Sarah Aroeste is best known for her funky fusion of Spanish, Mediterranean and American musical styles. Inspired by her family's cultural heritage--orginally from Spain and later settling in Salonika, Greece-- the Aroeste sound combines and updates aspects from her unique family background.
Most influenced by the music and language of her Spanish roots, Aroeste grounds her music in Ladino, or castillian Spanish, the language originated by Spanish Jews after their expulsion from Spain in 1492. This medieval form of Spanish was carried by Spanish Jews to the various points where they later settled, primarily along the Mediterranean coast and North Africa. In time, ladino came to absorb bits and pieces of languages all along the Mediterranean coast, including Greek, Turkish, Portuguese, French, Italian and Hebrew.
This sexy pan-Mediterranean language has, unfortunately, faded away and is hardly spoken anymore. But the musical legacy of Spanish Jews highlights the strength of an oral tradition that spans many centuries and unites a linguistic group. Until WWII the vibrant Spanish Jewish communities, particularly throughout the Mediterranean, had been able to perpetuate a significant Hispanic influence throughout the region.
Following the War, Mediterranean Jews emigrated in large numbers to the U.S and Latin America, where their proud communities continue to retain a link, in many ways through music, with their medieval hispanic past.
Sarah Aroeste`s debut Album, A la Una: In the Beginning, presents a funky fusion of traditional ladino folksongs with contemporary rock and blues. Aroeste and her international band represent a new style in Sephardic music, bringing ladino rock to a new audience. Drawing upon her Greek sephardic roots, as well as her American upbringing, Sarah Aroeste combines traditional instruments such as oud, qanun and darbuka with electric guitar, bass and drums. With fusions that range from ladino reggae to rock lullaby, free jazz, dub mix and beyond, A la Una: In the Beginning presents a trendsetting contemporary interpretation of ladino music.