The Rising Star of Ladino Music - Wave music from Israel
Debut-album of SuZy from Israel, who was born in Turkey in a Sephardi family.
SuZy lives in Israel. She was born and raised in Turkey. SuZy is Jewish, a member of the Sephardim. Her husband is an Ashkenazi and when SuZy sings he doesn't understand her anymore, for she sings in Ladino.
Ladino, or Judeo-Spanish, is a very old language still spoken today by Turkish, Greek and Bulgarian Jews. The characteristic intonation of Ladino betrays its Iberian origins, where the Inquisition, coupled with a policy of savage anti-semitic persecution, induced a mass exodus of the Sephardi Jews to the eastern Mediterranean in the 15th century. Another Jewish cultural group, the Ashkenazim, has already conquered the world with their Klezmer music.
And now Ladino in very modern arrangements. Although SuZy has a wonderful voice, she never really intended to become a professional singer. She has two sons whom she always sang the same old Ladino lullabies to, that she heard from her grandmother and aunt. In the home SuZy grew up, Ladino was always spoken and only Ladino songs were sung. As her grandmother and aunt grew old and sick SuZy recorded her favourite songs on tape so that she could pass this legacy ('Herencia') onto her sons and thereby keep the tradition alive.
The first professional recordings were made in 1998. "I never wanted to go public with my songs," recalled SuZy, "because for me they were solely a family matter, but the recording studio convinced me that the songs should not be allowed to just gather dust in some drawer." In the meantime her grandmother and aunt died and SuZy wanted to erect a kind of memorial to them. When she later played the recordings for her Greek and Bulgarian Sephardi friends, it evoked feelings of joy and melancholy in them to hear songs that were once sung to them by their own grandmothers.
SuZy is keeping her options open for the future. If a new career happens to cross her path, then she would probably be able to deal with that too, saying: "I think I'll always find the time to do the things I like."
While many young singers devote all their energy into building up their careers, SuZy, on the other hand, at the age of 38 does not suffer from the stress of a success orientated career life. "I'm satisfied with how things are. It's so much more than what I started out with. All I really wanted was to be able to leave something of our culture behind for my children."
"This striking, eminently playable left-field record could, given the right breaks, catapult our late starter into serious stardom, and if it does it will certainly be well deserved" FolkRoots