Yasmin Levy Comes To The Ordway 11/1

Yasmin Levy inspires audiences with her soulful and emotional singing as she works to keep alive and extend her cultural heritage through live performances. Levy will perform at Ordway Center for the Performing Arts' Main Hall stage on Sunday, November 1 at 7:30 p.m. as part of her 10-city American tour.

Born in Jerusalem, Israel in 1975, Levy was raised with a deep connection to Ladino, an ancient language spoken by the Sephardic Jews who fled Spain in 1492. Today, Ladino is spoken by less than 200,000 people worldwide and is recognized by UNESCO as an endangered language. Levy remembers learning traditional Ladino songs from her mother who sang often in the kitchen. It is in this language that Levy, along with her four-member band, famously interprets traditional songs and infuses them with emotive vocals and modern arrangements filled with Arabic and Flamenco notes.

"If I can manage in some small way to help keep these beautiful Ladino songs alive, I will be the happiest musician imaginable," says Levy. "My greatest fear is that the Ladino language may die out and if we don't save these songs, then nothing will remain from this beautiful and ancient culture."

Levy's concert at the Ordway will be based on the first American release of her CD, Mano Suave. This album from 4 Q Records, features a blend of traditional Ladino songs and original compositions influenced by Levy's culture and studies. "Mano Suave is what Jerusalem sounds like," explains Levy.

In October 2008, Mano Suave received an Edison Award nomination, the Dutch equivalent of the Grammy Awards, for Best World Music Album. Mano Suave has also achieved commercial success, making the Top 30 in Holland and the Top 10 in Sweden's mainstream pop music charts.

Along with promoting her music, Levy strives to promote her strong message for cultural tolerance. Levy is the recipient of the Anna Lindh Award (2006) for promoting cross-cultural dialogue and serves as a Goodwill Ambassador for Children of Peace, a UK-based charity fighting to alleviate the plight of all children caught up in the decades-old Middle East crisis.

Levy's concert at the Ordway will begin at 7:30 p.m. with an Ordway Extra prior to the performance at 6:30 p.m. To learn more about Ordway Extras, visit http://www.ordway.org/events/.

Supplemental to Yasmin's concert at the Ordway, Yasmin will also be offering a lecture demonstration at the University of St. Thomas in the O'Shaughnessy Education Center auditorium on Monday, November 2 at 7:30 p.m. This event is part of the university's Sacred Arts Festival and is sponsored by the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning. For more information see: www.stthomas.edu/jpc or call the center office: 651.962.5780.

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