"Ofri Eliaz interprets this music freely and expressively. Giving the beautiful ancient melodies new life" (Millennium Stage)
"Ofri Eliaz gives Ladino another vision, almost as if it were a perspective from above. Eliaz designs (with the help of her musical producer Shai Bachar) Mediterranean flowing music; music which is both eastern and cosmopolitan, like a haute couture designer who makes the optimal ethnic dress, to 12 Ladino songs. The result is enchanting and intriguing. The Ladino receives a surprising twist; the title song has a Baroque quality. Fresh and interesting." (Amos Oren, Yedioth Ahronoth, 30-1-05)
"Singer with voice of honey" ( Haim Acherim, December-04 )
WHAT IS LADINO MUSIC? In 1492 the Jews were expelled from Spain. They were forced to leave without their belongings, but they carried with them their heritage, their language (a dialect of Spanish called Ladino) and their love of music to their new homes. For centuries, the heartfelt and melodic music of the Sephardic Jews accompanied them all in the nations they settled, from North Africa to Balkans to Turkey, Greece, Italy and America to present-day in Israel. Those diverse influences are evidenced in their culture and music.
_____________________________________________________ Ofri Eliaz was born in Afula, Israel and spent her early childhood in the north of Israel. At age ten moved with her family to Jerusalem where she spent most of her teenage years in the High School of Arts. During her army service performed as a singer accompanied by a guitar player. After her military service, spent a year at Rimon School for Contemporary Music in Ramat Hasharon. In 1997 moved to N.Y.C to study music and music therapy. She received her first degree in Music Jazz Performance from Mannes School of Music and her masters degree in music therapy from New York University. During these years performed all over the U.S with a program of Ladino and Israeli songs. In 2003 came back to Israel and released her first CD of Ladino songs: "Ya salio de la mar". She appeared on several T.V and radio shows. She continues to both perform and engaged in music therapy. These days she is collecting materials for her next album of Hebrew songs.
Gave performances in New York City at: The Knitting Factory, Makor, The Bitter End , Izzy bar, Sephardic House, Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn College and The Center for Jewish History. Other performances include: Kennedy Center in Washington D.C; The Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, N.C; The Museum of Fine Art in Philadelphia ; The Field museum in Chicago ; The International Jewish festival in Long Island, New York; Erie Art Museum, PA ; The National Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia, PA; Israel Culture and Film Festival, Bergen County, N.J; The Israeli Consulate Independence Day event in Atlanta, and more. Performed with EMI recording artists Alabina, featuring Ishtar and the Los Ninos De Sara.
In 2003 received a grant as an "Excellent Artist" from the Ministry of Absorption. Participated in June 2004 in the Festiladino contest at the Jerusalem Theater in Jerusalem. The event took place as part of the annual Israel Festival.
In November 2004 released CD of Ladino songs: " Ya salio de la mar" (distributed by N.M.C. Records). The musicians are some of the top players in N.Y.C, such as: Frank London, Steve Gorn, Omar Faruk Tekbilek , Alex Skolnick, John La Barbera , Joe Deninzon, George Mgrdichian ,Emmanuel Mann, Shai Bachar, Benny Koonyevsky adn others.
Graduated from New York University in September 2003 and received MA in Music Therapy. Teachers in the program include some of the best therapists in the field, such as: Clive Robbins ,Kenneth Aigen, Diane Austin, Alan Turry and Lisa Sokolov.
Studied Music at the New School University, New York City in the years 1997 to 2000. Received BFA in music; specializing in vocal jazz performance.
Studied jazz and popular music at the Rimon School of Music at Ramat Hasharon. Teachers include: Gili Dor, Ilan Mochiach, Amikam Kimelman, and others. During army service toured Israel as a singer, accompanied by a guitarist. The musical director was Gili Dor. Graduated from the High School for Arts in Jerusalem, majoring in theater.