With its members hailing from Berlin and Tel Aviv, Baladino is a Mediterranean folk band that offers fresh, yet deeply authentic interpretations of traditional Jewish Sephardic and Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) melodies. This music was born from Jews exiled from Spain and Portugal, traveling through the former Ottoman lands, Turkey, Greece, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and Morocco. As such, the group brings together instruments and traditions from the wide span of cultures that fed into this musical language historically, updating it with their own youthful energy and contemporary backgrounds in jazz improvisation and electronica. Embracing the old and the new, members perform on instruments both ancient and modern.
Baladino was conceived by multi-wind instrumentalist Yonnie Dror and string player and producer Thomas Moked. After years of working intensely with Israel’s most respected performers, the two band members were in search of a different musical vocabulary and spent most of their meetings developing concepts and ideas about how to combine tradition and creativity. Enhancing the band’s musical identity is the singer Yael Badash who brought with her an important collection of Ladino songs belonging to her ancestors. To Baladino’s core came Yshai Afterman, an internationally acclaimed world percussionist specializing in Mediterranean percussion, and adventuresome upright bassist Daniel Sapir.