The Light of East Ensemble vocalist Tracey Atin has been singing professionally since her childhood (the Renaissance era), covering everything from Motown to Mozart.
For the last 30 years, she has expressed her love for her Jewish heritage and traditions as a cantorial soloist. A classically trained soprano and actor based in Windsor, Ontario, Tracey is thrilled to work with her wonderful colleagues in The Light of East Ensemble as she shares a passion for the touching, fiery, spiritual, emotional, exotic yet accessible music of the Sephardic Jews.
Regarding the genesis of the “Sephardic Heart” project, Tracey recalls: “About 10 years ago I went to London, England for a master class in Yiddish music. While I was there, exploring my Ashkenazi roots, I attended a class in Sephardic music. It blew me away! Here was this heartfelt Latin-sounding music and it was Jewish! The Carmen (the celebrated femme fatale in Bizet’s opera of the same name) I’ve always yearned to be was here in my own tradition. So, although my grandparents came from a shtetl (little town) near Warsaw, Poland, I am convinced that my ancestors were part of the Jewish communities that flourished in Europe and the Mediterranean Basin after the Jews were expelled in 1492. Their language, called Ladino, is primarily 15th century Spanish influenced by the various cultures of the diaspora. The Sephardic repertoire is full of passionate love songs, poignant lullabies, fascinating history lessons – and admonitions on proper Jewish behaviour! Our selections from the ‘Sephardic Heart’ feel exotic and strangely familiar at the same time. I love them. I hope you will too!”