakov was born in Israel. She graduated at the Rubin Academy of Music, Tel-Aviv University, where she studied and mastered classical singing: Opera, Lieder and Oratory. She took part and performed in international workshops all over the world. Through extensive private research she learned the traditional singing style and repertoire of Sephardic music. Since 1993 she founded and has directed the Ruth Yaakov Ensemble, with whitch she has performed internationally and was featured on television and radio programs. Her first album SHAATNEZ was released in 1998, where she collaborated with Juan Carlos Sungurlian (ud), Shkelzen Doli (violin) and Levent Tarhan (percussion). In addition to here activity as a performer Ruth Yaakov gave workshops in Jewish music at schools and festivals in Austria, teaches vocal technic and works as a Music Therapist.
All tracks traditional, arranged by the Ruth Yaakov Ensemble