MembersLadino Jazz

Combining traditional Ladino songs and modern jazz arrangements seems a far-fetched idea, and yet it works.

By Nathalie Freson |
Photo: Peter Vit

Constantly seeking to push music forward, jazz pianist Gilad Chatsav turned to Japan-born Ladino singer Yayoi Okaniwa.

 

The two met a couple of years ago when Yayoi approached Gilad to seek advice on a project. It didn’t take long before they both realized the potential of merging their distinct musical tendencies into one current project: Ladino jazz.

 

Blending the strict structure of traditional Ladino songs with the freedom of jazz proves to be a challenging task, but also an engaging one. The pairing of voice and piano appeals to a wide spectrum of musical preferences, and the audience is not left unmoved by the Judeo-Spanish melodies. Through Yayoi’s oud, they keep the songs’ authenticity, while Gilad’s piano infuses them with more energy.

 

The end result is intriguing. Yayoi’s deep voice and emotive style on stage chronicles those often impassioned Ladino songs, while Gilad’s...

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