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Trio Sefardi

APAP NYC+ 2021 Showcase

Trio Sefardi photo copyright Michael G. Stewart045


“Trio Sefardi’s beautiful harmonies and skilled accompaniment movingly translates the joy and soul of the lost world I remember so well. Along with my own family, I am proud to call them my musical heirs.”

- Flory Jagoda


“Not only did Trio Sefardi share music, history, and culture from the Sefardic world but they brought their own special Ruach and Koach, spirit and strength. Each member of the trio brought a different facet of energy and insight to the whole experience. They did not just perform, they connected and shared, weaving the life and culture of the Sephardim into our community.”

- Rabbi Michael Birnholz, Temple Beth Shalom, Vero Beach, Florida


“Trio Sefardi gave lovely and luminous performances of [Sephardic] songs. . .Gaeta’s [voice is] compelling.”

- Ann Midgette, Washington Post


TRIO SEFARDI, a northern Virginia-based ensemble, performs traditional songs of the Sephardim, the descendants of Jews exiled from Spain in 1492. Their repertoire draws on the song traditions of Sephardic communities from the former Yugoslavia, Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey, and North Africa, with a special emphasis on traditional and original songs they learned from their mentor, Bosnian-born singer/composer and 2002 National Heritage awardee Flory Jagoda. The trio has performed extensively at prestigious East Coast concert venues, festivals, synagogues, and Jewish community centers since forming in 2010.

Members of the trio are Susan Gaeta, lead vocals, guitar; Tina Chancey, back-up vocals, viola da gamba, Renaissance violin, Pontic lyra, rebec; and Howard Bass, lute, guitar. The members combine Susan’s extensive experience with jazz and folk music, Tina and Howard’s early music background, and the influence and inspiration that Susan and Howard derived from fifteen years of working and touring extensively with Flory Jagoda. Trio Sefardi programs provide audiences with an opportunity to hear songs sung in Judeo-Espanyol (commonly known as Ladino) that have been passed down through the generations as well as newer songs composed by Flory that celebrate the memory of now-lost communities of the Balkans.

The trio has produced three CDs: Sefardic Celebration (2011), Kaminos (2016), and La Yave d’Espanya (2019). In addition to their standard programs that include songs of love and loss, holidays and hope, they offer a multi-media program about their mentor entitled “La Nona Kanta: The Remarkable Life of Flory Jagoda,” which combines filmed interviews with Flory, live music, animation, maps, still images, and spoken narration. “La Nona Kanta” is presented in conjunction with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The museum’s International Outreach Office Jaime Monllor says of this program, “We believe “La Nona Kanta” will give audiences, young and old, Jews and non-Jews alike, a shining example of one person’s triumph over adversity and will lend new meaning to the on-going battles against hatred and prejudice.”


“Trio Sefardi was a delightful collaborator in our Iberian Mystics production at the Kennedy Center. Their set of Sephardic songs was beautifully prepared and performed.”

- Joe Horowitz, Executive Director, PostClassical Ensemble
- Angel Gil-Ordonez, Music Director, PostClassical Ensemble


“Your music and stories filled our hearts with joy, laughter, and longing. Your personal warmth and love for the music came through so palpably; the audience was deeply moved and inspired.”

- Shira Lander, Director, Religious Studies Department, Southern Methodist University


“I first heard Trio Sefardi at a Greek Jewish Festival and fell in love with their rousing, joyous sound. Bravo to these superb musicians and their celebration of life! ”

- Jane Mushabac, author of the award-winning Sephardic novel, His Hundred Years, A Tale