Yasmin Levy in 2008
|Born||December 23, 1975|
|Genres||Sephardic music, world, flamenco|
Levy is of Sephardic descent from the city of Izmir, Turkey. Her late father, Yitzhak (Isaac) Levy (1919–1977), was a composer and hazzan (cantor), as well as a pioneer researcher into the long and rich history of the Ladino music and culture of Spanish Jewry and its diaspora, being the editor of the Ladino language magazine Aki Yerushalayim.
With her distinctive and emotive style, Levy has brought a new interpretation to the medieval Judeo-Spanish (Ladino) song by incorporating more "modern" sounds of Andalusian flamenco and Persian, as well as combining instruments like the darbuka, oud, violin, cello, and piano.
Her debut album was Romance & Yasmin in 2000, which earned her a nomination as "Best Newcomer" for the fRoots / BBC Radio 3 World Music Awards 2005, followed in 2005 with her second album La Juderia (Spanish: The Jewish Quarter). In 2006, she was nominated again, then in the category "Culture Crossing".
On her second album, La Judería, she also covered the popular songs "Gracias a la Vida" by Violeta Parra and "Nací en Alamó" from the film Vengo, directed by Tony Gatlif, which in its original version won the 2001 César Award for Best Music Written for a Film (itself being a cover of "The Song of the Gypsies" (Greek: "Το Τραγούδι των Γύφτων"), written by Greek songwriter Dionysis Tsaknis in 1990).
I am proud to combine the two cultures of Ladino and flamenco, while mixing in Middle Eastern influences. I am embarking on a 500 years old musical journey, taking Ladino to Andalusia and mixing it with flamenco, the style that still bears the musical memories of the old Moorish and Jewish-Spanish world with the sound of the Arab world. In a way it is a ‘musical reconciliation’ of history.
- 2004: Romance & Yasmin
- 2005: La Judería
- 2006: Live at the Tower of David, Jerusalem
- 2007: Mano Suave
- 2009: Sentir
- 2012: Libertad (release date: October 2012)
- 2014: Tango (release date: October 2014)
Singles for movie soundtracks
- 2011: "Jaco", for My Sweet Canary (featuring the oud player Tomer Katz)
- 2011: "Una Pastora", for My Sweet Canary (featuring the qanun player Mumin Sesler)
- 2008: Tzur Mishelo Achalnu, for Avoda Ivrit 2, featuring Shlomo Bar.
- 2010: Tzur Mishelo Achalnu, for Kol HaNeshama, featuring Shlomo Bar.
- 2012: Yigdal, for Yehuda Halevi Pinat Ibn Gabirol - The Collection
- "Music & Vision"
- "Yasmin Levy: Passion from exile". London: The Independent. 2005-07-15. Retrieved 2008-11-25.
- "BBC - Radio 3 - Awards for World Music 2006 - Yasmin Levy". BBC. Retrieved 2008-04-19.
- "Vengo (2000) - Soundtracks". IMDB. Retrieved 2010-10-18.
- "2008 Event Media Release - Yasmin Levy". Sydney Opera House. Retrieved 2008-08-19.
- "BBC - Awards for World Music 2007 - Yasmin Levy". BBC. Retrieved 2008-08-19.
- Yasmin Levy Presenting songs from her new album, Libertad + Tanja Tzarovska: Hidden Songs of Macedonia
- Official website
- Yasmin Levy on Myspace
- Long interview with Yasmin Levy on FLY
- Video sample: "La Alegría" by Yasmin Levy
- BBC "The World" article about Yasmin Levy
- Radio documentary featuring Yasmin Levy on CBC Radio's Dispatches