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The 1st Edition of the AMERICAN SEPHARDI MUSIC FESTIVAL August 24, 27 & 28, 2017

The 1st Edition of the AMERICAN SEPHARDI MUSIC FESTIVAL August 24, 27 & 28, 2017

Dynamic and diverse performances by world-class artists will be heard at the first American Sephardi Music Festival. Hosted by the American Sephardi Federation and directed by David Serero, the Festival will take place on three days: August 24th, 27th and 28th 2017 at The Center for the Jewish History (15 W 16th Street, New York City).

American Sephardi Music Festival 2017


August 24th:

7pm: GERARD EDERY – Three Religions, Three Faiths

9pm: FRANCOISE ATLAN – An Intimate Evening of Andalusian and Sephardi music

August 27th:

1pm: SARAH AROESTE - Ladino Music Transformed from Yesterday to Today

3pm: GERARD EDERY – Treasures of World Song

5pm: NASHAZ – Arabic Jazz Ensemble

7pm: ADAM MAALOUF and the Future Tribe - Where the Ancient meets the Modern

9pm: STEVEN CHERA and the Bob Kaye Trio – A Sephardi on Jazz!

August 28th:

7pm: ITAMAR BOROCHOV – Jazz between Middle Eastern Traditions

8:45pm: DAVID SERERO – A Sephardi on Opera!

Tickets are from $20 to $40.

$20 of the $40 ticket is a tax-deductible donation to further ASF's mission to preserve and promote the rich mosaic culture of Greater Sephardic Communities.

Tickets are available on or 1.800.838.3006

All the concerts will take place at the Center for Jewish History located at 15 West 16th street (between 6th and 5th avenue), New York 10011.

“The Mission of this festival is to bring talents from all over the world who showcase the Sephardic music from yesterday but with a modern touch. I’m very proud to bring this variety of Sephardi music presented from pure the Sephardic songs performance, to the mix of Arabic and jazz, Jazz in a Sephardi style, to Sephardic influence in Opera. That’s the way I love doing and presenting Classics!” said Serero, who selected the artists to be part of this unique Music Festival.

“David has brought together world-class performers to showcase the vibrant variety of Sephardi sounds, ranging from Andalusian ballads and Ladino love songs to Israeli maqamim. ASF is proud to host this festival and hopes it will join the New York Sephardic Film Festival as a major, annual cultural event,” said Jason Guberman-P.

Executive Director of the American Sephardi Federation.

About the American Sephardi Federation:

The American Sephardi Federation, based at the landmark Center for Jewish History, preserves and promotes the history, traditions, and rich mosaic culture of Greater Sephardic communities as an integral part of the Jewish experience. ASF hosts high-profile cultural events and exhibitions, produces widely-read online (Sephardi World Weekly, Sephardi Ideas Monthly) and print (The Sephardi Report) publications, supports research, scholarship, and the National Sephardic Library, and represents the Sephardi voice in diplomatic and Jewish communal affairs as a member of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and World Jewish Congress.

Please visit us at

About the ARTISTS:

DAVID SERERO Artistic Director / Producer

Show on August 28th at 8:45pm: A Sephardi on Opera!

(Followed by the Wine & Cheese Closing Party).

French opera star and Actor David Serero has performed over 1,200 concerts worldwide, recorded over 20 albums and played in more than 100 films and TV series. His repertoire ranges from Opera, Musicals, and World Music. He enjoys bringing his Sephardic origins in Classics. Last season, he starred as Shylock and Othello’s title role both adapted in a Sephardi style. Upcoming roles are Cyrano (Rostand’s Cyrano of Bergerac) in April 2018 and Don Giovanni (Mozart’s opera) in June 2018. Among his various recorded albums, he has released “Sephardi”, an album of Sephardi music and recently “Baritone Opera Arias.”

TICKETS: or 1.800.838.3006

GERARD EDERY: August 24th 7pm: Three Religions, Three Faiths

August 27th 3pm: Treasures of World Song.

Gerard Edery received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. Recognized as a leading musical folklorist and a master singer and guitarist, Gerard Edery has at his command a remarkable range of ethnic folk styles and traditions from around the world. He has been honored with the Sephardic Musical Heritage Award and is the recipient of a Meet the Composer grant for his original songs. Highlights of Edery’s extensive performing career have included performances at Zankel Hall (Carnegie Hall), Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, Merkin Concert Hall, Florence Gould Hall, and The United Nations in both New York City and Geneva, Victoria Hall in Geneva, The Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Royce Hall in L.A., The Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C., Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, the Fez International Festival of Sacred Music in Morocco, the Festival Cervantino in Mexico, the Jewish Music Festival in Amsterdam, the Vilnius International Folk Festival, the Pax Sacred Music Festival and the Klaipeda Concert Series (with chamber orchestra) in Lithuania; in Poland at the International Folk Music Festival, the Zachor Music Festival in Bialystock and at the Warsaw Music Academy, among others. In addition to his busy concert schedule, he has released 17 CDs on the Sefarad Records label as well as the acclaimed Sephardic Songbook.

“...Gerard Edery, a master of Sephardic song...” - New York Times

FRANCOISE ATLAN: August 24th 9pm – Intimate performance of Andalusian and Sephardic Songs

Invited by international major scenes such as the Carnegie Hall in New York, the International Festival of Mexico, the La Monnaie Theater of Brussels, the Sacred Music Festival of Fes, the South of Arles and the Opera Festival, Françoise Atlan has signed many successful collaborations with great musicians and ensembles, and recorded several critically acclaimed recordings - Diapason d Or, Choc du Monde de la Musique, FFFF Télérama, Grand Prix de l’Académie Charles Cros among others.

An artist with a double culture, endowed with a vocal expression, a style and a unique technique, her Judeo-Berber roots naturally led her to become passionate about the Mediterranean vocal heritage, in particular the Judaeo-Spanish and Judeo-Arab traditions, while pursuing her career as a lyric singer.

“Ms. Atlan’s songs - in Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish and the Sephardic language Ladino - followed the diaspora of Jews expelled from Andalusia in the 15th century. They were about earthly and divine love, alluding to the mystical Jewish Kabbalah tradition. Ms. Atlan sang them with refined passion connecting the limpid elegance of Renaissance song with the elaborate ornaments of Middle Eastern music.” New York Times (by John Pareles)

“Ms. Atlan’s vocal style was a matter of combinations. Instead of following current theories that medieval vocal production may have been earthier than modern singing, and perhaps a bit reedy, Ms. Atlan produced the lustrous, velvety soprano tone that today’s audiences admire. In a way, she offered the best of both worlds: complete fluidity in the music’s exotically winding, intricately melismatic lines, along with an entirely contemporary suppleness in both phrasing and dynamics.” The New York Times (by Allan Kozzin)

TICKETS: or 1.800.838.3006

SARAH AROESTE: August 27th 1pm – Ladino Music Transformed from Yesterday to Today.

International Ladino singer/songwriter Sarah Aroeste weaves stories from her personal family history, together with song, in this multi-media interactive presentation. Using sound clips, videos, and live music, Aroeste will give a taste of how her work is pushing the Ladino envelope today. Aroeste demonstrates with her unique linguistic interpretations, modern technologies, and contemporary musical arrangements how Ladino music and culture is developing and still has a vibrant life ahead.

International Ladino singer Sarah Aroeste travels the globe fusing both original and traditional Judeo-Spanish folk songs with her unique blend of rock, pop, and jazz. Drawing upon her family roots from Greece and Macedonia (via Medieval Spain), Aroeste works tirelessly to bring Ladino music back to life for a new generation. Aroeste has released four Ladino recordings: A la Una: In the Beginning (2003), Puertas (2007), Gracia (2012), and Ora de Despertar (2016), the first ever all-original Ladino children album and animated cartoon series. She will be releasing Together/Endjuntos. The first bilingual Ladino/English holiday album, to come this fall 2017. In 2014 Aroeste won the Sephardic prize at the International Jewish Music Festival in Amsterdam, and in 2015 she represented the USA in the International Sephardic Music Festival in Cordoba, Spain.

NPR has featured Aroeste as one of the most boundary-pushing Latin artists today, and she has garnered wide critical acclaim for her efforts to help revitalize a tradition by introducing Ladino music to wider audiences. Visit for more information.

TICKETS: or 1.800.838.3006

NASHAZ: August 27th 5pm – Arabic Jazz Ensemble

Nashaz is an expression of Brian Prunka’s lifelong devotion to both Arabic music and jazz. Through his oud playing, improvisations and compositions, Brian finds common threads and natural sympathies between the disparate traditions of jazz and the maqam music of the middle east and North Africa, resulting in an organic new sound: melodic and spirited, ranging from wistful contemplation to kinetic intensity.

Prior to moving to Brooklyn in 2003, Brian Prunka was living and performing in New Orleans, where he spent his musically formative years honing his musical skills immersed in the jazz community. Always drawn to a wide range of music without regard to boundaries, national or otherwise, when fate introduced him to the oud he had an instant and profound connection with this storied instrument. A chance conversation led him to study with his mentor, the renowned virtuoso Simon Shaheen, who was impressed enough by his sincere passion for Arabic music to invite Prunka to perform with him on tour. He founded Nashaz to bring together his love of jazz and Arabic music.

He has performed throughout the U.S. and internationally with Simon Shaheen, Michael Bates, Ravish Momin, the New York Arabic Orchestra, the Vancouver International Orchestra, Zikrayat, the Near East River Ensemble, and others.

Other members of Nashaz joining in this concert will be Matt Darriau on clarinet and saxophone (Paradox Trio, Klezmatics), Kenny Warren on trumpet (Slavic Soul Part, Sway Machinery), John Murchison on bass (Zikrayat, Ensemble Fanaa), and Dan Kurfirst on percussion.

TICKETS: or 1.800.838.3006

ADAM MAALOUF and the FUTURE TRIBE: August 27th 7pm - Where the Ancient meets the Modern

As a specialist in pantam (handpan), cello, & percussion from around the world, Adam's unique interpretation of World Music is channeled through genre-bending compositions for solo and ensembles.

"Future Tribe" is an ensemble of global instrumentalists that take listeners somewhere new. The Tribe's music is found where the modern meets the ancient, where the Pantam (or handpan) meets ancient or traditional styles of music from around the globe. Pantam is the name of the "flying saucer" instrument invented in year 2000, and the word stems from the combination of the Pan from Trinidad, and the Ghatam (clay pot drum) from South India. Maalouf's music is presented with a range of traditional musicians playing Indian Tabla, Arabic Vocal, Bansuri Flute, Middle Eastern Percussion, Guitar, Trumpet, Turkish Oud and Nay.

TICKETS: or 1.800.838.3006

STEVEN CHERA and the Bob Kaye Trio: August 27th 9pm – A Sephardi on Jazz Music

Steven Chera comes to you LIVE at the Center of Jewish History singing classics with a fresh, new, jazzy sound of tunes from his most recent album, The Classic Standards - Volume 1. Known for performing American songbook classics while adding his crooner touch, Chera has captivated audiences nationwide for over two decades. Chera's newest album comprises all tracks performed by his inspirational icon, Frank Sinatra.

With the help of legendary Sear Sound Studios in NYC, Grammy nominated engineer Jack Mason, Producer & Creative Director AJ Molaee, pianist and Music Director Bob Kaye (prominently affiliated with Buddy Rich and Dizzy Gillespie), The Classic Standards Volume 1 intermixes a collection of the Great American Songbook, classic standards from the early part of the 20th century.

TICKETS: or 1.800.838.3006

ITAMAR BOROCHOV: August 28th 7pm – Jazz between Middle Eastern traditions

Israeli-born, Brooklyn-based trumpeter & composer Itamar Borochov connects lower Manhattan to North Africa, modern Israel and ancient Bukhara, celebrating traces of the divine that he finds in elegant sophistication, Middle Eastern tradition and downhome blues.

Israeli-born, Brooklyn-based trumpeter & composer Itamar Borochov connects lower Manhattan to North Africa, modern Israel and ancient Bukhara, celebrating traces of the divine that he finds in elegant sophistication, Middle Eastern tradition and downhome blues. Borochov brings a unique sound with him wherever he goes. Deeply immersed in the jazz tradition, Borochov’s search for his personal roots resulted in an ever-expanding love for Arab and Pan-African musical sensibilities a natural palette for a trumpeter-composer raised in Jaffa, an integrated Muslim-Jewish-Christian city.

After working with such legendary artists as Curtis Fuller and Candido Camero, and having served as arranger and co-producer for acclaimed world music sensation Yemen Blues, Borochov set out on his own path. His critically acclaimed debut recording Outset (2014) was included in the New York City Jazz Records Best of 2014 List, and his forthcoming album Boomerang was chosen as "revelation of the month" on Jazz Magazine. Audiences worldwide are falling for his enchanting sound and virtuosic expression.

TICKETS: or 1.800.838.3006

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