Founded in Jan­u­ary 2010, Trio Sefardi is a con­flu­ence of three per­form­ers who share a love of, and wide-ranging expe­ri­ence with Sephardic music, play­ing with La Rondinella, the West­ern Wind, and National Her­itage Fel­low­ship hon­oree Flory Jagoda. Wash­ing­ton Post chief music critic Ann Midgette praised the group’s “lovely and lumi­nous per­for­mance of Sephardic songs” and vocal­ist Susan Gaeta’s voice as “com­pelling” in a review of a recent per­for­mance at the Kennedy Cen­ter with the Post-Classical Ensemble.

Group mem­bers com­bine a respect for tra­di­tion with a cre­ative approach to arrang­ing and scor­ing ded­i­cated to bring­ing the vibrant past into the liv­ing present. Trio Sefardi’s first pub­lic per­for­mance was at the Kennedy Center’s Mil­len­nium Stage in Novem­ber 2010. Since then the group has per­formed at the Wash­ing­ton Folk Fes­ti­val, the Takoma Park Folk Fes­ti­val, the National Gallery of Art, South­ern Methodist Uni­ver­sity, the res­i­dence of the Span­ish Ambas­sador, and many other local venues. In Decem­ber 2011 they were fea­tured per­form­ers in the Wash­ing­ton Rev­els pro­duc­tion, “Andalu­sian Trea­sures,” at Lis­ner Audi­to­rium in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

“Trio Sefardi’s beau­ti­ful har­monies and skilled accom­pa­ni­ment mov­ingly trans­lates the joy and soul of the lost world I remem­ber so well. Along with my own fam­ily, I am proud to call them my musi­cal heirs.” –Flory Jagoda


The Sefardim, the Jews of Spain, lived on the Iber­ian Penin­sula for fif­teen cen­turies. Expelled in 1492 by King Fer­di­nand and Queen Isabella, the Sefardim set­tled in North Africa, the Mid­dle East, France, Italy, and parts of north­ern Europe, but were wel­comed most warmly in the Ottoman Empire. In exile the Sefardim main­tained their lan­guage, Ladino, and their oral cul­ture. Songs were passed down through the gen­er­a­tions, usu­ally by women, and new songs were com­posed about love, loss, daily life, hol­i­days, and history.

Watch Trio Sefardi Video