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Gracia is my 3rd album in Ladino (Judeo-Spanish), but this one is unique because it includes original songs I've written-- in Ladino.
Gracia is my 3rd album in Ladino (Judeo-Spanish), but this one is unique because it includes original songs I've written-- in Ladino.
188 backers pledged $13,496 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Thank you for watching and checking out my project!

I’m currently finishing up my third album, Gracia, which is by far my proudest project yet. For those of you familiar with my work, Gracia, is significantly different from my previous two albums, and is also very different from other contemporary Ladino albums out there.  Why?  Because half the album is original music I’ve written, in Ladino.

Very few contemporary artists are writing their own albums in Ladino today.  And as you can see from my video, sadly very few people even know what Ladino is!  My mantra is that “Ladino Rocks.”  Ladino is not a dead language at all; it is a living, breathing, beautiful language seeped in centuries of rich heritage and culture.  By writing new songs in Ladino that will hopefully reach a mainstream audience, I am doing my part to ensure that Ladino does not just get preserved from days of old, but continues to develop and grow today.  Your support will allow this to happen. 

The album’s title, “Gracia,” has several deep meanings for me, thanks being one of them.  The title itself pays homage to one of my heroes, Dona Gracia Mendes, a 15-century Sephardic woman who saved hundreds from the Spanish Inquisition. She is truly the main inspiration for me for this album—I admire her  courage, commitment to preserving culture, and her savvy use of feminism along the way.

To realize my vision for this album, I’ve joined forces with the incredible music producer and composer, Shai Bachar, who has worked with artists as varied as Ishtar Alabina, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Sheila Jordan and Dudu Fisher, and has produced a platinum-record for Israeli superstar Ronit Shachar, wrote the original music for the Israeli Academy of Film best documentary film, Souvenirs (2007), and has scored countless commercials, PBS specials, and movies both in the US and in Israel.

Together with Shai, the songs on Gracia (both the original ones and a few radically reinterpreted classic tunes as well), are a mix of feminist, experimental, raw, rock-beat, energetic, empowering, electronic, retro-chic, Mediterranean-infused and fine-crafted, detailed sounds.  The album includes some of the finest musicians in New York, Israel, Morocco, Uruguay, Spain, Colombia, Russia and more.  I’m also featuring some guest voices and artists such as the incomparable Vanessa Hidary (the Hebrew Mamita), Amos Hoffman and Amir Bresler (Avishai Cohen band), Roni Ivrin and Mark Kakon (Idan Raichel Band), Nir Graf (Noa, Rita, Shalom Hanoch), Oz Noy (Cyndi Lauper, Phoebe Snow, Bill Evans), Samuel Torres (Lila Downs, Arturo Sandoval) and even a cameo by feminist icon, Gloria Steinem. 

In order to make this project come to fruition (with a goal to release it in spring 2012), I need to raise $12,000 in the next 60 days.  This is actually  only a quarter of what I need to ensure the quality that this album deserves.  Between studio rentals in Tel Aviv and New York, world-class musicians (including a 16-piece string orchestra!) mixing and mastering, this is what it takes to create a Do-it-Yourself (DIY) album in today’s music world.  As the music industry changes, independent artists like myself can no longer turn to record labels to help put forth our music.  We are left to self-fund, record, market and distribute our music all on our own.

So that's where Kickstarter comes in.  It’s basic crowd-funding:  give your pledge now, and you will only get charged in 60 days if the complete amount I’m requesting gets raised.  If I don’t raise the full amount in time, you don’t get charged (and the album doesn’t get released). And I don’t have to stop at $12,000.  That’s just my minimum goal to get the CD through mixing and mastering.  But there’s still a long way to go to get the CD packaged and into your hands.  I can always raise more (and in fact, need to…), so just because you think I’m nearing my goal, please don’t let that stop you from being a part. Plus there are rewards for everyone who contributes, at any level!

I’ve already come so far.  You, my friends and fans, have the power to ensure that this music gets out into the music marketplace. I believe so strongly not only in this album (which is by far my best musical expression and product yet), but also in the importance and power of preserving cultural treasures, like Ladino, in new ways that will challenge and inspire. 

Thank you, or in Ladino, munchas gracias, for taking the time to read and watch. And thank you many times over if you contribute even a tiny bit…all of it will make a difference!

Yours,

Sarah

P.S. Please feel free to share this Kickstarter page and video far and wide!  I’ll be launching a new website in the next 60 days, and you can also find updates (including sound-clips!) in the "updates" tab above, on my Facebook Page and on my Twitter

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Receive an mp3 of the title track, Gracia, before it is officially released!

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    Pledge $18 or more About $18

    Receive a digital copy of the full album, Gracia, before the official release!

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $36 or more About $36

    Receive a personalized signed copy of the CD, Gracia, before the official release!

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Receive a personalized signed copy of Gracia, plus a signed copy of one of my first two albums “A la Una: In the Beginning” (2003) or “Puertas” (2007).

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    15 backers
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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Receive the above plus a signature “Ladino Rocks” t-shirt.

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    4 backers
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    Pledge $180 or more About $180

    Receive a signed copy of Gracia, a signature "Ladino Rocks" t-shirt, plus a special collection of Aroeste Family Sephardic recipes, including the famous Aroeste cookie, the Tadlikoo.

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    11 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $360 or more About $360

    Receive the above and get a Skype session with me to bake the famous Aroeste Family Tadlikoo with you!

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    0 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Receive a signed copy of Gracia, a signature "Ladino Rocks" t-shirt, and in a special Skype session with me I'll give you a Ladino music lesson and share with you a couple of my favorite Ladino folk songs and stories behind my original music for Gracia.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Receive a signed copy of Gracia, a signature "Ladino Rocks" t-shirt, a special collection of Aroeste Family Sephardic recipes, and your name (or name of your choice) will get listed in a special thank-you on the CD liner notes of Gracia. You'll always be noted as an esteemed backer for this project.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Receive the above plus 2 VIP tickets to one of our CD-release shows on the road (US or ISRAEL 2012 - 2013), come backstage and meet the band before the concert.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Receive the above plus record your own exclusive track with Sarah Aroeste (a song off of Gracia) added on as a bonus track to your own signature copy of the CD.

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    Pledge $3,600 or more About $3,600

    Receive a signed copy of Gracia, a signature "Ladino Rocks" t-shirt, a special collection of Aroeste Family Sephardic recipes, a listing in the CD liner notes, and a private acoustic performance of our music in your home. As long as you are located within a reasonable distance of New York City, or we are near you on a tour date, we will make it happen. (And if not, if travel is provided we will come to you!)

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    Pledge $7,200 or more About $7,200

    At this point we'd be discussing a showcase performance (depending on location, travel may not be included)...let's talk!

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Funding period

- (54 days)