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JUDEO-SPANISH COMMUNITY SINGING GROUP: 

Kantigas Muestras

 

Kantigas Muestras, Judeo-Spanish Community Singers, was conceived in 2014 during an impromptu sing-along at ucLADINO’s Annual Symposium. During the reception, several people spontaneously began to sing together in Ladino and Turkish. The experience was so enjoyable that those who participated in the sing-along decided to create an informal singing group – just for the sheer joy of singing! Paulette Navarro, one of the group’s members, describes the experience as a seed planted in the singers’ hearts and said they had their first meeting in April of 2014. The group sang for several months under the leadership of pianist Josh Ehrhart, then in January of 2015, singer, composer, and Board Certified Music Therapist Vanya Green Assuied became their musical director.

Besides enjoying themselves, their main purpose is to connect with their ancestral heritage, to promote and perpetuate the Judeo-Spanish culture, and especially to keep the Judeo-Spanish language alive! They also find singing the soulful songs of their ancestors to be healing – an antidote for living in a stressful world – and a great way to counteract life's difficulties.

The group members and their families come from many different countries, including Istanbul and Izmir in Turkey, the Island of Rhodes and Salonika in Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Latvia, Poland, Germany, Holland, France, India, Iraq, Israel, South Africa, Columbia, and Peru.

For those interested in joining the group, they practice twice a month in West Los Angeles. They welcome anyone who has a desire to sing and enjoy their heritage, even those who are unfamiliar with the Judeo-Spanish language. There are no requirements for joining, and they are currently looking for additional singers.  To connect with the group, please contact Paulette Navarro at pn4641@yahoo.com.

 

 


Members of Kantigas Muestras

 

Director: Vanya Green Assuied

 

Members:

Danielle Avidan

Eli Levy

Gideon Sarnat

Merle Shamash

Miryam Sarnat

Paulette Perla Navarro

Ruby Jean Hanan

Ruth Schneider

Sara Mandelbaum

Sarah Schwartz