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Performance And Reviews


Brazilian singer and composer of Jewish extraction, Fortuna has a solid background in music, dance and theatrical arts. For several years she performed with different artists in Brazil and abroad, singing Brazilian popular music. A gifted composer, she created a whole repertoire of songs with poet Paulo Leminski.

It was during a tour in Israel in 1991 that she heard Sephardic music for the first time. This fortunate encounter would be a turning point in her life. "It a was a magic moment’", she says. "I felt all the beauty, sweetness and wisdom contained in these songs. It resulted in a complete turnaround in my career and also in a deeper contact with Jewish culture, religion and customs".

Since then Fortuna started to do intensive research, bringing back to life many of those almost-forgotten medieval songs. She has since presented them in many successful performances in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and the US, and has launched five cds - La Prima Vez, Cantigas, Mediterraneo, Mazal and in 2001, Caelestia. Together, they have sold more than 100,000 copies in Brazil, UK, Argentina, Spain, Israel, Taiwan and the USA. Her last cd Caelestia, presents Fortuna singing with a choir of Benedictine Monks, songs in Hebrew, Ladino and Latin from both the Jewish and Christian liturgy. This new project has met with great reception by press and public and has resulted in many packed shows around Brazil.

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Encontros, o sexto CD da carreira de Fortuna, é lançado em espetáculo inédito no Theatro Municipal, dia 17 de junho, com as participações do Coro de Monges Beneditinos do Mosteiro de São Bento de São Paulo e do Coro do Projeto Guri. Este novo projeto tem no repertório a peça Bartok para Crianças, versão livre sobre temas de Children at play, do compositor húngaro Béla Bartók (1881-1945), além de temas clássicos e tradicionais da Idade Média com letras em Latim, Hebraico e Ladino. Fortuna empreende um trabalho de resgate da cultura e tradições do cancioneiro ladino – idioma dos judeus provenientes de Sefarad. São canções que falam das mudanças históricas, da vida errante, das festas, das dores e alegrias dos povos. Em paralelo, sua busca pela espiritualidade levou-a a estabelecer um diálogo musical e inter-religioso com os Monges Beneditinos do Mosteiro de São Bento, cuja presença em seu trabalho passou a ser vital. E por fim, há a valiosa participação do coro do Projeto Guri que é formado por crianças de várias regiões da cidade e do Estado, cuja oportunidade de integrar um coro e estudar música trouxe-lhes auto-estima e possibilidade de participação social.

1. Avinu Malkeinu
6.Bam Bam Tiribam
7-Tam Tam Tirarira
8-Nana Nanita
11-Hine Ma Tov
12.Canticum Novum
Catalog # mcd181 CD $15.99
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CÆLESTIA reúne canções liturgicas sefaraditas e cantos gregorianos, interpretados por Fortuna e os Monges Beneditinos do Mosteiro de São Bento de So Paulo. Foi gravado nos est~dios da TV Cultura e no Mosteiro de São Bento de São Paulo. Traz depoimentos de D. Luiz César de Proen(;a-Abade do Mosteiro de S.Bento e do Rabino Henry Sobel sobre a import&ncia do diálogo inter-religioso.

CÆLESTIA is a selection of songs from the Sephardic lithurgy and Gregorian Chants, interpreted by Fortuna and a choir of Benedictine Monks from the São Bento Monastery in São Paulo, Brazil. It was recorded at the TV Cultura studios and at the São Bento Monastery. This DVD is enriched with commentaries by D. Luiz Cesar de Proen£a, the Monastery Abbot, and by Rabbi Henry Sobel, on the importance of communication and understanding between different religions.

1-ALLELUIA PSALITTE (Antifona V Modo) - 1'06"
2-ANI LE DODI (Cántico dos Cánticos 6.3 - Musicado pot Fortuna) - 2'44"
3-REGINA CAELLI (Antifona VI Modo) - 0'37"
4-LA CONSAGRACION DE MOYSES (Romance Marroquino de tema biblico) -4'10"
5-MEDITERRANEAN HALLELUYA (Música de Fortuna) - 1'54"
6-BUENA SEMANA (Canção liturgica) - 3'44"
7-HA MAVDIL (Liturgia Judaica) - 2'15"
8-BENDIGAMOS AL ALTISSIMO (Liturgia Sefaradi) - 309"
9-YEDEI RASHIM (Poema liturgico de Yehuda Ha-Levy) - 3'33"
10-LUZ AZUL (Musica de Fortuna) - 3'21"
11-NANA DE SALONIKA (Canto de ninar da Grecia) - 205"
12-ADON OLAM (Liturgia Judaica) - 3'34"
13-SHALOM ALEICHEM (Cançãtradicional Judaica) - 3'20"
14-MODE ANI (Liturgia Judaica) - 3'02"
16-AVE MARIA - 0'47"
18-SALVE REGINA- 1'25"
20-RORATE CÆLLI - (I Modo) - 4'20"
22-HALELU HALELUYA (Musica de Fortuna) - 3'11"

Catalog # mcd230 DVD $19.99
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A selection of songs from the Sephardic lithurgy and Gregorian Chants, interpreted by Fortuna and a choir of Benedictine Monks from the São Bento Monastery in São Paulo Brazil.

In Cælestia, Fortuna celebrates new partnership with Benedictine Monks

Following the success of Mazal , Fortuna presents her newest album, now featuring the Benedictine Monks Choir of the Saint Benedict Monastery of São Paulo on all tracks. On May 19" took place the release concert, on São Paulo Municipal Theathre.

The album features a blend of Gregorian chants and Jewish songs, besides Fortuna's own creations, which she classifies as "universal". Selected from her previous 4 albums, all 13 tracks are performed by Fortuna and the monks.Cælestia, meaning celestial in latin, continues the work begun on Mazal, when the singer first performed with the Benedictine Monks.

"During recording, each time I heard a chant from them, it increased my sureness that we needed to strengthen the dialogue and the bridge between the different cultures. ethnics and beliefs involved. I realized that music was the most expressive, most harmonic and the most accessible means to make it possible", says Fortuna, calling her work "New World".

According to Don Isidoro, Saint Benedict's Monastery Abbot, "by the art of gathering sounds in a music, one becomes able to express the harmony between Heaven and Earth, and communicate peace. Cælestia is a testimony of a quest and a finding. The search for peace is reflected on the ancient, although unfamiliar, sonority of the sacred chant. It's the celestial harmony that, in the diversity of language and sound, pray to the Eternal.

To rabbi Henry Sobel, president of São Paulo's Israeli Congregation's rabbi council, the resulting dialogue of the meeting between Fortuna and the Benedictine monks sees to "a world dreamt by all of us: a place without prejudice."

Iacov Hillel, Fortuna's partner since 1992, signs the Artistic Direction. The Benedictine choir is conducted by Don Rocco Fraioli, who also conducts the monks rehearsal.

Fortuna's work with the Benedictine monks won't stop atCælestia. She also produced Cantus Selecti, featuring the Benedictine choir, conducted by Don Rocco, and presenting performances for some of the most important pieces of Christian liturgy.


If you passed up on the "Chant" phenomenon a few years ago because it wasn't, well, Jewish enough, you can now make up for it. Not content to simply collect her favorite songs and repackage them as a "best of" anthology, Brazil's Fortuna has used her repertoire to bridge an ecumenical divide.

She has chosen those songs from her Sephardic folk and liturgical catalog that speak to both Jewish and Christian ideologies. Then she selected, as her backup group, a choir of Benedictine monks from the Sao Bento Monastery in her hometown, Sao Paulo. Intertwining her rich, plush vocals with the haunting harmonies of the chorus, Fortuna creates a sound on Caelestia that is truly celestial, echoing the music of the spheres. Weaving together on Ladino prayers, Mediterranean melodies, Sephardi love songs, Latin Psalms, and even a Greek lullaby, these stellar voices transcend boundaries of time, space, and spirit. This music is, in all senses, divine.
Best wishes for a sweet 5762,
Paul Wieder


1. Alleluia Psallite
2. Buena Semana
3. Ha Mavdil
4. Mediterranean Haleluya
5. Regina Cæli
6. Ani Le Dodi
7. Yedei Rashim 8. La Consagración de Mosé
9. Bendigamos al Altissimo
10. Halelu Haleluya
11. Rorate Cæli
12. Nana de Salonika
13. Luz Azul

CD $15.99 - catalog # (fcd-104)

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1. Shalom Aleichem (4:00)
2. Era Oscuro (2:47)
3. Sefarad (4:00)
4. Yo M'enamori (4:00)
5. Mas Vale Trocar (2:38)
6. Morenika (3:10)
7. Yedei Rashim (3:28)
8. Haleluya (3:00)
9. Una Matika de Ruda (2:51)
10. Mazal (2:44)
11. Avram Avinu (3:37)
12. Luz Azul (3:17)

"MAZAL" in Hebrew means "Luck"! In her fourth album, Fortuna dwells deeper into research and comprehension of her roots achieving, through art, a communion between diverse cultures. In the turn of the millenium she seeks the harmony and convergence of the forces of creation to increase Man's wellbeing in his passage through Earth.

MAZAL was recorded live at the Benedictine Monastery of São Geraldo in São Paulo, Brazil. The ethereal sound derives from the conjunction of the acoustic instruments, the natural reverbs of the chapel, the subtle participation of Benedictine Monks at the voice, lyrics and delicate arrangements by Fortuna.

CD $14.99 - catalog # (fcd-103)

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The union of Spanish feeling, Moorish rythm and Jewish soul
originated a set of songs that form the Ladino repertoire, one of
the most beautiful and fascinating of medieval Europe. However,
the Ladino repertoire is not limited to the culture that created it.
In the words of director Iacov Hillel , "These songs convey the
different feelings of varied cultures, for they are the fruit of a
unique harmonic period of peaceful interaction among the three
peoples that created them -- Jews, Christians and Muslims. This
is why the emotion contained in this music can touch all audiences..


1. She Hecheianu (6:44)
2. Adon Olam (3:35)
3. Modé Ani (3:33)
4. Diego León (3:57)
5. Por La Tu Puerta (2:55)
6. Hija Mia Te Kero Dar
7. Peskado Frito (0:56)
8. Sara La Preta (0:31)
9. Mi Suegra (2:29)
10. La Kapará (1:36)
11. A Papá y a mamá (2:20)
12. Bendigamos al Altíssimo (2:55)
13. Adon ha slicbot (2:56)
14. Lechá dodi (4:12)
15. Orot (4:38)
16. Im Ein Ani Li (3:51)
17. Nana De Salonica (1:41)

CD $14.99 - catalog # (fcd-100)

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In 1991 Fortuna made a tour around Israel with her own band, and it
was in Jerusalem, in a visit to the Beit Hatefutsot (Diaspora Museum),
that for the first time she heard a song in Ladino. "It was a magical
moment", she says. "I felt all the beauty, the sweetness and the
wisdom contained in that song. From then on, Sephardic music led
me not only to a radical change in my artistic career but also to a
deeper contact with the Jewish culture, religion and costumes.

Since then Fortuna began doing intensive research to discover more
of these medieval, almost forgotten songs. With the help of the
Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which shared with her its rich
material, Fortuna started interviewing elderly Sephardic Jews in
New York, Paris and São Paulo. With a tape recorder in hand, she
registered many traditional songs which mothers sang to nurse their
children and young girls to attract their lovers.

La Prima Vez

1. Scalerica De Oro

2. Daile A Cenar
3. La Novia Destrenza El Pelo
4. No Me Puso Mi Madre Cosa

5. Ashuar Nuevo
6. Durme Mi Alma Donzeya
7. Avre Tu Puerta Cerrada
8. La Prima Vez
9. La Serena
10. Mes De Mayo
11.Buena Semana
12. Ha Mavdil
13. Kol Ha Neshama Tehalel'ya
14. Ani Le Dodi Ve Dodi Li
15. Chichi Bunichi
16. Durme Durme
17. Tres Hermanikas
18. A La Una Yo Nasi
19. Una Tarde De Varano
20. Ken Supiesse Y Entendiesse
21. Avraham Avinu

CD $14.99 - catalog # (fcd-101) Cassette $9.99-catalog # (fcs-101

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She thus became proficient in Ladino, a language that was taken by the Spanish Jews to several parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, after they were ousted from Spain, in 1492. In the new countries the Jews continued to speak Ladino - also called Judezmo or Djudeo-Espanyol - a language which differed from the Spanish or Castillan spoken by the Christians at that time in that it includes Hebrew elements and some vocabulary from the local languages.

This rich and varied culture is the basis of the Ladino repertoire, a musical treasure that never ceased to grow in the new places where the Sephardic Jews settled. These songs express not only these historical changes but also the entire life-cycle of that people, with their moments of joy, sorrow and love, its festivities and celebrations.


1. La Consagración De Moises
2. Halelu'ya
3. Ay Madre!
4. Bre Sarila, Bre
5. Joli Joli
6. Rahel
7. Shemá
8. La Novia Del Conde De Alba
9. Yo Hanino Tu Hanina
10. A La Nana Y A La Buba
11. Desde Hoy La Mi Madre
12. Dame Tu Fuerza
13. Me Vaya Kappará
14. Barminán

CD $14.99 - catalog # (fcd-102)

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Performance and Record Reviews

"Mediterranean", the new CD by Brazilian singer Fortuna, is a spiritual plunge into the Jewish music of the 15th and 16th centuries."
("Boa Forma" magazine, Sao Paulo - March 1997)

"Fortuna's work has been widely appreciated both by the critics and by audiences in many countries. 'Mediterranean', her latest record, is a selection of songs that express love, desire and hope. Their common approach is a feminine view of love in its many different forms and a warm sensuality which cannot fail to remind us of the hot Mediterranean climate to which the title refers.
("Concerto"magazine, Sao Paulo - March 1997)

"Besides traditional songs, Fortuna also sings melodies of her own. She has composed music for a poem by the medieval sephardic scholar Yehuda ha-levy and even for well-known Biblical passages such as the "Shems" and "Halleluja".
(Folha de S. Paulo - March 20, 1997)

'Mediterranean', her third record, shows Fortuna in her highest form, pursuing her research on the traditional songs of the Sephardim, the Spanish Jews.
(Revista Audio - Sao Paulo - February 1997)

"There are songs from Spain, Morocco and Turkey, but the arrangements have a distinctly modern flavor. Fortuna has also composed her own music for a poem by Yehuda ha-levy, one of the greatest personalities of the medieval Sephardic Jewish community.
(Joao Batista Natali - Folha de S. Paulo - April 15, 1997)

"Fortuna has adopted a clean and classical approach to her work. The arrangements are made for piano, guitar, Spanish guitar, accordion and winds, while her voice travels over fourteen songs with unfailing lightness and precision.
(Luiz Antonio Giron, Gazefa Mercantil - Sao Paulo, April 4, 1997)

"All the richness of Ladino music, a fertile mixture of Spanish, Arabian, Gypsy and Jewish melodies and rhythms, joyfully reveals itself to US, both in music composed for festivities and religious rituals and in romantic and popular songs sung by the Sephardic Jews of old as they went about their daily life."
(Revisfa Planeta - Sao Paulo - Nr. 7, July 1996)

"The remarkable quality of the instrumental score, especially in Brazil, a country that excels in its musical arrangements, has also contribute to win this record a far-reaching fame that goes much beyond the Jewish communities. Audiences at first seem rather amazed, but they soon catch on and become truly enthusiastic, discovering something they perceives as "'an entire musical and cultural universe"'.
(Linea Directa con Israel- Jenlsalem - Nr 7, July 1996)

Cantigas, singer Fortuna "Presenting variations in mood that range from religious reverence to playful satire and the joys of love, these seventeen songs show the successful union of Fortuna's clear and limpid voice and a sober instrumental background. The final result is a flawless record that deserves to be widely known and appreciated.
(Revisfa Planeta, Sao Paulo - Nr. 9, September 1995)

"Her unique research into the Ladino musical treasure-trove reveals all the beauty of the music created by the medieval Spanish Jews. Fortuna has undoubtedly matured as an interpreter. She sings flawlessly and shows that she has truly immersed herself in the spirit of that golden epoch while at the same time retaining a modern quality of her own.
(O Globo, Rio de Janeiro - August 2, 1994)

"It's also worth mentioning Fortuna's rich traditional costumes. Her black, white, red and wine-colored outfits added much beauty to the visual aspect of her show. With her sweet melodious voice, she soon held the audience captive. Her presence on stage had a very special charm, and she did not limit herself to singing but also included some expressive acting on stage. Her performance reveals much careful attention to detail and a thorough study of the scenic arts."
(El Universal -Caracas July 4, 1995)

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Event Schedule

Check out Fortuna's web site for more information and performance schedules:

Some Additional Sephardic And Related Artists Listed At Harmony Ridge Music

  1. Judy Frankel
  2. Consuelo Luz
  3. Haris Alexiou
  4. Savina Yannatou
  5. Pharoah's Daughter
  6. Rita
  7. Ofra Haza
  8. Chava Alberstein
  9. Achinoam Nini
  10. Rita Glassman

Women Of Spirit CD

These songs by extraordinary artists of soul and spirit will inspire and uplift you.

This collection features Capercaillie with Sibeba (Scotland/Guinea),Tarika (Madagascar),Ani DiFranco (USA), Susana Baca (Peru), Cassandra Wilson (USA),Toshi Reagon and Bernice Johnson Reagon (USA), Fortuna (Brazil), Rasha (Sudan), Sibongile Khumalo (South Africa), Ima Galguen (Spain), Coco Mbassi (Cameroon), Savina Yannatou (Greece). Groupe Oyiwan (France).

CD--cat#put 137-2 $15.98////Cassette $10.98
To Order See Below:

Jewish Odyssey CD

Song and Artist Listing:

  1. Chava Alberstein & the Klezmatics Di Goldene Pave
  2. The Burning Bush Rad Halaila
  3. KlezRoym Fel Shara
  4. Zohar Shabbat Medley
  5. Ofra Haza Rachamim
  6. Uzca Kona Hora
  7. The Klezmer Conservatory Band Meron Nign
  8. Janet & Jak Esim Ija Mia Mi Kerida
  9. Consuelo Luz Las Estreyas
  10. Finjan Dancing on Water
  11. Fortuna Shalom Aleichem
CD--cat#put 182-2 $15.98////Cassette $10.98
To Order See Below:
See Below for Ordering Information:

TITLE CD cat.# Price Cass cat.# Price
Cælestia fcd-104 $15.99 NA NA
Mazal fcd-103 $14.99 NA NA
Cantigas fcd-100 $14.99 NA NA
La Prima Vez fcd-101 $14.99 fcs-101 $9.99
Mediterrâneo fcd-102 $14.99 NA NA
Women Of Spirit put137-2 $15.98 put147-4 $10.98
Jewish Odyssey put182-2 $15.98 put182-2 $10.98

To Place an order, note Title and cat. #
select ORDER FORM:
Or Call Toll Free: (800) 611-4698

Harmony Ridge Music
P.O. Box 995 El Granada, California 94018
or e-mail:

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