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"EAST AND WEST" is the first recording of the Ljuba Davis Ladino Ensemble. Davis has been a mainstay of the early West Coast Jewish music revival, now a passionate musical elder savoring the expressive force of a lifetime of song, celebration, and wisdom. She has turned her Ladino roots into pure poetry, rendering the musical traditions of her ancestors with fresh verve. Supported by the Ljuba Davis Ladino Ensemble, some of New York’s top Greek, Arab, and Jewish musicians (led by bouzuki master Avram Pengas), Davis’s voice resounds on East and West (release: June 12, 2012), moving through rollicking tunes (“Et Dodim,” “Adir Hu”) and gentle ballads and lullabies (“Durme”). Its acoustic arrangements draw on the full gamut of timbres and rhythms from around the Eastern Mediterranean, a richness coming to New York’s Drom on June 15. “When I sing some of these songs. I don’t do it in the way that some people envision Ladino music. Perhaps it’s part of some genetic memory, way, way back in the prism of my mind,” Davis smiles. “But for the music to be real, I need to sing it the way I feel it now, with more of a contemporary rhythm and with great joy. I simply love this music.”
Sounds Like: Buena Vista Social Club, Jordi Savall, Sarah Aroeste, Guy Mendilow Band, The New Klezmer Quintet
Manager: David E. Davis
Bio: Davis has turned an eerie, intense connection to her Ladino roots into pure poetry, rendering the musical traditions of her ancestors with fresh verve. Supported by the Ljuba Davis Ladino Ensemble, some of New York’s top Greek, Arab, and Jewish musicians (led by bouzuki master Avram Pengas), Davi...See Full Bio
“The Iberian flavor of Ljuba Davis's Ladino Ensemble owes much to spicy North African percussion and the melodic sweetness of the fado, and it reaches all the way back before Columbus to the golden age of Moorish rule for inspiration. String instruments—in this case the cello, the bouzouki, the oud, and the acoustic guitar—play together as in Arab orchestrals, with each instrument adding distinctive ornamentation to the main melody. Live, this tight five-piece combo of master instrumentalists sounds like a much bigger unit.”