Praise for la serena
"Chernick’s vocals are pure in expression and unencumbered…
A wonderful collection of meaningful tunes that will leave your heart longing for more.
La Serena, the central piece on the album, is a stunning heartfelt tune that seduces with its pure vocal expression. "
La Serena is primarily a collection of tunes from the Jews of Spain and the Balkans, traditional and original melodies with rich poetry in Judeo‑Spanish (also known as Ladino), as well as some additional treasures in Hebrew .
This album expands on the limited notion of La Serena (the Siren) as a female creature whose voice is intended solely for seduction and destruction. The voice and the music are lush, bold and joyous.
Aviva Chernick is a queer, Jewish artist, a white settler based in Tkaronto (Toronto). Aviva sings in Hebrew, Ladino, and English, and her soulful, soaring vocal sound arises from a training and aesthetic that desires to be unencumbered by any particular style. She was the first Canadian to be awarded a Virginia Folk Life apprenticeship to continue study with ‘American National Treasure’ and Sephardic musician Flory Jagoda whose music she celebrates in La Serena. As a founding member and lead singer of the Canadian World Music group Jaffa Road, and while leading her own ensembles, Aviva has toured across Canada, the United States, Israel and Brazil. Aviva is also trained in the Cantorial Arts and as a meditation teacher through the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. She leads the meditation and singing community in Toronto called neySHEV.
Aviva’s solo and collaborative recordings have garnered nominations and awards including Canadian Folk Music Award (CFMA) nominations for her albums La Serena (2020) and When I Arrived You Were Already There (2012), JUNO nominations for both of Jaffa Road’s albums Where The Light Gets In (2012) and Sun Place (2010), a CFMA Award for Where The Light Gets In and a CFMA nomination for The Huppah Project’s Under the Canopy (2009). Aviva and her co-writers from Jaffa Road won the John Lennon International Songwriting Contest Grand Prize for their rendition of “Lo Yisa Goy”, a prayer for peace. She was co-writer for “Ana El Na” which received an industry nod from OCFF (Ontario Council of Folk Festivals), winning the prestigious “Songs From the Heart” award.
The La Serena Quartet
This is Nona Flory.
Studying the Balkan Ladino tradition with Flory Jagoda was one of the major inspirations for this album. Flory passed away on January 29, 2021.
Read Aviva's tribute to her dear mentor:
ALBUM RELEASE CONCERTS
Monday, September 16, 2019 — 7:30pm
Or Shalom Congregation — London, Ontario
Doors open at 7pm
Thursday, September 19, 2019 — 8pm
918 Bathurst — Toronto, Ontario
Doors open at 7:30pm
Join Aviva and her quartet: Justin Gray (bass and bass veena), Joel Schwartz (electric and resonator guitar), and Naghmeh Farahmand (Persian percussion), with guests Ernie Tollar (winds), Maryem Tollar (vocals).
Thursday, May 20, 2021
Tiferet: Jewish Music Through the Ages
Aviva Chernick and conductor Evan Mitchell join London Symphonia for this unique concert experience that touches on themes of beauty, spirituality and balance through the rich tapestry of music from Jewish origins. The soulful music of Ernest Bloch and Gustav Mahler is woven together with songs by Chernick, inspired by her diverse musical legacies and the teachings of her mentor, Sephardic musician Flory Jagoda.
Livestream + Limited in-person tickets available.