The way most Americans perceive traditional Jewish culture is defined by the Ashkenazi, who originally emigrated from central and eastern Europe and comprise the majority of Jewish immigrants in the U.S. By contrast, the Sephardim come from Spain, Portugal, North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, and their culture, food and music is pretty different from that of their Jewish cousins. Instead of Yiddish, they speak Ladino, and instead of bagels, they eat Burekas. And as you might expect, rather than klezmer music, Sephardic styles reflect roots in a range of musical traditions found in southwest Europe and its surroundings. After nine years in New York, the Sephardic Music Festival celebrates these differences, kicking off its West Coast debut with nine workshops happening on opening day alone, along with a performance by the James Brown-meets-Yemenite band, Yemen Blues, and that's just one of the acts on the jam-packed lineup of both established up-and-coming performers. Various locations, March 2 – 8.

Sun., March 2, 2014
(Expired: 03/02/14)

LA Weekly