Blurring boundaries and connecting sounds, stories, rhythms and roots is central to the mission inspiring the Guy Mendilow Band. The vibrant multicultural group's latest offering, The Ladino Project, features centuries-old music from Jewish communities in places such as Smyrna, Salonica, Jerusalem and Sarajevo. Sung in Ladino, a language melding Spanish, Arabic, Greek, and Hebrew, these colorful canticas and romanzas abound with stories of sailors seduced by sirens at sea, intrigue, fantastic dreams and the treachery of kings and queens.
Led by Israeli performer Guy Mendilow, the quintet makes this ancient music relevant to today's audiences by recasting it through the lens of modern migrations. Drawn from the places Mendilow and his musicians have called home, from Israel and Brazil to Japan and the United States, the resulting music is a blend of haunting Sephardi, driven with Brazilian street beats and tempered with blues. It is vibrant musical storytelling awash with warm vocal harmonies, intricate textures and spellbinding rhythms.
?The buoyant, life-affirming, sweetly acoustic music of Israeli-born Mendilow incorporates influences from across the Middle East, South America and beyond. It's a folk music of hope and affirmation, sophisticated in its delivery but easily accessible to listeners anywhere. ? ? Chicago Tribune