Yasmin Levy
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Yasmin Levy

London, England, United Kingdom | INDIE

London, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
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"The Observer (Sept 2012)"

Her calling card is ladino – the music of Sephardic Jews expelled
from Spain in 1492 – but the Israeli singer has created a world
fusion of her own, drawing on flamenco, tango and fado. This
sixth album proves her most adventurous, not least because it
mixes her songs with standards such as the Persian Soghati.
Given her taste for smouldering melodrama, producer Ben
Mandelson wisely keeps the flamenco backings uncluttered (and
light on handclaps), while adding swaying mid-eastern strings on
numbers like the Turkish favourite Firuze and Olvidate de Mi, a
duet with fiery Mallorcan singer Buika. A winning piece of
controlled passion. - The Observer

"San Francisco Examiner (Oct 2009) (USA)"

“Levy’s haunting voice, filled with the heart and passion of a people who have survived centuries of persecution and misunderstanding, is certain to attract a huge following. Take advantage of the opportunity to hear her now, before she becomes idolized in the manner of Cesaria Evora and other great artists whose voices seem to sing directly from their soul.” Jason Serinius - San Francisco Examiner

"Columbus Dispatch (Nov 2009) (USA)"

“Stunning in appearance and bearing, the singer performs in a throaty style that recalls the mid-20th century French singer Edith Piaf. Levy’s voice and manner have a similar directness and emotionalism and the vocal quality is also reminiscent of that iconic performer.” – Barbara Zuck, Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, OH), Nov 13, 2009 - Columbus Dispatch

"Sunday Times (Oct 2009) (UK)"

“Her magical album, Sentir, is her most mesmerising accomplishment so far, and will surely find a place on many a “record of the year” list in the coming months.” – Clive Davis, Sunday Times (UK), 4 Oct 2009 - Sunday Times

"Songlines (Nov-Dec 2009) (UK)"

“She uses every colour and pitch in her remarkable range and the resulting vocal pyrotechnics are unforgettable.” – Dennis Marks, Songlines (UK), Nov-Dec 2009 - Songlines

"KRUV-FM, Vermont (Nov 2009) (USA)"

“Yasmin Levy is a remarkable talent. Aside from the amazing pedigree of the music, her singing is profoundly emotional and can move one to tears.” – Jeff Pascoe, Intl Music Director, KRUV-FM, Burlington, VT - KRUV-FM

"The Guardian (Oct 2009) (UK)"

“...a young Israeli singer with an exquisite and passionate vocal style and a bravely original musical mission... Her voice is as fine and powerful as ever, especially on her gutsy duet with the Greek singer Eleni Vitaly on the flamenco-tinged Porque, and on an exquisite treatment of the Ladino ballad Una Pastora...” -Robin Denselow, Guardian (UK), 2 Oct 2009 - The Guardian

"The Daily Planet (St Paul) (Nov 09) (USA)"

“Levy is a vocal force with an undeniable stage presence. The audience loved her and a single note could bring tears to your eyes...Levy’s concert was a musical experience I was glad to get swept up in.” - Melissa Slachetka, Daily Planet, St. Paul, MN, Nov 1, 2009 - The Daily Planet

"Art Seen (Michigan) (Nov 09) (USA)"

“Yasmin Levy, dressed in black and the ever enticing enchantress, cast a spell on the audience...She is a brilliantly talented singer with a deep soulful and sensuous voice. It just doesn’t get better than that. Period.”– Krithika, Art Seen (Ann Arbor, MI), Nov 15, 2009 - Art Seen

"Dagens Nyheter (Feb 2010) (Sweden)"

“It is undeniably the Israeli singer’s way of explaining her music that makes her so captivating on stage...In world music she has found her own niche and has no competition...Yasmin Levy is perhaps at her best when she sings her own compositions, somewhere on the border between tradition and Edith Piaf chansons.” – Johanna Paulsson, Dagens Nyheter, Stockholm (Sweden), 17 Feb 2010 - Dagens Nyheter

"The Other Paper (Ohio) (Nov 2009) (USA)"

“...she conveyed an intensity as real as romantic suicide. Romeo and Juliet have got nothing on Yasmin Levy and the narratives of her songs. I think she could sing Streisand; but could Streisand sing Sephardic?” – John Petric, The Other Paper (Columbus, OH), Nov 11, 2009 - The Other Paper


Libertad (World Village/Harmonia Mundi) - released Oct 2012
Sentir (World Village/Harmonia Mundi)
Mano Suave (World Village/Harmonia Mundi)
La Juderia (Adama Music)
Romance And Yasmin (Adama Music)




With the release of Yasmin Levys fifth studio album Libertad (Freedom), she states with passion: I started as a Ladino singer, before this music was known around the world. No one would listen to Ladino songs but somehow we managed to help breathe new life into them and today it has become well recognised. But Im more than a Ladino singer. I see myself as a World Music singer, singing in modern Spanish as well as Ladino, and bringing the flavours I love. After 8 years talking about Ladino music and the Jews of Spain, part of my personal Libertad is about being able to sing Ladino songs because I love them; not because Im expected to sing them. I sing Flamenco, Turkish music, Ladino, Persian music and mix them all together.
Libertad represents the beginning of a new phase in Yasmin Levys life, as well as in her musical career. Part of this is a newfound sense of freedom that comes both with and from the birth of her baby boy just over a year ago. This inspired Yasmin to focus even more on her own song-writing; she has contributed five of Libertads twelve songs. It also helped her try a new musical fusion bringing together flavours of Flamenco with the unique emotion of Turkish strings and providing a fresh musical backdrop to Yasmins songs. This new freedom of spirit has encouraged Yasmin to take on the challenge of recording songs she never dared approach before, including the great Persian classic Soghati, renamed Recuerdo here, as well as the hugely popular Turkish song Firuze, famously performed by Sezen Aksu. This new spirit also helped Yasmin to collaborate on a magical duet of her own composition Olvidate. And finally, the album also contains three stunning Ladino classics.
Yasmin grew up in Jerusalem, which she describes as a true melting pot of peoples and cultures, listening to Turkish versions of Moroccan music, classical, chanson, jazz, Jewish and Muslim music, and church music. Her taste in singers gives some idea of the importance of passion in Yasmins music: Pavarotti, Billie Holiday, Julio Iglesias, Piaf, Turkish and Greek music big, dramatic voices. As Yasmin says: I like sad songs. My mum, Kochava, has had a hard life. I picked up sadness from her although I am a happy person but I create through sadness. Im lucky that I have music so I can express this sadness.
Its important to note that Yasmins father, Yitzhak Levy, was born in Turkey in 1919 and worked as both a composer and cantor. After the creation of the State of Israel, he was appointed head of the Ladino department at Israel's national radio station. His life's work was devoted to the collection and preservation of the songs of Sephardic Jews: these Ladino songs had been passed down orally from generation to generation over a period of 500 years. During his lifetime he published 4 books containing Sephardic romances and another 10 volumes of liturgical songs. He also recorded many of these same songs for the national radio.
One of Libertads most challenging songs is Yasmins recording of the Farsi/Persian classic Soghati (Recuerdo), which was both technically and emotionally difficult to achieve. Yasmin first heard the song when she was 8 years old on her mothers cassette player. After losing the tape, Yasmin spent the next 25 years searching for the song until she finally happened upon it, courtesy of an Iranian who drove her regularly to the studio where she was recording her 3rd disc, Mano Suave. Following that re-discovery, Yasmin spent another year seeking out the original lyrics, which were finally provided by a Voice of America Persian Service presenter who interviewed Yasmin in Washington DC and who eventually translated those lyrics for Yasmin.
Another special recording on this album was the collaboration with Spains Conche Buika who Yasmin first met several years ago and represents a continuing love on Yasmins part to collaborate with musicians who she has long admired. In recent years Yasmin has collaborated with artists including Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Enrico Macias, Yiannis Kotsiras, Eleni Vitaly, Natacha Atlas, Montse Kortes, Kubat, Ibrahim Tetlises and Maria Toledo. A chance meeting in Poland sparked something between two of world musics more powerful voices and within a week they had recorded Yasmins composition Olvidate de Mi. As Yasmin says: Buika arrived like a gift from heaven after all the work I had put into this album. The song was written for my cancer-stricken Aunt and when I explained the history to Buika she said: I want your Aunt to be able to look down and hear our two voices so shell know shes being loved.
The production for Libertad was very different to Yasmins last album. After working on all the arrangements with her guitar player and long-time collaborator Yechiel Hasson, Yasmin turned to renowned producer Ben Mandelson who gave her the confidence to move forward with her n