Passover Volume One is Free(dom) and Just in time for Passover, feel the freedom on Shemspeed’s Passover Volume One. This all-star album explores freedom on all levels – from Y-Love & Yuri Lane’s accapella and beat box tracks, to Darshan’s rap, “I new this one kid, from back in the day….” to Mikey Pauker bringing ‘The Light” and the more contemplative ‘So Decide’ by Shtar and of course ‘Avadim Hayinu’ (We were once slaves) by Vokcal. Songs on this free compilation mix traditional sources with modern sounds and stories.
After 10 years in NY, we’re bringing my Sephardic Music Festival to L.A. to stay! NY dates will be announced soon as well. SMF LA 2015 will take place September 29th – October 4th (Sukkot). In the meantime, we thought you would enjoy some press clippings and posters from our Sephardic Music Festival in the Wall Street Journal, NY Times, LA Weekly, Time Out and more.
It took 3 thousand years, but FINALLY there’s some hipster Hanukkah track for y’all to party to!
1. “Sivivon” ft. Cobe & Yehuda Solomon of Moshav
2. “Gonna Light” ft. Y-Love and Sarah Aroeste
3. Dr. Dreidel ft. Kosha Dillz & Cobe.
4. “Sivivon” (instrumental)
5. “Al Hanisim” (instrumental)
6. “Dreidel” (instrumental)
American-born Sarah Aroeste continues to push the boundaries of contemporary Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) music by releasing a new pop-style video of an original Ladino song, “Chika Morena.” Off of Aroeste’s most recent Ladino album, Gracia, Chika Morena is an original song about the iconic Sephardic “morena” figure: the gypsy girl wandering the world in search of returning home. The video is produced and directed by Erez Safar and Bancs Media.
Introducing the 3.0 version of the epic Semitic Keffiyeh! The new version is bigger measuring 44×45″, 100% Cotton with a contrasting strips and the Star of David throughout. A tonal rendition of the keffiyeh is a subtle stylish way to express your Semitic pride. The latest version comes in your choice of our original Blue and White with stylish matching grey lines around the other edges and a white and beige color which is the perfect accent accessory for most any wardrobe.
Check out another hot track by Behn-Shakhar Ben-Israel (20), aka “Ben Blackwell”. Behn has always been unique. Growing up in Arad and living in Tiberias, one would assume he is just like many other ordinary Israelis. He observes the Sabbath and holidays, speaks Hebrew, and observes a Kosher vegan diet. He also plans to serve in the IDF. However, Behn comes from a very unique world adding to the increasingly diverse fabric that makes up Israeli society.
Behn is a part of the “African Hebrew Israelites,” a community of African-Americans based in Chicago who believe they are descended from ancient Israelites who fled to Africa and later were taken to America as slaves. In 1969 they came to southern Israel on the heels of a prophecy to establish the Kingdom of God in what they believe is “the land of their origin.” There are now roughly 2,000 of them living communal, vegan lifestyles in what Blackwell repeatedly describes as “the land of milk and honey.”
Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai was one of the deepest spiritual beings that ever existed. His fame is known because of the Zohar (The Book of Splendor). A lot of Americans are familiar with the Zohar and Kabbalah from Madonna and Ashton Kutcher, but the real thing is the polar opposite of US Weekly. The Zohar is a series of books which is the basis for most mystical thought in Judaism. Today marks the anniversary of his passing and to celebrate his life and contribution 3 Shemspeed artists wrote songs dedicated to his memory. The first is by Y-Love & Yuri Lane and combines beat box and ancient Aramaic, a language that was popular in the time of the Talmud. You could download their full Sefira album of Beat Box and Raps made with no instruments at all, here. The second is by Benyamin and blends moroccan melodies with a club rhythm.
Y-Love & Yuri Lane - “Bar Yochai V. 613″ 3:20 – (Free Download)
* Download the track Free and then pick up the full album with Y-Love & Yuri Lane on Shemspeed Direct, HERE.
Benyamin – “Bar Yochai” 3:23 – (Free Download)
* Download the track Free and then pick up Benyamin’s “Shir HaShirim” on Shemspeed Direct, HERE.
After nine years in New York, we brought our Sephardic Music Festival (SMF) to Los Angeles, California between March 2 — 11, 2014. The Sephardic Music Festival is the first music festival to focus exclusively on the less familiar but captivating culture of the Jews who lived for centuries among the vibrant cultures of North Africa, Spain, and the Middle East. The festival is a cross-generational Jewish diversity party, blending events that are more traditional with party nights that are more trap based.
The festival featured Yemen Blues, Asaf Avidan, Diwon, Automatic Toys, David Sussia, Shahs of Sinai, The Sephardic Story Slam, Body Painting, Drum Circle classes, Jewelry and Hamsa making, Belly Dancing and lots more.