Sephardi legend dies at 97main
The Sephardi musician and composer Flory Jagoda, an important curator of Balkan musical heritages, has died at 97.
Flory received a 2002 National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship for her work in conserving folk music.
Originally from a Sarajevo family of Jews who were expeled from Spain in 1492, she recalled: ‘I lived with my Nonna, my grandmother, who was a singer. She was a Sephardic singer and had four daughters, three sons. They were all musicians, all folk singers. My Nonna sang to my mother and my mother sang to me and today I sing with my children. The music’s been kept alive from generation to generation….
‘I have three recordings and my holiday songs are mostly based on my memories of my family. They were all, all forty-two of them, thrown into a mass grave during World War II. They took all the songs with them. I started writing songs just to remember the life in my little mountain village. My family vanished and they live with me through these songs…. ‘