Los Mezelikes

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Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah Band San Diego

We are very happy you’ve found us and welcome you to explore our culture and artistic values in this webpage created for the purpose of education and information about Flamenco roots with emphasis on Sephardic-Spanish art.

Our “Cuadro” consist of musicians, dancers and singers of a wide and eclectic backgrounds from all over the world and located in the city of San Diego were we perform and are part of local cultural and private events.

We welcome you to inquire about the possibility to having us perform at your personal or cultural celebrations.

Our team, come from different countries and cultures which affords a very unique sound to the Spanish-Jewish customs. We resource on the roots of flamenco and the Sephardic culture as a worldly blend which pleases the ears and eyes of our audiences.

The audio-visual performance we provide its categorized by our patrons as captivating and dreamy as well as exiting. We take pride on the theme we provide and the cultural educative experience we bring to our shows.

In our innovative and pioneering presentations, we continue to mine the wealth of ancient Sephardic songs, with its tales of flirtation, love, faith, war, abandonment – and mothers-in-law.

The members of Los Mezelikes are brought together by the love of the Sephardic-flamenco art with is the common link of this unique artists association and the strength that keeps us interested on learning more about the cultural richness of our ancestors.

Sara Sandoval….. Dancer, percussionist backup vocals

Angela Solange….Dancer, percussionist backup vocals

Edward Fishwick …Guitar and backup vocals

Juan De Dios……Vocalist, dancer and commentator

We’ve studied and continued to educate ourselves with excellent teachers and

art academies.

Los Mezelikes is a group of flamenco singers and dancers who incorporate aspects of Sephardic culture and the Ladino language into their performances. By combining traditional and contemporary flamenco dances and beats, with Ladino songs, Los Mezelikes’ performances are more than just a great show; they are an inspiring journey into history.

More than 500 years have passed since the Jews were expelled from Spain.

When the Jews were expelled from Spain and Portugal they were cut off from the further development of the language, but they continued to speak it in the communities and countries to which they emigrated. Ladino therefore reflects the grammar and vocabulary of 14th and 15th century Spanish. The further away from Spain the emigrants went, the more cut off they were from developments in the language, and the more Ladino began to diverge from mainstream Castilian Spanish.

In Amsterdam, England and Italy, those Jews who continued to speak ‘Ladino’ were in constant contact with Spain and therefore they basically continued to speak the Castilian Spanish of the time. However, in the Sephardic communities of the Ottoman Empire, the language not only retained the older forms of Spanish, but borrowed so many words from Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, Turkish, and even French.

” Oriental “Ladino was spoken in Turkey and Rhodes and reflected Castilian Spanish, whereas “Western” Ladino was spoken in Greece, Macedonia, Bosnia, Serbia and Romania, and preserved the characteristics of northern Spanish and Portuguese. The vocabulary of Ladino includes hundreds of archaic Spanish words which have disappeared from modern day Spanish, and also includes many words from different languages that have been substituted for the original Spanish word, from the various places Ladino speaking Jews settled.

Some terms were actually transferred from one community to another through commercial or cultural relations, whereas others remained peculiar to particular communities. These foreign words derive mainly from Hebrew, Arabic, Turkish, Greek, French, and to a lesser extent from Portuguese and Italian. In the Ladino spoken in Israel, several words have been borrowed from Yiddish. For most of its lifetime, Ladino was written in the Hebrew alphabet, in Rashid script, or in Solitro, a cursive method of writing letters. It was only in the 20th century that Ladino was ever written using the Latin alphabet. In fact, what is known as ‘Rashid script’ was originally a Ladino script which became used centuries after Rashid’s death in printed books to differentiate Rashid’s commentary from the text of the Torah.

At various times Ladino has been spoken in North Africa, Egypt, Greece, Turkey, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania, France, Israel, and, to a lesser extent, in the United States (the highest populations being in Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, and south Florida) and Latin America. By the beginning of this century, with the spread of compulsory education in the language of the land, Ladino began to disintegrate. Emigration to Israel from the Balkans hastened the decline of Ladino in Eastern Europe and Turkey.

The Nazis destroyed most of the communities in Europe where Ladino had been the first language among Jews.

Five centuries later, all the richness of the Judeo-Spanish heritage still resonates through literature, song and dance, playing an important role in maintaining the memory and narrative of this historic culture alive today and for future generations.

Judeo-Spanish culture is rich, reviving, and timeless. It celebrates the jewels that are created when cultures collaborate and live together peacefully.

UNESCO protected language; it is estimated that between 250,000 and 300,000 Sephardim have some knowledge of the language but the amount who speak it on a daily basis is reckoned to be in the thousands.

The language may be historic, but the songs are as relevant and powerful today as they were 500 years ago make sure you check out Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah Band Los Mezelikes