Mor Karbasi

Mor Karbasi

BandWorld

Mor Karbasi's multi-cultural inheritance influences her work and gives her the most charming exotic look. Mainly Jewish, but also Persian, Maroccan, Spanish and Isreali scents penetrate the sound of her music. Her Saphardic Jewish repertoire brings back to life an age and culture that is long gone.

Biography

Mor Karbasi burst onto the global world music scene in 2008 with the release of her first album, and has continued to capture audiences internationally with her gorgeous, exceptional voice and looks to match. She was born April 23, 1986 in Jerusalem, to a mother from Nazareth of Moroccan descent and a father from Jerusalem of Persian (Iranian) ancestry. Mor is a young woman whose music is influenced by several cultures, though mainly by her Jewish heritage. A child with parents like hers no doubt carries a great deal of cultural richness. As already mentioned, with Jewish influences, but also Persian, Moroccan, Spanish and of course Israeli. All of which is discernable in her outward appearance, but also in her lovely, effervescent music and many stories. Mor’s biography might very well read like a novel by Isabel Allende where history, magic, joy and hard reality are all interwoven. A story that is told by her music, in which you are taken on a journey around the Mediterranean, to Morocco and her native Israel, to an age and civilization that is long gone, and yet still in the here and now. Mor’s first album Beauty and the Sea received rave reviews. She was immediately ranked alongside such globally renowned singers as Mariza and Estrella Morente- A splendid comparison, but one that does not describe her unique style of singing and compositions that breathe new life into an ancient language. Karbasi has already performed in several countries: Italy, Great Britain, Portugal, Poland, Czech Republic, Spain, France, Sweden, Holland and Morocco as well as the United States, always to great popular acclaim.

Roots
All her influences come together in her predominately Sephardic Jewish repertoire: from traditional Jewish songs, to her own contemporary compositions.
Jews were forced to leave Spain in the 15th century, as a result of the Catholic unification of the two main Spanish Kingdoms, and defeat and expulsion of the Moors. They spread out all over the world, taking the Spanish language of the time, and continued to speak it in their closed communities. This interspersed with some Hebrew, and words of various Mediterranean languages created a Judeo-Spanish tongue called Ladino. This language has almost died out… yet Mor sings for a wide audience in Ladino, Hebrew and Spanish. She says “to me Ladino is the most beautiful, melodic and magical language I can imagine. I hope to bring its richness to many people. I feel it is my mission to convey the power of those 500 year old melodies and lyrics. Ladino is a language full of vitality – and as far as I’m concerned – It is a perfect vehicle to express every aspect of being a woman.”
Karbasi was exposed to music at an early age, by her mother. She would sing Moroccan piyuttim (Jewish holy poems written in Hebrew, composed to Arabian scales and melodies) and Jewish ballads from Andalusia as lullabies. Mor was literally fed these magical songs and melodies with her mother’s milk, in keeping with the centuries old tradition of orally transmitting these songs from mother to daughter. Her mother Shoshana remains a constant source of inspiration for her to this day, and contributes her stories and poems to the albums. Mor’s great grandmother was a ‘mekonenet’, a woman chosen by the congregation to sing laments to mourn the dead during funeral ceremonies, and her great grandfather was known in Morocco as prominent rabbi, a very wise man, with a great knowledge of the Torah and of the Kabbalah. He blessed and helped many people in his day.
“We always joke in the family of how I am as if the son my grandfather never had. I was the only one who took interest in piyuttim, his Moroccan heritage”.
He is still alive and is enormously proud of his granddaughter. “He too is one of my greatest sources of inspiration: he hums all day long – ever since I can remember – old poems and melodies. I always sang duets with my granddad, and the bond connecting the generations grew ever stronger. The mome

Discography

"The Beauty and The Sea" (2008)
"Daughter of the Spring" (2011)