La Nona Kanta: The Remarkable Life of Flory Jagoda

June 20, 2019

Light House Studio at Vinegar Hill Theatre

220 W. Market Street, Charlottesville VA 22902

Flory Jagoda (Photo by Tom Pich)

Tickets: $10 in advance or $12 at the door. Students 18 and under are free.
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“La Nona Kanta” is presented in collaboration with Light House Studio, Modern Nosh, the United State Holocaust Memorial Museum‘s National Institute for Holocaust Documentation, and the Flory Jagoda Sephardic Music and Culture Fund at Virginia Humanities.

“La Nona Kanta” is a tale of survival and courage. The program is a celebration of the life and work of Flory Altarac Jagoda, the National Heritage Award-winning, Bosnian-born Sephardic singer and composer, with live music by Susan Gaeta, Tina Chancey, and Howard Bass of Sephardic ensemble Trio Sefardi.

Trio Sefardi: Susan Gaeta – vocals/guitar, Tina Chancey – bowed strings, Howard Bass – lute/guitar

“La Nona Kanta” was conceived and developed by the members of Trio Sefardi to honor their mentor, Flory Jagoda, and to continue her legacy of songs and stories from her family and the Bosnian Jewish community she experienced as a child. Susan Gaeta apprenticed with Flory as part of the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program. Howard Bass was Flory’s guitar accompanist for 15 years, and he and Susan toured extensively as part of the Flory Jagoda Trio, performing in concert and at festivals throughout the U.S., in Canada, and in Europe. Tina Chancey performed frequently with Flory for more than twenty years, usually with Susan and Howard.

Trio Sefardi celebrates the musical heritage of the exiled Jews of Spain, the Sephardim, with songs in Ladino about love and courtship, holidays and hope. Trio members Susan Gaeta (vocals/guitar), Tina Chancey (bowed strings), and Howard Bass (guitar/lute) are dedicated to bringing the vibrant past into the living present and to continuing the musical traditions of those who created and sustained Sephardic song traditions over the centuries.  They have performed extensively with their mentor, the Bosnian-born singer/composer and 2002 National Heritage Fellowship honoree Flory Jagoda, and with La Rondinella and the Western Wind.

Flory Jagoda with apprentice Susan Gaeta (in back) and guitarist Howard Bass (in foreground) at the 2012 Richmond Folk Festival (Photo by Pat Jarrett, VFH Staff)

Trio Sefardi has performed at the Kennedy Center, the National Gallery of Art, the Center for Jewish History and the Greek Jewish Festival in New York City, at the Richmond and Washington Folk Festivals, and at smany ynagogues and Jewish Community Centers on the East Coast. The group recently released its third recording, “La Yave d’Espanya.”

Join us to explore archival family photographs, still images, original animation, and interviews of Flory (footage from Flory’s Flame, courtesy of JEMGLO), who shares the true story of how music helped her to escape from Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia as a teenager. Discover how Flory turned the tragic fate of her family and Balkan Sephardic culture into a celebration of five centuries of faith and tradition, giving meaning to the rest of her life and delighting audiences worldwide.

Special thanks to Modern Nosh, Charlottesville’s delicious new downtown deli: