Mesmerizing. I think now I have an idea how a snake must feel under the spell of a snake charmer.
“You need a special kind of voice to do Ladino songs, and Lealiza's got it.”
— Barry Ulrych, Rabbi and Cantor
“Lealiza Lee has Mediterranean honey tones, perfect for Spanish, Turkish, and North African music.”
— Jade Fairfax, Alvorada America
Born of Eastern and Western influences, Hebrew and Arabic songs were part of religious and community life in the Sephardic world, and Ladino songs filled the home.
Ladino songs were maintained by women through the generations, in a language based on pre-1492 Spanish. Most of the Ladino-speaking Jewish community was killed in the Holocaust. Lealiza Lee gives expression to those who were lost and have no one to speak for them. Though the songs come from long ago and far away, their themes of finding your place in love, family, and the world, remain timeless.
Lealiza enjoys performing at intimate house concerts and now shares music by creating engaging online programs. She has performed at the Michigan Festival of Sacred Music, the New York Jewish Music Festival, Wayne State University Cohn-Haddow Center for Judaic Studies. University of Michigan Frankel Center for Judaic Studies Symposium: Sephardic Identities, Limmud, and Carnegie Hall. Her original work in Hebrew, English, and Ladino is published in the Kol Isha Songbook, a publication of the Women Cantors Network. Her original music is inspired by musical motifs of the Sephardic world.