SAMPLING OF PRESS HIGHLIGHTS

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KTEP (NPR Southwest): State of the Arts

Host Marina Monsisvais talks with Sarah Aroeste about Ladino music and culture, and bringing it to El Paso, TX. Listen to the interview here.

El Paso Times

When Sarah Aroeste sings, native Spanish speakers may wonder if her pronunciation is off. She might say "hijo," (son) pronouncing the h, and transpose the r and d in "tarde" (afternoon) so that it sounds like "tadre." It's a comment Aroeste has heard before and makes her laugh because the former opera performer is a Ladino singer... Read more here.

FolkWorld

Although American, Sarah Aroeste has captured the exotic sounds of her deeper roots in Spain and Macedonia. She has done a great job of bringing in classic Judeo-Spanish tradition to up tempo, powerful modern music....And you have to like an album named for a woman who fought the Spanish Inquisition. This record is on my ‘replay often’ pile.  

Klezmer Podcast

Listen as Klezmer Podcast founder, Keith Wolzinger, interviews Sarah Aroeste on her thoughts on contemporary Ladino culture and what's next down the road...

Vivelo Hoy

An article (en español) about music in Ladino, highlighting current artists like Sarah Aroeste who are broadening the appeal of the music. Read about it here!

NPR

Sarah's music is featured as an example of how to keep Ladino culture alive today...listen here as Catalina Maria Johnson from Chicago Public Radio's Beat Latino talks about  Latin Roots: Judeo-Iberian music.

WorldBeatCanada

Sarah Aroeste [is] a Manhattan-based contemporary artist who sings in Ladino, the common name given to Judaeo-Spanish which is rarely heard these days. Aroeste takes the language and the music still further on her third album, ‘Gracia’. You’re welcome.  Read more here.

Listen to the live radio interview here!

Blog Talk Radio

Click here to listen to a program on "The Spanish Jews- Yesteday and Today", featuring Sarah Aroeste and some of the leading experts on Sephardic culture as they discuss the state of contemporary Ladino around the globe.

Counterculture TV

Watch Sarah in a live TV interview with host Kweli Washington discuss her thoughts on contemporary Ladino culture.

Washington Examiner

Aroeste has three albums to her name. The first two were filled with traditional Sephardic standards, but her latest, "Gracia" (2012), features a number of original compositions. She ably blends rock, jazz and pop elements into her work.... "I just think it's so important for us to know where we come from, especially in this hyperglobalized world," Aroeste said. "I think people really do want to connect with their histories, with their past. Ladino is my way to do that."  Read more here.  

Luna Kafe e-Zine

Sarah Aroeste sings in Ladino, a language she lovingly keeps alive and her lyrics concern weighty issues about human rights. The opening title track tells of Dona Gracia Naci who saved Jewish families from the Inquisition in the 15th century. It's a fiery rock song with a gorgeous lead vocal.... It's a wonderful album that deserves all the attention it can get.

The Forward

The Forward names Gracia one of the Top-5 albums of 2012. Read here

SoundRoots

SoundRoots names Aroeste's Gracia one of the top 10 Global CD's this fall. Click here to view.

Jack Move Magazine

"Giving up a dream of opera to start a Ladino rock band? You just don’t do that!"

Read Sarah's interview with Jack Move Magazine about her musical path to her most recent album, Gracia.

RootsWorld

Give Aroeste high marks for boldness and daring to be different... the [tracks] that combine aggressive drive with sweeter textures that are well served by Aroeste’s girlish voice (“Ensuenyo Te Vi,” “Las Estreyas”) are sincerely absorbing.

WBAI

Jenny Romaine talks in-depth with Sarah Aroeste about, and plays music from, her latest album, Gracia, and the Ladino musical tradition.

Hadassah Magazine

The dark beauty of Sarah Aroeste’s new album of original compositions and traditional Ladino songs captures the spirited nature of Sefardic music infused with a sultry blend of experimental, feminist, rock and Mediterranean sounds... Aroeste’s passion flows through every song about memory, family, marriage, loss and hope.

Lilith Magazine

Part of Lilith Magazine's "Voices" section, a statement by Sarah Aroeste, in her own words, on her new album, Gracia, and how it relates to Jewish women's voices.

The Forward

For Ladino Musicians, World’s A Stage: Artists Are Forging a Global Sephardi Culture.

Vocalists Sarah Aroeste, Mor Karbasi and Françoise Atlan will perform at the inaugural Gibraltar World Music Festival in the time-formed Cueva de San Miguel, or Saint Michael’s Cave, a labyrinth of limestone caverns in the Rock of Gibraltar. They will be joined by the band Ofir, and are billed together as the Sephardic Divas. Such a performance would have been unimaginable only a decade ago. Back then, Aroeste remembers, Ladino music, also known as Judeo-Spanish music, was just a shadow of a spirited klezmer scene packing venues throughout New York...

Article reproduced in Haaretz, July 3rd.

Gibraltar Magazine

Sephardic Divas in Concert! Gibraltar Magazine talks to Yan Delgado, festival organizer of the inaugural Gibraltar World Music Festival, about Sarah Aroeste and the "Sephardic Divas" selected to kick off the festival. 

NPR

Latin music that breaks barriers and pushes boundaries.  An episode of NPR's Alt.Latino that explores several cutting edge Latin artists, including Sarah Aroeste, who are "united by commitment to inventiveness and unmistakable soul."

The Jewish Channel

The Jewish Channel interviews Sarah Aroeste about her Sephardic influences and her new album, Gracia.  Click to watch!

Israel National News

Sarah Aroeste speaks with Israel National News' "Israel Beat Jewish Music Podcast" host Ben Bresky about her heroine Dona Gracia,  the history of the Sephardic Jewish community during the Holocaust, and the thriving Israeli music scene...

Jewish Herald-Voice

Aroeste’s CD contains both original and traditional songs. Yes, someone writing new songs in Ladino! The CD’s title song, “Gracia,” is a tribute to her ancestors and Dona Gracia Naci, a medieval Sephardic businesswoman and great community leader. The song contains a vocal sample from a 1971 Gloria Steinem speech. Ladino as a vehicle for roots and feminism.

World Music Central

On Gracia, the classically trained Sarah Aroeste is joined by musicians from the USA, Israel, Morocco, Spain, Uruguay, Colombia and Russia. Together, they give new life to traditional wedding songs, love ballads, and also contribute new original material...Highlights of the album include the Flamenco and Middle Eastern-infused fusion piece ‘Scalerica de Oro/Dodi Yarad’, the dreamy ‘Tu Portret’, the passionate ‘El Leon Ferido’ and the global electronica dance grooves of ‘Scalerica de Oro (DMD Remix)’...  With Gracia, Sarah Aroeste injects fresh new sounds into the ancient Ladino music.

Splinters & Candy

[Sarah Aroeste] has spent a decade expanding upon contemporary Ladino music. Classically trained and pop-savy, Sarah mixes flamenco and pan-Mediterranean melodies on her new record. Her emphatic vocals are backed by strings and guitars in a well produced set. Listen to the fiery passion in “Gracia,” the title track from the album...and get your hands on a copy of Gracia today.

The Forward

[The] conflict between history and the now is dramatically enacted in Sarah Aroeste’s music. Not only does Aroeste labor in an idiom that dates back to the 15th century, but she does so for an audience that doesn’t even speak the language.....[Gracia] is the strongest case around for the ongoing relevance of Ladino music.

Angelica Music

Few albums take risks as successfully as on Gracia, and Sarah was successful with both her purposes, making an album as a spokeswoman for the minority woman unafraid to do what she feels is right, and to combine a million influences into a cohesive album. If you’re into world music with the New York flare, Sarah Aroeste is for you.

Incognito Music Magazine

It is hard to go further off of any beaten path than with Sarah Aroeste. Not that her music is something you’ve never heard before. It is different, but it falls pretty easily into the pop/rock category. What makes this artist rare is that she sings a Judeo-Spanish language called Ladino. And her voice is really something.

WFMU Transpacific Sound Paradise

Listen to the live interview wtih Sarah Aroeste as she talk about her new album, Gracia, and various song influences that have shaped her current style.

All About Jazz

Sarah Aroeste’s album Gracia is a musical and poetic amalgamation she has accumulated on her search for her musical roots and family heritage....These songs serve as a foundation of how serious and studious this music can be.  There are elements of flamenco, rock, opera, and Latin popular music, blended into the selections on “Gracia,” in which Aroeste takes long dormant traditional and originally inspired poetic works and twists them into a fresh contemporary sound.

Berkshire Jewish Voice

With “Gracia,” due out this month, Aroeste has landed Ladino solidly in a place that parallels the most cutting-edge work in Yiddish and klezmer by bands like Golem and the Klezmatics. Whether she is dealing with traditional melodies and lyrics, or original compositions, Aroeste makes music that jumps out of the speakers with the sound and impact of a new album by Shakira or Madonna, with both of whom Aroeste has more than a little in common in terms of far-ranging vision – vocals that soar above dance floor rhythms and an intuitive understanding of how ethnic music can have a widespread appeal going far beyond an insular audience...“Gracia” is Aroeste’s creation from top to bottom. It’s a reflection of her musical and cultural vision, and more than anything, of her powerful and expressive voice. So much of Jewish history and contemporary Jewish experience speaks through her; what’s different, here, is that it speaks literally and figuratively in a language and accent that you rarely, if ever, have heard. With “Gracia,” that’s about to change! 

Arte Y Vida Chicago

If the unique qualities of Ladino culture and music ever find an audience beyond scholars and traditionalists, it might be because of artists like Sarah Aroeste. Like some unlikely cross between Yasmin Levy and Alanis Morissette, the American born Aroeste finds deeply personal meaning and not a small amount of catharsis in these ancient songs...

KadmusArts

Ana Maria Harkins interviews Sarah Aroeste in a podcast on contemporary Ladino, feminism and her inspiration for her new album, Dona Gracia.

Remezcla

We thought Ladino, the Castillian Spanish & Hebrew hybrid, was near to a dead language and then artist Sarah Aroeste appears and it’s alive again, very alive. Aroeste has been writing and singing in Ladino for the past 10 years, which is quite a feat for the young songstress... [H]er third album, Gracia—a mesmerizing mix of feminist, experimental and Mediterranean-infused original Ladino songs.

Inside World Music

American-born Ladino singer, Sarah Aroeste, continues to create contemporary rock and pop compositions with a Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Spanish element. The Ladino-language songs touch on Jewish history, love, and relationships amidst a background of symphonic strings, Middle Eastern percussion, and contemporary arrangements... Overall, Sarah hits high marks with a new release of contemporary Sephardic music.

Midwest Record

When Madonna was doing her kaballah thing, she should have taken a side tour into the world of Ladino music, a kind of feminist protest music of Sephardic Jewish women that is pretty mind blowing as it's fueled by wild women that aren't afraid of being sexy. Aroeste keeps it traditional, brings it into the present and then uses contemporary mash up techniques to keep it pulsating from the streets. Often sounding like an opium/belly dance dream when it's not sounding like the video music channel they play in casual Indian restaurants, this is a mind blowing set that the open eared world beater will play for all their friends and try to make them believers. Hot stuff.

WBEZ Chicago Public Radio Podcast

Global Notes: Retrofitting traditional sounds for a modern fit

On this week’s Global Notes, [we] take a look at bands that play “retrofitted” music. These groups adapt older music and apply contemporary technology to bring long-standing musical traditions into the 21st century. 

Songstress Sarah Aroeste brings a 500-year-old tradition to the present with spoken-word flavored, rock–tinged versions of tunes sung in the ancient Judeo-Spanish language...

IBA Israel Broadcasting

Sarah Aroeste is selected as a Top-10 Finalist in the prestigious international "Festiladino" competition of original Ladino music. As shown on live Israeli National TV, Sarah performs with the Jerusalem Symphony an original Ladino song written with Roberto Rodriguez.  Click here to watch the video.

NY Daily News

Aroeste has dedicated herself to keeping Ladino music alive... [She wants] to bring Sephardic music outside of the Jewish world..and to a bigger audience.

Leadel

Sarah Aroeste is interviewed by the international group, Leadership Elements, alongside the likes of Martin Indyk, Alan Dershowitz, Bernard Henri Levy, Joschka Fischer, Gary Lucas and More! Click here to view the video. 

Inside World Music

The music of the Sephardic Jews is rather underrepresented in today’s world music market. However, Sarah Aroeste and her band are going to change that.

PresenTense Magazine

If tired reinterpretations of klezmer music were a bagel from Dunkin Donuts, then Sarah Aroeste would be fresh cheese bourekas served at your favorite kosher Greek restaurant.

Rogovoy Report

[Sarah Aroeste] is like a funkier, hipper Joan Baez of the Ladino world.

The Jerusalem Post

[Sarah Aroeste] takes traditional Ladino tunes and updates them with loads of New York sass and edgy attitude.

The Forward

[Sarah Aroeste's] sophomore album, “Puertas,” is an argument about Ladino music’s future. Updating Sephardic sounds and Mediterranean melodies with rock flourishes, the group gives “Puertas” a low-fi garage vibe. The marriage of Ladino lyrics to this modern sensibility drives the album forward — showing that the past can not only infiltrate, but also add meaning to the present.

Star Ledger

When Spain expelled its Jews half a millennium ago, some took with them a Castilian dialect called Ladino. Five hundred years later, Ladino is spoken only in small pockets of the world, mainly Israel, and rarely as a first language.

Except for New York's Sarah Aroeste, who sings Ladino rock 'n' roll.

Chicago Tribune

From the first notes that sounded, there was no question that Chicagoans were hearing music of the highest artistic level...[Yet the festival’s] cultural agenda seemed almost modest alongside the reach of singer/songwriter Sarah Aroeste, who finds inspiration in the ancient poetry of Ladino...

NPR

NPR's Renee Montagne talks to two experts [Sarah Aroeste and Rabbi Mark Angel] about the past and future of Ladino, the 500-year-old language of Sephardic Jews.

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