Nuriya, Pharaoh’s Daughter & Haale perform at Le Poisson Rouge at the opening night of the Sephardic Music Festival. It’s going down tonight at Le Poisson Rouge! The festival continues throughout the next 8 nights. Catch Nuriya on today on NPR’s Morning Edition (around 7:45pm EST). If you aren’t familiar with SMF’s hot headliner, Imagine a fusion of Latin, Middle-Eastern and Arabic-Flamenco music with some hip-hop and reggae thrown in for good measure. Then imagine a melismatic voice that swoops and soars with seemingly effortless ease, delivering lyrics that tell of love, life and loss in Spanish, English and French. Imagine this being performed by a green-eyed Mexican-born beauty of Middle-Eastern Jewish Heritage, this is Nuriya and her story is rooted three generations ago, in her family of Middle-Eastern Jews who fled their countries, Iraq and Syria, between the 1920’s and 1940’s, due to religious persecution. All were bound for the U.S. However, the majority were re-routed and sent to Mexico, as U.S. immigration quotas were filled. Some managed to land in New York, where they remain, and others moved to L.A.