Flory Jagoda maintains one of Judaism’s rarest and richest cultural traditions through her performances of authentic as well as original compositions of Sephardic songs. These songs are a lyrical history of the Sephardim – Spanish Jews who fled Spain’s terrible 15th Century Inquisition and settled throughout the Mediterranean.
In their centuries of exile, the Sephardim maintained their unique culture with astonishing faithfulness. The songs, preserved largely by women, paint a detailed picture of daily lives, religious observances, memories and longing for their Spanish homeland often expressed in “romansas” (love songs). The music spans a broad range of styles and moods and bends the themes and sounds of their adopted countries.
Flory grew up immersed in this Sephardic tradition in a musical family near Sarajevo, Bosnia. Of the entire Altarač family, only she now survives and is intent on preserving and passing on the traditions of her heritage so that they may not be lost and tragically forgotten. Flory performs traditional and original compositions in Ladino nationally and internationally. She is an NEA Award Honoree, a Master in the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities Apprentice Program, and a recipient of a US Immigrant Award. Her music is circulated through 5 recordings and her original Ocho Kandelikas Hanukah Song is sung throughout the world and performed by such diverse bands as the US Marine Band, Los Judios Rap Group, college choirs and school children everywhere!