Jako el Muzikante
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Jako el Muzikante

Madrid, Madrid, Spain | Established. Jan 01, 2014

Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Established on Jan, 2014
Band World Traditional


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Jako el Muzikante, star of the fifth night of the International Festival of Malouf"

"The Spanish band Jako el Muzikante, star of the fifth night of the International Festival of Malouf [...]. During more than an hour, the singer Xurxo Fernandes and his group of five musicians ignited the stage with frenetic rhythm where the music of oud, darbuka, clarinet, double bass and percussion shack up, listening and answering each other in a harmony of strings and a sense of excitement that confirms the borderless nature of the music.

The powerful and warm voice of Fernandes, sang in Ladino language about hope, love and things of daily life [...], in a seductive spectacle that the audience applauded at length." - Algerie1

"Jako el Muzikante, songs of love, dance and humour"

"Jako el Muzikante, songs of love, dance and humour.

The performance, that reached a high level, provided the audience with a real diversity of styles and musical genres, from Algeria, Maghreb, Orient and West. From the beggining to the end of the concert, of astounding vivacity, the audicence at the theatre in Constantine was hooked and attentive to all the sounds of the proposal, inedit and original, by the band Jako el Muzikante, directed by the singer Xurxo Fernandes. He is the founder of the band, that tries to recreate the atmosphere from the cafés in Near East at the Ottoman Empire period, when singer, where singers from different nationalities met to produce genuine "musical madness" at the beggining of XX Century.

However, the true genious of the band is that has got to bring together three Spanish, Xurxo Fernandes (voice), Joaquín Sánchez (clarinet) and José Luis Yagüe (doublebass), and the Hungarian Andrea Szamek, a real virtuossa at the violin, the Bulgarian Krastyo Stoyanov, that showed a perfect mastery at the percussion, and the talented Sudanese oud player Wafir Sheikheldin. As the previous night of the International Malouf Festival, the theatre was filled with the audience.

Oriental rhythms, muwashshahat, trendy sounds, dances, musical virtuosity and poems that talk about love, peace and nature, with a disconcerting humour, were in the programme of a band that fired up the audience in moments of pure happyness." - El Watan

"They ignited the venue"

“In the inventory of this edition’s good surprises, the Spanish Xurxo Fernandes and his cosmopolitan line-up consisting of his compatriots Joaquin Sanchez (clarine) and José Luis Yague (doublebass), the Bulgarian Krastyo Stoyanov (percussions), the Hungarian Andrea Szamek (violín), and the Sudanese Wafir Shaikheldin (oud), ignited the venue at the Constantine Regional Theatre and took the audience back to the time of the “cafés aman” in Constantinople, stage of clandestine meetings with musicians from different origins, to sing about love and longing, with a characteristic sense of humour.” - El Moudjahid

"Two hours of happyness"

« Another great moment of the festival was the performance of the Spanish band Jako el Muzikante. Two hours of happyness with the singer Xurxo Fernandes and his band of five musicians that took us back to a distant time, to the great Al-Andalus and Constantinople.” - Horizons DZ


Still working on that hot first release.



Constantinople, 1902.

In a caf aman, Greeks, Turks, Armenians and Sephardic descendants of the Jews expelled from Spain in 1492 gather together clandestinely to sing. They sing love, humoristic and others songs talking about their political and social reality in an oriental style. Jako el Muzikante, Jako the rogue, survives singing at weddings and bar mitzvah parties, while he pilfers what he can to their pleased and, often, intoxicated customers.

Shortly after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Greece, Turkey and Armenia adopted and adapted all this music within their new borders. But Sephardic melodies fall into oblivion, due to the difficult situation faced by its performers.

Beginning of the 21st century,

Xurxo Fernandes embarks on a research work in Turkey and Israel, that will take him to collect the repertoire of those caf aman songs, and presents Jako el Muzikante, a project matured over years of research and that makes us feel the Sephardic sonority performed in its original language, ladino or djudeo-espanyol.

Xurxo is a singer from Galicia, one of the voices of the new folk generation, able to innovate from a very deep knowledge of the traditional heritage and with an inquisitive spirit that leads him to research until reaching the most authentic sources. Xurxo is an enthisiast of Sephardic culture, and, at the same time, as a maestro performer, with a warm, powerful and expressive voice, full of nuances, which he handles with good taste and perfection in the melismatic singing of the Sephardic repertoire sung in djudeo-espanyol. On stage, Xurxo presents a programme with songs that he has documented on his travels to Turkey and Israel and a mise-en-scene full of virtuosity and bawdiness, that will remind us the great performers of the 20th century, with a dandy style in the Maurice Chevalier way and the nerve of the interwar period cabaret, moved to that place where East meets West.

The musicians accompanying Xurxo have been chosen trying to bring back the sound of the instruments of that time: Oriental percussion, double bass, d, violin and clarinet, accompanying Xurxo's prodigious voice. 

This project, matured over years of research, bring us the Sephardic sonority in its original language, Judaeo-Spanish (ladino or djudeo-espanyol). By using all present resources in this music, this approach gives it a modern and contemporary air without losing its essence and flavor. This repertoire, unlike the majority of proposals in Sephardic music, is sung from a male, uninhibited, point of view and up to tabernario, which gives a very original distinctive feature.

From the musical point of view, the project offers the possibility of deepening in the Ottoman modal system, providing a fresh vision which is common to this type of music. This is achieved by mixing the Gypsy flavor of the East with a perfect mastery in the art of Taksim Square, which is a type of Eastern improvisation that makes each performance a new experience. 

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