Azafea : a Spanish odyssey into the heart of Sefardi music

A radio broadcast of the European Institute of Jewish Music, hosted by Hervé Roten


In the 11th century, near Toledo, the invention of the azafea by the astronomer Azarchel (1029 - 1087) (Al-Zarqali by his Arabic name] changed greatly the perception of the world. The azafea allows to calculate the position of the stars under any latitude. This instrument of navigation will make Spain adventure itself beyond seas and oceans.

Nearly 500 years later, these maritime routes will be taken by thousands of Jews from the Iberian Peninsula, forced to leave Spain and Portugal after the expulsion decrees of 1492 and 1497. Many people take thus a one way trip, towards the Ottoman Empire, others towards Holland and its Atlantic colonies, and some towards North Africa. This is how Sefardi culture, its language, Judeo-Spanish, its food recipes and music, born in the Spanish golden age, spreaded out.

Sefardi music enriches itself among the various countries where Jews settled down. From Spain, it keeps the melodies of several songs. From Turkey, it borrows modes and musical themes. In South America, it becomes languorous and swaying. In Israel, it gets mixed with popular songs.

During this radio broadcast, double bass player Rémy Yulzari will make us discover this wonderful musical journey in the heart of Sefardi culture.
A creative odyssey performed by today’s great musicians : Nadav Lev (guitar), Rémy Yulzari (double bass), Frank London (trumpet) and John Hadfield (percussion). And the occasion to discover the CD from the « Discovery » collection published by the EIJM.

Purchase the CD Azafea - CD Vol.2, Ed.IEMJ, on our online shop

JPEG - 10.2 kb
Azafea : une odyssée espagnole au coeur de la musique séfarade - Hervé Roten (Judaïques FM 94.8)

Officer of the Ordre of Arts and letters, PhD in musicology at Paris University Sorbonne, prize-winning graduate from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, Hervé Roten is the director of the European Institute for Jewish Music since its creation in 2006.
Ethnomusicologist, he quickly developed an interest in the safeguard and digitization of archives, subjects he taught for several years in Reims and Marne-La-Vallée universities.
Author of many articles, books and recordings related to Jewish music, producer of radio programs, Hervé Roten is recognized today as one of the best specialists of Jewish music in the world.

Listen to

In case the music player doesn't open, you must allow the opening of pop-ups for the website in your browser settings.

  • Azafea : une odyssée espagnole au coeur de la musique séfarade - Hervé Roten (Judaïques FM 94.8)

Lire tout

You may also like

Release of eight new musical scores by Itaï Daniel at the EIJM publishing house

The EIJM publishing house releases eight new instrumental or vocal scores by Itaï Daniel, a composer inspired by Judaism and its (…)

Ani Maamin - Ben Zion Shenker

Discover the audio collections of the EIJM

Release of a new musical score by Serge Kaufmann: Katouna, for clarinette and cello

Release of the musical score Katouna by Serge Kaufman, at the EIJM’s editions

Training of Music Teachers of Paris - 2011

The CFMJ continues its educational action by organising another training day for music teachers in Paris. In the program : a large overview on (…)

The CFMJ at the Festival of Jewish Culture in Paris

Conferences, round table and concerts : find all the events co-organized by the CFMJ at the Festival of Jewish Culture in Paris, on June 29 and (…)