The 8th annual Sephardic Music Festival will be lighting up Hanukkah in venues around New York from December 8-12, with a new Festival compilation album scheduled for release on December 11. SMF Vol. 2 includes everything from folk songs to hip hop, electro, and dance music. The album’s tracks incorporate Jewish liturgical and ceremonial texts, Sabbath songs, and classic love poems as well as original compositions inspired by traditional themes.

Cheb i Sabbah, among the most talented world music producers, kicks off the compilation with “Im Ninalou” (If the Doors are Locked), a traditional Yemenite song made famous by the late, great Ofra Chaza.

Israeli club kids Axum blow up the compilation with their energetic “Knowa.” Dunkelbunt remixes Marseille-based Watcha Clan, who combine Balkan brass and Sephardic folk with Gnawa trance and hip-hop.

DeLeon’s distinctive style of rock transforms ancient Sephardic folk music into a sound that is both brand new and centuries old. On Ansi Dize La Novia, DeLeon borrows Manu Chao-esque grooves to convey an ancient tale of a bride being described to a groom. Each of her features is more beautiful than the last, just like each of this song’s verses is funkier than that which preceded it.

Jerusalem native Mor Karbasi chills out the compilation with her beautiful song, “Arvoles.” You’ll feel like you’re floating along on a carpet as Karbasi sings gently to the accompanying piano.

Tel Aviv’s Cohen@Mushon highlights the 90’s golden era hip hop sound. Diwon also throws down a couple of his own tracks, including a Middle Eastern instrumental single and a “Maoz Tzur” holiday-inspired song with an LMFAO feel. The latter track features ex-Hasidic gay rapper Y-Love and Ladino songstress Sarah Aroeste.

Like the Sephardic Music Festival itself, the album highlights the remarkable diversity of the Jewish community. More information about the album, and the entire Festival, including show times and venue details, can be found at The website features a tantalizing musical preview on Sephardic Music Fest Radio and a sneak peak of the festival on the promotional video.


<> $18
(audio fundraiser)
(Every pre-order of this CD comes with a Free Download to your email and a copy of the CD before it hits stores. )
$14 Download Direct (audio fundraiser)
(Download direct now, as this compilation is not available on iTunes, Amazon etc..until Decmeber 11th!)

Tracklisting (below):

Cheb I Sabbah – “Im Ninalou (If the Doors are Locked)”
Axum – “Knowa”
Watcha Clan – “Balkan Qoulou (Dunkelbunt Remix)”
Cohen@Mushon – “Tel Aviv”
Shtar – “Kel Adon”
DeLeon – Ansi Dize La Novia
Jaffa Road – “Ana El Na (Oh Heal Her)”
Sarah Aroeste – La Comida La Mañana
Smadar & Diwon – “Esther”
Mika Karny – “Mi Zot”
Sam Glaser – Ki Eshmera (ft. Yehuda Solomon & Duvid Swirski of Moshav, Cantor Hagai Batzri)
Kiss Slash Crooked Smile – “Healthy Lovin”
Mazal – “La Rosa Linda”
Diwon – Gonna Light (ft. Y-Love & Sarah Aroeste)
Onili – “Bali Lo Bali” feat. Yael Deckelbaum
Diwon – “stuck in the middle eastern”
Asefa – “Allah Hu Ehad”
Mor Karbasi – “Arvoles”

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