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18 aliyot


Israeli/Portuguese singer, composer, and folklore expert Noam Vazana guides a global exploration of the Jewish sound through 18 songs. Each of classic tunes from Germany, Russia, Yemen, Morocco, Poland, Ethiopia (and more) represent 18 Aliyot (migration waves). Each song encapsulates a culture, setting, or feeling from its place of origin, as well a strand of Israeli cultural and personal identity brought over through the music. Taken together, these beloved sounds offer an eye-opening reflection on how Israel came to be the multi-cultured, vibrant, and complex state it is today.

This four-part lecture and conversation series is an audiophilic dive into the Ashkenazi culture of Europe; the Sephardim of Andalusia; the Israelites of Africa; and the melting pot of Klezmer in Hollywood. Each class will be accompanied by rare archival video and photos courtesy of the National Library in Jerusalem.

Teacher: Noam Vazana is an acclaimed international singer, composer, pianist and trombonist. She is a professor of Voice & Music Career Studies at the London Performing Academy of Music and an enthusiast advocate to the revival of Ladino language. She has toured extensively throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North America, represented the Netherlands at the EU Music Festival in Vietnam and played a solo concert at the Kennedy Center USA. She regularly lectures and speaks on panels about Sephardic music, Cultural Awareness, Ladino, Folklore and more.


1st lecture: Ashkenazi culture of Europe
A review of Ashkenazi migration waves Since the 1800’s and the 1960’s. 
Focus on: Latvia, Poland, Germany, Russia and more.
Cultural heroes such as Haim Nahman Bialik and Lea Goldberg. 
The shaping of the Kibbuz movement. 
The melting pot Yiddish and Hebrew.

2nd lecture: Sefaradim of Andalusia
The Spanish & Portuguese expulsions
Ladino (Judeo-Spanish)
Focus on: Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Italy, the Caribbeans, South America 
How Yemenite music shaped the Israeli music soundscape
The golden age of Sephardim in the Ottoman Empire
3rd lecture: Sefaradim of Andalusia
Focus on: Ethiopia, Iran, Yemen, Iraq and Morocco.
How Yemenite music shaped the Israeli music soundscape. 
Hidden beats of the desert – all the way from Ethiopia
The Moroccan-French connection

4th lecture: Klezmer in Hollywood
Focus on: Greece, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, USA, Canada

The birthplace of Klezmer: the Balkan
Jaffa Harbour and Florentine founded by the Greek jews

How The Wizard Of Oz brings a promise to the land of milk and honey