Contemporary

Sarah Aroeste, “Komo Vas a Ser?”

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Alford, MA
Age: 40
Song: “Komo Vas a Ser?”

Sarah Aroeste, inspired by her family’s Sephardic roots in Greece and Macedonia, has spent the last 15 years bringing her contemporary style of original and traditional Ladino music to audiences around the world.

Aroeste writes and sings in Ladino, the Judeo-Spanish dialect that originated by Spanish Jews after their expulsion from Spain in 1492. American born and trained in classical opera at Westminster Choir College and Yale University, Aroeste became drawn to her Sephardic musical past after spending a summer in 1997 performing at the Israel Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv. Since then, Aroeste has worked tirelessly to keep Ladino music alive for a new generation. She recently released her 4th CD, the first-ever all-original Ladino children’s album, Ora de Despertar (Time to Wake Up), inspired by the hope that her children will grow up in a world where the fading Ladino language will still exist.

The song nominated here, “Komo vas a ser?” (How will you be?) is a lullaby Aroeste composed from her children’s record. Writing it while pregnant with her first daughter, Aroeste offers a prayer for an unborn child in today’s world: that he or she will grow to know strength, happiness, kindness and love. It also suggests how to be mindful of the gift of a clean slate, not only when we are born, but for the new year ahead:

Will you spread your wings? Will you fly in the sky? Will you jump through the air, And greet the clouds hi?
Will you smile at the sun? Will you embrace the rain? Will you learn to love, And feel the pain?
T’engrandeseras fuerte? T’engrandeseras alegre? T’engrandeseras buena? T’engrandeseras amistoza?

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Sarah Aroeste, “Komo Vas a Ser?”

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