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The LA Sephardic Music Festival Recap/Teaser (Video)
April 20, 2014at 6:37 pm

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.

Keep up with the festival right here and at our Facebook page.

CATEGORY / LOS ANGELES SMF / / /
Photos from the festival! (more to come)
March 8, 2014at 12:52 am

Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 4.43.32 PMWe just got back from our 4th and 5th event for the Sephardic Music Festival (Shahs of Sinai hookahs, world music and a Persian appetizer buffet followed by our Unplugged day! It was very chill, spiritual and much welcomed as the middle of the festival events. The festival will continue through Tuesday! And We were just chosen at one of the Top 5 Things to do in L.A. by the LA Weekly and our full story is featured in the Jewish Journal. See you at our next events, Asaf Avidan on Saturday night at Luckman and the Sephardic Story Slam on Tuesday night with some of your favorite story slammers followed by a performance by AUtomatic Toys at Bancs!

Check out the photos from the festival, here

CATEGORY / LOS ANGELES SMF / / /
Opening Night Was Epic, Next Up!…..
March 3, 2014at 6:13 pm

photo 1Opening night of our Sephardic Music Fest with Yemen Blues was hands down the most incredible live performance we have ever seen…such a high level of showmanship and musicianship…

NEXT UP WE HAVE PERFORMANCES BY:

ASAF AVIDAN – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRAMNWzfjcg
AUTOMATIC TOYS – https://soundcloud.com/automatictoys-israelmusic/automatic-toys-nechama-berry
SARAH AROESTE – http://saraharoeste.bandcamp.com/track/la-comida-la-manana
DIWON – https://soundcloud.com/diwon/sabramixtape?in=diwon/sets/diwon-mixtapes

CATEGORY / LOS ANGELES SMF / / /
LA Weekly’s Events Front Page!
February 28, 2014at 9:47 am

SMFLAWEEKLY222We knew that the Sephardic Music Festival’s schedule would appear in LA Weekly, but had no idea that Erez Safar a.k.a. Diwon, the festivals producer, would be the front page for events section!

Here’s what they wrote: “The way most American’s perceive traditional Jewish culture is defined by the Ashkenazi, who originally immigrated from central and eastern Europe, and to comprise the majority of Jewish immigrants in the United States. By contrast, the Sephardim came from Spain, Portugal, North Africa, The Middle East and Central Asia, and their culture is fairly different from that of their Ashkenazi cousins. Instead of Yiddish they speak Ladino, and instead of bagels, they eat burkes. Rather than klezmer music, Sephardic styles reflect roots in a range of musical traditions found along the Mediterranean. After 9 years in New York, The Sephardic Music Festival kicks off its West Coast debut with Sunday’s Sephardic World Arts Day, which features 9 workshops. Learn everything from olive-curing to jewelry making before catching a performance by James Brown meets Yemenite band, Yemen Blues. The festival features a jam-packed line-up of both established and up and coming performers, including the Ladino songstress Sarah Aroeste.” Full schedule at http://smfevents.com

CLICK HERE TO SEE LA WEEKLY’S COVERAGE ONLINE

CATEGORY / LOS ANGELES SMF / / /
GET YOUR FREE DOWNLOAD OF OUR COMPILATION ALBUM VOL. 2
February 28, 2014at 9:25 am

SMF12-CD_1600x1600-2THE SEPHARDIC MUSIC FESTIVAL COMES TO L.A. MARCH 2 – 11, 2014

TO CELEBRATE, SMFLA & THE JEWISH JOURNAL ARE GIVING AWAY VOL. 2 OF THE SEPHARDIC MUSIC FESTIVAL COMPILATION ALBUM.

EMAIL: SMFLA@BANCSMEDIA.COM TO RECEIVE A FREE DOWNLOAD OF THE FULL ALBUM.

* The album features hot tracks by Cheb i Sabbah, Sarah Aroeste, Watcha Clan, DeLeon, Mor Karbasi, Diwon and lots more!

click here to read the Jewish Journal’s feature on SMF!

CATEGORY / LOS ANGELES SMF / / /
L.A. music fest aims to prove Sephardic culture rocks
February 27, 2014at 10:51 pm

art_yemen-blues_022814_584The feature story in the beloved Jewish Journal in LA read “L.A. music fest aims to prove Sephardic culture rocks” by Jonathan Maseng. Pick up your copy this week or read below for the feature.

For years, people have asked Erez Safar what it would take to bring his popular New York-based Sephardic Music Festival to Los Angeles. Turns out, all it took was for its creator to move west. A newly minted Angeleno, Safar will debut the Sephardic Music Festival’s Los Angeles edition March 2-11, and he hopes to share the same hip, progressive acts that have made the New York festival such a success.

“Initially, I came out [to L.A. to work] more on the music side, and then I started to just expand,” Safar said. His company, Bancs Media, does production, branding and PR, and while film licensing opportunities initially lured him to the West Coast, he soon saw an opportunity to work on his passion project as well.

Sephardic music traces its roots to the Jews of medieval Spain and is often composed in Hebrew as well as in Ladino, the Judeo-Spanish language that was to Sephardic Jews what Yiddish was to Ashkenazim. Safar’s festival has featured many artists who fit squarely into the Sephardic tradition, like Sarah Aroeste, Gerard Edery and the band DeLeon, but it has also headlined artists with more suspect Sephardic credentials, like Matisyahu, Soulfarm and Diwon,

Continue Reading »

CATEGORY / LOS ANGELES SMF / / /
THE SEPHARDIC STORY SLAM: YOU’VE HEARD THE MUSIC, NOW HEAR THE STORIES!
February 26, 2014at 8:03 am

smfalalalThe Sephardic Music Festival will close with our Sephardic Story Slam! (You’ve Heard The Music, Now Hear The Stories!) The event will take place at our Bancs Loft.

Featured slammers; Sarah Afkami, Tabby, Davoodi, Brian Fishbach, Shir Mnuchin, David Suissa, Chava Tombosky, And more!

hosted by Jessie Kahnweiler

• Join us as cross-generational storytellers– actors, writers, and comedians share mesmerizing stories of their Middle Eastern upbringing, exotic travels, tales of escape and survival, family traditions from Morocco, Iran, Tunisia, Yemen and so much more! Continuing in the NYC Sephardic Story Slam tradition, festival goers will have a chance to hear heartfelt, inspiring and funny stories from Jews that were raised in the Middle East and North Africa and have since settled in the U.S. to enter please email smf@shemspeed.com

THE EVENT IS FREE WITH AN RSVP rsvp@bancsloft.com (rsvp required for attendance)

The Sephardic Music Festival takes place in Los Angeles between March 2nd and the 11th. Find a full updated schedule of events at http://smfevents.com

CATEGORY / LOS ANGELES SMF / / /
Yemen Blues perform opening night of #SMFLA
February 11, 2014at 8:42 am

Yemen-Blues-652-x-367The first Sephardic Music Festival in Los Angeles opens with an epic world arts day followed by its opening night with the incredible Yemen Blues on March 2nd! Yemen Blues coexist in both the past and the present; they are timeless and modern. Fronted by acclaimed vocalist Ravid Kahalani, the group mies the music of Yemen and West Africa with funk, mambo, soul, and ancient chanting styles. Conjuring up a rich and diverse musical palette with the use of percussion, oud, horns, and strings, their myriad influences carry over to the stage, where the ensemble navigates from the boisterous to the romantic and from joyous celebration to anguished balladry.

Tickets: $30, $35, $40. (CSULA students • $15. Other students • $20.)

Tickets available via Ticketmaster and the Luckman Box Office.

Check out the rest of the events that go throughout March 11th @ sephardicmusicfestival.com/events

CATEGORY / LOS ANGELES SMF / / /
Sephardic World Arts Day March 2nd #SMFLA
January 29, 2014at 5:45 pm

SMF-WORLD-ARTS-DAY • Sephardic World Arts Day opens up the LA Sephardic Music Festival with world food, music and free, hands-on, interactive activities for all ages on March 2nd from 3 – 7pm at Luckman Fine Arts Complex On the campus of Cal State L.A. (5151 State University Dr. LA, CA 90032) Further info: luckmanarts.org 323.343.6600

Luckman Fine Arts Complex On the campus of Cal State L.A. (5151 State University Dr. LA, CA 90032) Further info: luckmanarts.org 323.343.6600

A list of workshops include;

HUMMUS MAKING WORKSHOP
OLIVE CURING WORKSHOP
Sephardic CHALLAH WORKSHOP (participants will be taught how to braid the challah, and then they will prepare their own dough to take home) 
HAMSA MAKING WORKSHOP (participants will design on their own wooden hamsa blank)
Sephardic JEWLRY MAKING WORKSHOP
BODY PAINTING
BELLY DANCING
SEPHARDIC DRUM CIRCLE CLASS 
and a SEPHARDIC DANCE WORKSHOP led by Lior Haykeen.

There will be Sephardic food for sale by The Kosher Palate and participants will also have the opportunity to step into the Jimena video booth. There will be a questionnaire related to their identity and their knowledge of Mizrahi and Sephardic Jews. For Mizrahi and Sephardic Jews who participate it will be an opportunity to reflect on their own identity and what Sephardic / Mizrahi culture means to them, in addition it will be a way to document a piece of their own family story and culture. Each participant will be in the booth for 5-15 minutes.

You could find updated info at sephardicfest.com

CATEGORY / LOS ANGELES SMF / / /
SMF LA IN YNET TODAY!
January 20, 2014at 5:45 pm

SMF-YNETShemspeed & Bancs Media’s Sephardic Music Festival hit Ynet (Israeli’s largest newswire) today. Here is what they had to say: “After nine years in New York, the Sephardic Music Festival (SMF) will make its way to Los Angeles, California and is scheduled to take place on March 2-8 2014.

The festival will continue SMF’s cutting-edge reputation for presenting the best in contemporary Sephardic Jewish music from across the globe.

The word Sephardic is derived from the Hebrew word for “Spanish,” and generally refers to Jews descended from those who lived in the Iberian Peninsula until they were expelled during the Spanish Inquisition at the end of the 15th Century. They fled to countries such as, Turkey, Balkans, Southern France, Italy, Greece, and Bulgaria.

The term also includes Jews from Arab countries, such as Algeria, Yemen,Egypt, Iraq and Morocco.

Founded by American-Israeli producer Diwon, the SMF is the only Jewish music festival in the United States to focus exclusively on Sephardic music and culture and showcase the latest Mizrahi, Yemenite, and Ladino artists from around the world.

The festival offers a platform for performers of traditional Sephardic folk music and innovators who fuse traditional Sephardic rhythms, melodies, and motifs with modern musical styles.

With an incredible range of artists this year, the Sephardic Music Festival presents a colorful tapestry of music and culture as rich, vibrant, and diverse as the Jewish world itself.” (read the rest of this article at Ynet)

READ THE ARTICLE / GET TICKETS


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3/2/2014 SEPHARDIC WORLD ARTS DAY @ TBA DAYTIME (LA)
3/2/2014 YEMEN BLUES @ THE LUCKMAN (LA)
3/5/2014 ucLADINO @ UCLA (LA)
3/5/2014 SARAH AROESTE @ FOWLER (LA)
3/5/2014 SHAHS OF SINAI @ DAHAB (LA)
3/6/2014 ucLADINO @ UCLA (LA)
3/8/2014 ASAF AVIDAN @ THE LUCKMAN (LA)
3/11/2014 SEPHARDIC STORY SLAM @ BANCS LOFT (LA)







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