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by Monika Fabian

September 11, 2013

Holiday | Latin

¡Shana Tova!: Latin-Jewish Stars

by Monika Fabian  |  September 11, 2013

The Jewish high holidays -- Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) -- began Wednesday, September 4, at sundown around the globe, including Latin America, which is home to some of the oldest and largest Jewish populations in the world. In honor of these important occasions, we've put together an all-embracing playlist of music featuring U.S. Latino and Latin American musicians of Jewish descent as well as pivotal Latin-Jewish collaborations during post-WWII New York City.

The compilation runs the gamut from the traditional Klezmer of Argentine clarinetist Giora Feidman to the tongue-in-cheek fusion rap of the Hip Hop Hoodios. It also includes songs by Uruguayan singer-songwriter Jorge Drexler, Argentine pop-rocker Coti Sorokin and the late North American blues chanteuse Lhasa de Sela.

And then there's legendary salsa musician Larry Harlow. Born Lawrence Ira Kaplan in Brooklyn and nicknamed "El Judío Maravilloso" ("The Marvelous Jew") by his Fania brethren, the producer and multi-instrumentalist has made enormous contributions to salsa and Latin music throughout his career. (He's also credited with reviving Celia Cruz's career.) Harlow's music, as well as the playlist tracks from 1959's Mazel Tov, Mis Amigos, are also symbolic of the fruitful musical cross-pollination and collaboration between New York's Latino and Jewish communities in the 1950s and 1960s.

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