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Mediterranean Melodies

La Mar Enfortuna reinterprets the music of the Sephardic diaspora

October 20, 2008

Nearly twenty years ago, musicians Oren Bloedow and Jennifer Charles formed Elysian Fields—a rock group whose noir-infused songs are utterly seductive and hypnotic.

Elysian Fields is still going strong, but in 2001 Oren and Jennifer took on a new project—digging up old melodies and lyrics from the Sephardic world of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and making them their own. The project is called La Mar Enfortuna (“The Unfortunate Sea”). Collaborating with jazz and classical Middle Eastern musicians, they’ve put out two records on John Zorn’s Tzadik label, a self-titled debut album in 2001 and Conviviencia last year.

Oren Bloedow spoke to Nextbook about this musical adventure.

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Sara Ivry is the host of Vox Tablet, Tablet Magazine’s weekly podcast. Follow her on Twitter @saraivry.

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