Consuelo Luz’s long-awaited new Sephardic album “Adio” follows in a similar vein to her critically-acclaimed album “Dezeo”. Taking old Sephardic (Judeo/Spanish) Mediterranean and Middle Eastern prayers and ballads, and working again with co-producer Tim Stroh, she imbues the songs with the ancient mystical passion of their roots, while adding contemporary musical elements to bring them into the present. Like “Dezeo”, the music is a multi-textured fusion of East and West, but “Adio” explores the Spanish influences more, with inspired flamenco guitars by virtuoso Gypsy Flamenco artist Chuscales and Santa Fe’s Joaquin Gallegos and powerful harmonies that evoke gypsy choruses. Famed Israeli oud player, Yair Dalal, and Naser Musa, a Jordanian of Palestinian descent, contribute a Middle Eastern feel with their stunning oud improvisations, and master Aztec flute player Mazatl Galindo brings in a sweet and haunting indigenous sound, representing the Sephardic journey to the New World. Bass player Justin Bransford, keyboardist Kevin Zoernig, percussionists Mark Clark and Polly Tapia Ferber, synthesizer sound designer Jim Wilson and galactic cellist Michael Kott complete the magical World Fusion tapestry.
For thousands of years, driven by war and repression, the original Semitic Jews traveled westward from the Holy Land and settled throughout the Middle East, Northern Africa and Southern Europe. In Spain, for over one thousand years, these Sephardic Jews enjoyed a Golden Age until the Spanish Inquisition forced them to flee in 1492, leaving behind a legacy: the basis of Spanish culture, music, language and architecture created by the Jews, the Moors and the Gypsies. Some of these Jewish exiles joined Jewish communities in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, others journeyed West to the New World. They took their music and language, Ladino, with them. The descendants of these migrating Jews can be found in the many Sephardic Jewish communities and Converso (converted) and Crypto Jewish families throughout Latin America and the American Southwest.
“Crypto Jews” is a term used to describe those “hidden” Jews, who, for survival’s sake, needed to hide their heritage. Today a movement is emerging of Crypto Jews, especially in the US Southwest, wanting to explore their Sephardic Jewish background and sometimes integrate it with their Indo-American heritage. This CD "Adio" is a musical reflection of this desire for integration, combining Latin, Middle Eastern, Flamenco and Indigenous elements to evoke a historic journey, a fusion of traditions and the Sephardic soul’s survival and path of transcendence.
Besides Consuelo's creative adaptations of the old melodies, she contributes new lyrics and two original songs to this album. In one of them, "Kabbalah: Torah", she adapts text from the Zohar, the ancient Kabbalistic writings from Medieval Spain, with musical composition contributions from Jim Wilson and Chuscales.
In her concerts and workshops, using sound and music to open the heart and energize a spiritual shift, Consuelo includes her own original music and the musical and spiritual traditions of her ancestors, including Sephardic Jew and Mapuche Indian. The Mapuches believe that all articulated sound affects the farthest reaches of the universe. In the Jewish tradition, every Hebrew letter has a soul and each Hebrew sound energizes a different spiritual frequency.
“Ancient wisdom can help us reclaim our Earth, as we consciously invoke the sacredness of sound, words, music and song, feeling our eternal connection to each other.”
Consuelo Luz has recorded several albums of original and ancient music. Her critically acclaimed album of Sephardic Ladino music, “Dezeo,” has been called “a masterpiece” and she has been compared to Celia Cruz, Sade and Ofrah Haza.
David Steinberg of the Albuquerque Journal calls her “A shining light in the firmament of Sephardic music”. Her music has been heard around the world and her songs have been included in many popular and esteemed international compilations such as Buddha Bar and the Putumayo series. She performs internationally, exploring the transformational power of music and ancient traditions. Her performance venues include:
Parliament of World Religions in Barcelona, Spain
Les Orientales Sacred Music Festival in France
World Expo in Germany
Sephardic Arts Festival in Los Angeles
National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque
San Fernando Cathedral and Temple Beth El in San Antonio, Texas
Consuelo was a cantorial soloist of Sephardic sacred music at Temple Beth Shalom in Santa Fe for fifteen years and sings regularly at Congregation Ha Makom.
“We are made of music. The vibrating filaments of sound are part of the very substance of our being. We exist in all dimensions but our consciousness gets trapped easily in this materialistic third dimension. We are starting to feel our eternal connection to each other and to all beings. Music can help us dance through this dark time of transition and get past the illusion to the Love that permeates and is everything.”