Yasmin Levy is an Israeli singer who performs Ladino music with a modern twist, an infusion of flamenco in particular. Born on December 23, 1975, in Jerusalem, Levy learned about Ladino music and culture from her father, Yitzhak Levy, a researcher of Ladino, the Judeo-Spanish language of the Sephardic Jewish communities that were driven from Spain in the late 15th century. Levy's songs are generally sung in Ladino, and her music is generally comprised of traditional instruments such as oud, violin, and cello; however, she also infuses her music with more modern styles such as flamenco. Levy's debut album, Romance & Yasmin (2000), garnered some attention, particularly after being reissued internationally in 2004 and earning her a nomination for Best Newcomer at the 2005 BBC Radio 3 World Music Awards. Her follow-up album, La Judería: Ladino Meets Flamenco (2005), is more typical of the style that she would carry forward on subsequent albums such as Live at the Tower of David, Jerusalem (2006) and Mano Suave (2008). These follow-up efforts were acclaimed, for instance earning her further BBC Radio 3 World Music Award nominations, and they also were commercially successful on an international scale, with Mano Suave, for instance, charting in France and becoming a Top Ten hit in Sweden. Levy's next full-length was Sentir, released in September 2009. ~ Jason Birchmeier
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