Musical Traditions of the Sephardim
A Mediæval View of Judeo-Spanish Song
About the Performers
Thomas Axworthy, Bonita Nahoum Jaros, John Magnussen, Shirley Robbins, and John Bilezikjian.
Canto Antiguo is an early music ensemble dedicated to the restoration and performance of Sephardic music. The musical practices of 15th-century Spain serve as a source of inspiration for the settings of Canto Antiguo's repertoire. Formed in the early 1970s, Canto Antiguo originally specialized in Spanish music from the Renaissance and Middle Ages.
The ensemble achieves a wide range of musical expression by using many instruments that were played in mediæval times such as recorders, shawms, saz, dumbek, psaltery, the oud, and percussion.
The secular songs, in Ladino, and the sacred songs, in Hebrew, are sung by Bonita Jaros, whose Sephardic and linguistic background has given Canto Antiguo rich insight into the poetic intention of each song. The ensemble's goal is to preserve the Sephardic community's ancient traditional music and convey its beauty to a wider audience.
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