Aviva Chernick – La Serena – Album cover

"...a great antidote for the current state of the world."
— Midwest Record

Album art – Photo by Paul Wright, Design by CGM // Download Image



"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."
— Ivana Popova, Wholenote Magazine

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Nominated for the 2021
Canadian Folk Music Awards
(World Music Album of the Year)



In December, I travelled to Dubai with La Serena Trio and Maryem Tollar as guests of the Canadian Ambassador to the UAE, Marcy Grossman. We played as part of Chanukah celebrations at Expo, met fabulous people, rolled in the sand and were reminded there is a large world beyond our tiny circle of home. Check out the Insta thread for photos.


Aviva Chernick with La Serena Trio — Joel Schwartz, Justin Gray, Naghmeh Farahmand

As an award-winning singer, and teacher of voice and meditation, Aviva Chernick brings movement, song, and story to each and every offering. 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, Brazil, and most recently, as a guest of the Canadian Ambassador to the UAE at Expo in Dubai. 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.

La Serena Trio with Maryem Tollar

La Serena is brought to life in concert by Aviva on vocals, accompanied by the textural, reverberant guitar of Joel Schwartz, the exotic groove of Justin Gray on bass and bass veena, and the virtuosic Persian hand percussion of Naghmeh Farahmand. The band has grown to include the perfectly partnered vocals of Maryem Tollar.
Maryem Tollar

Maryem Tollar – Photo by Cathy Ord // Download Photo

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:

Remembering Flory Jagoda
Flory Jagoda


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).

Aviva Chernick — live in concert at 918 Bathurst


Sunday, July 10th, 2022 • 7:00PM
Norwood, New York

Norwood Village Green
Concert Series

Aviva and the La Serena quartet with Maryem Tollar, Waleed Abdulhamid, Naghmeh Farahmand and Demetrios Petselakis

Tuesday, August 23rd and
Wednesday, August 24th • 7-9PM
Wednesday, August 24th • 12 - 12:45 PM
Ottawa, Ontario

National Arts Centre
Wooden Terrace Series

Aviva and the La Serena quartet with Maryem Tollar, Waleed Abdulhamid, Naghmeh Farahmand and Demetrios Petselakis

"There is drama and mystery in the awakening and unwinding of each melody."
— Paul Corby, Roots Music Canada


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generously supported by:

Canada Council for the ArtsOntario Arts Council
Photo below by Paul Wright // Download Image
Justin Gray, Aviva Chernick, & Joel Schwartz playing music and feeling festive