Music of the Sephardic Jews of Spain will be prominently featured in Hispania!, a concert of rarely-performed Spanish-influenced music coming to the Westboro Masonic Hall on October 29.
A blended group of Ottawa musicians will also perform music of medieval and Renaissance Spain and of Spanish-speaking South America.
In 1492 the King and Queen of Spain gave Jews 90 days to convert to Catholicism, leave the country or face execution. With great hardship and loss, many left for Italy, France, Turkey, the Balkans and North Africa, taking with them little but their memories and their music.
Their songs, in the Judaeo-Spanish Ladino language, tell of blissful and rejected love, princesses and princes, enchantment and adventure. Seven of them are included in the concert.
The ensemble includes soprano Sylvia Larrass, recently returned from a concert engagement in Munich, who has sung with Opera Lyra and other companies. She also sings jazz and Argentine tango, and will be performing Couperin's Tenebrae in Ottawa and Gatineau during Holy Week 2017.
Janine Dudding and Susan Sweeney Hermon make up the Celtic harp duo Acacia Lyra. They sing in English, French, Spanish and Gaelic and accompany themselves on guitar as well as harp. Their repertoire includes their own compositions and a rich collection of traditional ballads ranging from the Scottish Hebrides to the Peruvian Altiplano.
Versatile musician Greg Weeks will play cello and tabla. His playing has been featured on 14 acclaimed studio albums ranging from Celtic, folk and world music to new age and heavy metal.
Multi-instrumentalist Graham Lindsey will play flute and percussion. He is also an experienced performer on drum kit, bodhran, fife, whistles, mandolin, euphonium and more.
Concert time is 8:00 pm on Saturday, October 29 at the Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill Ave. N. at Byron, with doors opening at 7:30 pm.
Tickets are $20 and are available online through PayPal at http://rasputins.ca. They are also available at the door.
Sponsor: Spirit of Rasputin's, Ottawa's folk music society