Aviva has many passions and studying and singing Ladino music is one of her greatest.

What is Ladino? 
Ladino, also known as Judeo-Spanish, is the spoken and written language of Jews of Spanish origin. Ladino did not become a specifically Jewish language until after the expulsion from Spain in 1492. The language therefore reflects the grammar and vocabulary of 14th and 15th century Old Spanish and Hebrew. After the expulsion, Sephardic exiles settled in many parts of the world, primarily the territories controlled by the Ottoman Empire where several languages such as Arabic, Turkish and Greek were spoken. Ladino borrowed many words and expressions from these but it kept its Old Spanish essence.

Ladino Music:
There are kantikas (lyric songs) and romanzas (ballads originating from narrative poems). Music had an integral part in Sephardic daily life with love songs, stories of loss and songs for all events in the Jewish lifecycle. It was common for this folk form to be shared from one woman to another and sung in both unison and harmony.

David Navarro PhD.



Aviva has been granted an apprenticeship with Master musician and “American National Treasure” Flory Jagoda through Virginia Folklife.
If you would like to contribute to the study and sharing of this beautiful musical form read on.

Here are a few moments of Flory and Aviva working together in 2012. 






Avre Los Ojos — From the traditional tune entitled Las Malandanzas del Asker, recorded with Jaffa Road on the Juno nominated album Where the Light Gets In.

Bring Love Home – En Esta Klara Noche — Original melody by Jaffa Road. Lyrics inspired by Flory Jagoda and written by Aviva Chernick and David Dominguez Navarro, recorded by Jaffa Road on the Juno nominated album Where the Light Gets In.

Buena Semana — By Flory Jagoda,from a demo recording with Beyond the Pale musicians Eric Stein on mandolin and Aleksander Gajic on violin as well as Max Senitt on percussion and Avital Zemer on guitar.

Esta Montanya D’Enfrente — Learned from Yasmin Levy on her album Romance & Yasmin, recorded with Andrew Downing on bass and Tania Gill on piano on the album In the Sea.

Una Ora En La Ventana — A traditional tune learned from Yasmin Levy from her album Romance & Yasmin, recorded with Jaffa Road on the Juno nominated album Sun Place.