Colorful Ladino and Turkish sounds

The Piyyut Festival in Jerusalem gains momentum with piyyutim in Ladino and Turkish as well as a tribute to Rabbi Itzhak Algazi.

September 20, 2011 11:30
1 minute read.

Considered one of the most important Jewish singers in the Ottoman Judeo-Spanish tradition, Algazi was known throughout Turkey as the “Sweet Singer of Israel.” He recorded a mix of religious songs, Turkish folksongs, and songs in Ladino, and was well-regarded by Jews and non-Jews alike.

Prior to the concert on Tuesday, there will be a session looking at the Judeo-Ottoman musical tradition and the Rabbi’s unique personality.

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If you have free time in the afternoon, explore the Sha’arei Rachamim Synagogue (known as the Bana Synagogue) in Nahla’ot. In the evening, head to Gilo to experience a mosaic of North African piyyut, Chassidic melodies, Ashkenazi Chazanut, Klezmer, and Israeli prayer songs.

Other Piyyut Festival highlights include the Ahavat Olamim Concert with Rabbi Haim Louk and the New Jerusalem Orchestra at the Gerard Behar Center. This fascinating project, created during the First Piyyut Festival in 2008, was chosen to open the Israel Festival in 2010. Today’s concert launches the orchestra’s debut album. Or enjoy the concert Zalevski’s Melodies celebrating composer, Zvi Zalevski. Zalevski shed light on forgotten piyyutim from the machzor (High Holiday prayer book) and his compositions captivated synagogues and their worshipers.

For those keen to unwind, head to the Jerusalem Music Center at Mishkenot Sha’anim for relaxed jazz, beer and snacks. The Center is holding a series of three jazz concerts and tonight is the second night with Omer Klein performing a solo piano recital. is a new online international travel portal offering all the latest information on things to do , places to eat  and places to stay in Jerusalem.

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