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WELCOME

Sephardic music has its roots in the Jewish Communities of medieval Spain. After their expulsion, the Jews migrated to Italy, Turkey, North Africa and other places which influenced the music that accompanies the poems and stories of songs.


The songs are in Ladino, the language of the Jews in Spain of the 14th & 15th centuries.

Raphael Ortasse Sephardic Ensemble (R.O.S.E.) shares beauty and passion of Sephardic music.

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A Bit About choir

The Kol Sephardic Choir is an upbeat and inspirational musical Choir and Ensemble comprised of a diversified 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 on 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 on 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 also flourished. Other countries that welcomed the Sephardic Jews that were expelled from Spain are Turkey, Italy, North Africa, and Palestine, now Israel. 

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.

 

Kol Sephardic Choir became known as the "ROSE", the acronym for Raphael Ortasse Sephardic Ensemble,

Biographies

Dedication. Expertise. Passion.

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ALBUM COVER
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Avi Conducting
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