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The Kol Sephardic Choir is an upbeat and inspirational musical Choir and Ensemble comprised of a diversified group of
group of singers who come to us from the Los Angeles and Orange Counties.  It is reflective of the diverse interests and
ethnicities within these two communities. Their  common bond is musical talent and a passion for music. In this case,
their repertoire consists of Sephardic Romanceros sung in Ladino and Liturgical/Religious songs in Hebrew with Sephardic
melodies.

Throughout the years of its existence, the Kol Sephardic Choir and Ensemble performed in local Synagogues and Jewish
Community Center events in the wider Los Angeles area as well as in numerous Public Libraries and other locations in the
Los Angeles, and Orange counties. In addition, Kol Sephardic Choir performed in auspicious venues such as  the Dorothy
Chandler Pavilion, in the program sponsored by the Los Angeles County Art Commission Music Festival held every year.

Kol Sephardic Choir and Ensemble was formed on April 22, 1992 on the Westside of Los Angeles. It is an unaffiliated group and the only Sephardic Choir in California
and most likely in the United States that sings primarily Sephardic Romansas", "Cantigas" and "Coplas" in Ladino.   Though initially it was a "sing-along" group, it was
gradually transformed into a Choir of professional quality. This transformation began in 2005. 

Raphael Ortasse is the Director and Founder of Kol Sephardic Choir and Ensemble. The current Music Director and Conductor is Avi Avliav who arranged a number of
the songs in our first CD. However, the person whose contributions initiated the transformation from a "sing-along" group into a choir was the late Daud Peres. He made
the first arrangements to some of the songs that we currently sing.

The mere birth and existence of Kol Sephardic Choir and Ensemble here in  Los Angeles is a key asset to the local community that has a large number of Sephardic
Jews among its residents. Not only does it allow its members to express the Sephardic Culture and tradition in songs, but it  also provides an opportunity to showcase
the diversity and talents of our group of singers and ensemble.

During the past year, Kol Sephardic Choir and Ensemble took time off  from performances and concentrated its rehearsals towards the recording of our first CD of"
Ladino songs. This is when Kol Sephardic Choir also became known as the "ROSE", the acronym for Raphael Ortasse Sephardic Ensemble. This new symbol of the
Choir is a product of the creativity of  Penina Solomon, a member of our choir. She is also the designer of the beautiful CD cover.

From the outset, the goal of Kol Sephardic Choir was to disseminate the culture of the Sephardic Jews that originated in Spain prior to the expulsion in 1492 and which
was then carried by them to the countries they migrated or welcomed to by the rulers. In the Balkan countries, notably Greece, Yugoslavia, and Bulgaria, their culture and
tradition were not only kept alive, but it also flourished. Other countries that welcomed the Sephardic Jews that were expelled from Spain are: Turkey, Italy, North Africa,
and Palestine, now Israel. There too their culture endured and was allowed to flourish.

Kol Sephardic Choir and Ensemble is once again ready to perform and we look forward to presenting the Choir to the Los Angeles and Orange communities. We further
hope to spread the Sephardic culture and message of inspiration throughout the US and abroad.

For further information and availability to perform, please contact Raphael Ortasse, Director of Kol Sephardic Choir and Ensemble at (310) 557-1096

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Article by Nurit Greenger about

Kol Sephardic Choir

Article by Nurit Greenger 

"Our Return and Renewal"

 

Letter from Raphael Ortasse to the readers