On Sunday, March 10, the Brasstown Concert Association presents Voice of the Turtle. For 35 years the internationally acclaimed ensemble has been researching, performing and recording the haunting, compelling music of the Sephardim, Jews expelled from their Spanish homeland in 1492. Accompanying themselves on folk and classical instruments from the Mediterranean ad Middle East, as well as contemporary guitar and violin, the trio sings in the large and varied repertoire of languages of the Sephardic diaspora.
“This is the last of our concerts exploring music “From the Black Sea and Beyond,” says BCA Board member Carole Hall. “The ‘turtle’ of the ensemble’s name is actually the turtledove, a symbol of exile, the harbinger of peace and spring. Voice of the Turtle appreciates not only the aesthetic qualities of Sephardic music but also the value of preserving and protecting cultural traditions of all communities away from their country of origin.”
Beginning in 1978, the original four members of Voice of the Turtle Derek Burrows, Lisle Kulbach, Jay Rosenberg and Artistic Director Judith Wachs toured nationally and internationally, including to Jerusalem, Madrid, Hong Kong and Great Britain, appeared on Public Radio, and introduced thousands of people to Judeo-Spanish music. After Judith’s untimely death in 2008, the group became temporarily inactive. In 2011, however, Lisle and Jay were joined by Sephardic singer and composer Ian Pomerantz, and the tradition lives on.
Sponsored in part by a grant from the Cherokee County Arts Council, Voice of the Turtle will perform on Sunday, March 10, at 2:30 p.m. in Keith House on the campus of the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, N.C. No reservations are required; seating is by general admission. Individual tickets are $15 for adults, $7 for students, may be purchased at the door. Light refreshments are served at intermission.