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Los Desterrados - The Exiles - are a London based sextet who on their album TU have created their own cosmopolitan take on the rootsy, Mediterranean folk music of the Sephardic Jews. Whilst many people will be familiar with the brass-heavy Klezmer music of Eastern Europe, the music of the Sephardic Jews is less well known. Growing up in the Iberian peninsula, the community was expelled from Spain and Portugal at the end of the 15th century by the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella. The majority of them went on to found new communities in countries around the Mediterranean basin such as Morocco, Turkey, Greece, Bosnia and France. All these influences can be heard on TU from the Turkish percussion of El Rey De Francia Tres Hijas Tenia to the Greek sarki of Ocho Kandelikas. Daniel Jonas, the founder of Los Des (as their fans affectionately call them), describes their music as Sephardic Flamenco, yet within the genre they have created a sound that is wholly their own. Whilst the songs on the album are all traditional, with vocals sung either in Ladino - the language of the Sephardic Jews - or Hebrew, Los Desterrados wield boisterous rhythms, mellifluous melodies and anarchic arrangements that will see them appeal to fans of Radio Tarifa and the Gypsy Kings, as well as the more traditional Sephardic artists such as Yasmin Levy. Los Desterrados: Daniel Jonas [vocals, guitar, oud], Hayley Blitz [vocals], Ariane Todes [violin], Jean-Marc Barsam [vocals, bass], Mark Greenfield [cajon, darbouka, daf], Andrew Salida [vocals, flute, guitar]. Tracks: Avre Tu Puerta Cerrada / Morena Me Yaman / Abraham Avinu / El Rey De Francia Tres Hijas Tenia / Tres Klavinas En Un Tiesto (Minnush) / A La Una Yo Naci - Debajo De La Rosa / Ki Eshmera Shabbat / Adio Kerida / La Komida La Manyana / Ocho Kandelikas / Avrich Mi, Galanika / Alta Es La Luna (Bonus Track).
From the Artist
"Because we haven't heard our grandmothers sing these songs we've come at them from our own angles" adds Hayley. Daniel chips in "We are modern people and living in London we're doing what Londoners do best - taking something and investing it with what we've heard around us, making it our own and creating something fresh"
"Being pushed around from country to country, often vilified, the history of the Sephardic communities is tragic" adds Jean Marc, "yet these songs are full of life, pride and passion and are a link back to a golden age of Spain when Muslims, Jews and Christians lived together in a time of prosperity and cultural cross-fertilisation."
Hayley agrees: "People have preconceptions of Jewish culture as being obsessed with tragedy or the Holocaust yet this music for me is very positive. Jews aren't all about misery, death, black hats and curly ringlets - Sephardic songs tend to be more romantic, earthy and more diverse than a lot of Klezmer songs - these songs have Latin fire in their bellies!"See all Product description
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"Los Des" has injected so much talent and personal creativity that these songs really pop with Spanish passion and energy. The instrumentation is First Class -- with wonderful guitar, flute, Oud, violin, and lively clapping or "palmas." The arrangements are very imaginative, with balanced, strong vocals as well. The only thing that I could imagine that would be better would be to see them perform live!! (I can dream!) My favorite song on the CD is "El Rey de Francia" which is an exotic and ancient folksong. "Los Des" performs this ballad so beautifully it's not difficult to imagine yourself in a faraway Eastern land... If you like Gipsy/Spanish Flamenco or Sephardic folksongs--or maybe just want to try something different and fun -- check out "Tu" and you won't be disappointed.
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