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Music among Portuguese Crypto-Jews, with Judith Cohen
Lecture #51 in Joshua Horowitz’s series, The Promiscuous World of Jewish Music
Belmonte dos meus amores (Belmonte, my love): Music among the Portuguese Crypto-Jews, a presentation by Judith Cohen
Monday, June 14, 11am Pacific Time/2pm New York/ 7pm London/ 8pm Paris/ 9pm Tel Aviv. Please confirm the local time.
Length: 1 – 2 hours
Donations to Josh Horowitz are accepted and appreciated, but not required.
Zoom Meeting ID: 967 8901 9038
There is a Zoom limit of 100 participants. You do not need to register; simply use the sign-in info above.
In the mid-1990s, Judith Cohen heard about the Crypto-Jews in Portuguese villages and was curious about whether they’d preserved any old melodies during the centuries of the Inquisition. For the next quarter of a century, until travel was pandemic-curtailed, she returned many times to the now-fabled Belmonte, and to villages of Portugal’s northeastern corner, as an ethnomusicologist, and, increasingly, as a friend. Most of the older women who were the last generation of “rezadeiras”, prayer-women, have passed away; and many younger people have moved away. We’ll look at music in these communities – from the Inquisition to the recently-declared status of Crypto-Judaism as one of Portugal’s “Seven Wonders of Portugal – Culture Division.”
This project has been made possible in part by a grant from the Alliance for California Traditional Arts, in partnership with the Walter & Elise Haas Fund, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Grants for the Arts, and The California Endowment.