Guy Mendilow And Ensemble To Perform Free Ladino Music Concert In Rutland
The Rutland Jewish Center is presenting a free concert Sunday highlighting music inspired by a centuries old Judeo-Spanish culture known as Ladino.
When the Jews were forced out of Spain in the late 1400s, they scattered and resettled in Greece, Turkey, Morocco, the Balkans and beyond. In each adopted home, the language, food, customs and songs of these Sephardic Jews retained their identity – yet they also absorbed elements of their new surroundings.
Today, what’s considered the Ladino language is spoken mainly by Sephardic minorities and is most common in Israel, which is where Israeli born musician Guy Mendilow first heard music inspired by the Ladino culture.
“I love stories,” says Mendilow. “I love melodies that grip me and the reason that I love Ladino music is because it has both. If what you’re looking for is tales of grandeur and tales form the sea, then this is your stuff and I love that stuff. I also love the ways that the melodies twist and turn.”
Mendilow says some of the lyrics date back 500 years, adding that no one really knows what the traditional Ladino melodies sounded like since they weren’t recorded. So he says he and other musicians interpret the songs as best they can.
“And what I particularly love is taking these stories, which in many ways are timeless, and asking myself, ‘If we were making a movie of this story today, what would be the sound track?’"
The musician says he uses his music in the present day to connect to the Ladino history. “This is a 21st century take on some very old beautiful songs and tales from communities that by and large were destroyed and, if they exist at all, are shadows of themselves. So it’s a way of connecting in real time with a bit of history that most people don’t know much about,” says Mendilow.
"This is a 21st century take on some very old beautiful songs and tales from communities that by and large were destroyed and, if they exist at all, are shadows of themselves. So it's a way of connecting in real time with a bit of history that most people don't know much about." - Guy Mendilow, musician
Guy Mendilow and members of his ensemble will perform Sunday in Rutland at the Jewish Center.