June 17, 2011 Ethnomusicologist Judith R. Cohen to Discuss Judeo-Spanish Music At the Library of Congress on July 26

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer, (202) 707-0022
Public Contact: Peggy Pearlstein (202) 707-3779

Judith R. Cohen, internationally acclaimed performer of Judeo-Spanish and medieval Iberian music and professor of ethnomusicology at York University in Toronto, will deliver a lecture titled “Sephardic – Ladino – Judeo-Spanish Song: Myths and Relative Realities” at the Library of Congress at noon on Tuesday, July 26 in the African and Middle Eastern Division Reading Room, located in Room 220 of the Thomas Jefferson Building at 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C.

With a focus on the historical background of her performance repertoire, Cohen’s lecture is free and open to the public but seating is limited.

Cohen specializes in Judeo-Spanish (Ladino) Sephardic songs, as well as in medieval and traditional music. Her performances and lectures draw on her field work in several Mediterranean countries, including Spain and Portugal, and in various urban immigrant communities. In addition to her many other accomplishments both on and offstage, Cohen is the first recipient of the Alan Lomax Fellowship in Folklife Studies at the Library of Congress’s Kluge Center.

The Lomax Collection is a major collection at the Library’s American Folklife Center, consisting of ethnographic field audio recordings, motion pictures, photographs, manuscripts, correspondence and other materials that represent Lomax’s lifetime of work to document and analyze traditional music, dance, storytelling and other expressive genres that arise from cultural groups in many parts of the world. Lomax (1915-2002) was one of the greatest documenters of traditional culture during the 20th century.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Founded in 1800, the Library seeks to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, which bring to bear the world’s knowledge in almost all of the world’s languages. The African and Middle Eastern Division furthers this mission as the Library’s center for the study of some 78 countries and regions from Southern Africa to the Maghreb and from the Middle East to Central Asia. The Division’s Hebraic Section is one of the world’s foremost centers for the study of Hebrew and Yiddish materials. For more information on the Division and its holdings, visit www.loc.gov/rr/amed/.


PR 11-121
ISSN 0731-3527