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Musician's Spotlight - Nani Vazana

Nani Vazana
Asaf Lewkowitz
Nani Vazana

Note: The episode plays in two parts. The second half-hour will start when the first part ends or if you skip to the end.

Nani Vazana visits with host John Floridis prior to her appearance at the 2022 Montana Folk Festival in Butte, Montana to talk about her most recent recording of all original songs written in the almost extinct Ladino language of the Sephardic Jews as well as the history with that culture and her connections to it.

Noam “Nani” Vazana is one of the only artists in the world that write & compose new songs in the endangered Ladino language. In her new album ‘Ke Haber’ (What’s New) she captures the spirit of the ancient, matriarchal language and culture and propels it into the 21st century with socially pertinent lyrics, celebrating migration, gender and female empowerment. The soundscape bridges over tradition and modern life, capturing the sounds and smells of the marketplace and fuses them with raw, flamenco like vocals and surprising instrumentations. Soft choral-like trombones embellish mariachi guitars & percussion with glimpses of piano & cello tracks, make this record a magical realistic mosaic. Nani unveils a piece of history we don’t easily find in other mythology & anthropology.

John Floridis, the host and producer of Musician's Spotlight, has been with Montana Public Radio since 1997. He has interviewed over 200 musicians during that time. He is also an independent recording and performing artist in his own right and a former registered music therapist.