from June ’08 Spotlight: I attended a beautiful afternoon concert called “The Sephardic Legacy” at the Instituto Cervantes on April 18. Fascinated by folk music from many nations, composer Manuel García-Morante worked with Jewish scholars to rescue a set of Ladino songs from obscurity. Soprano Yrene Martínez-Roca sang them for us as García-Morante accompanied her on the piano.
Chicago’s Instituto Cervantes is now housed in a large suite at 31 West Ohio with plentiful classroom space in addition to the lovely auditorium in which García-Morante and Martínez-Roca performed. According to Fred Siegman of Chicago’s Alliance of Latinos and Jews, many additional programs are currently under development including a film festival. For more information, visit www.latinosandjews.org. Meanwhile García-Morante’s CD Sephardic Balladeer is available on Amazon.