by Gail Hairston
(April 10, 2014) ― International Ladino recording star and song writer Sarah Aroeste will speak at the University of Kentucky today and perform in Lexington tonight. Ladino is the Judeo-Spanish dialect spoken by Jews of Spanish descent.
Aroeste will speak on "Ladino Music Transformed From Yesterday to Today" at 5 p.m. in the Niles Gallery of the Lucille Caudill Little Fine Arts Library. Through a multi-media presentation including sound clips, video and live music, she will share stories from her family history to illustrate why she has become a leader in the effort to preserve Ladino culture for the next generation.
Later, Aroeste will perform a concert of Ladino music at 9 p.m. at Natasha's Bistro and Bar at 112 Esplanade in Lexington.
According to Aroeste's website, "her style, whether with her original music or with interpreting Ladino folk repertoire, combines traditional Mediterranean Sephardic sounds with contemporary influences such as rock, funk jazz and blues."
Both events are free and open to the public. They are sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Program in Jewish Studies, Department of Gender and Women's Studies, Department of History, International Studies program, and Department of Hispanic Studies.
Aroeste's website also says she is American born and trained in classical opera but became drawn to her Sephardic musical past after spending a summer in 1997 performing at the Israel Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv where she studied with Nico Castel, one of the world’s great Ladino singers and coaches at the Metropolitan Opera.