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Flory Jagoda (born in 1925 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina) is a Jewish American guitarist, composer and singer. She is known for her interpretation of Ladino songs. Her best known composition is probably the Hanukkah song, Ocho kandelikas.


Flory Jagoda arrived in America as a war bride in 1946. She grew up in the Bosnian village of Vlasenica and in Sarajevo. She grew up in the Sephardic tradition in the musical Altaras family.

The Sephardic community of Sarajevo and its surrounding communities were nearly obliterated during World War II.[1] During the war Jagoda was interned on the island of Korčula on the Dalmatian Coast. Her family escaped to Italy where she met and soon married Harry Jagoda, then in the U.S. military after which she immigrated to the United States.

Jagoda's recording Kantikas Di Mi Nona (Songs of My Grandmother) consists of songs her grandmother, a Sephardic folksinger, taught her as a young girl. Following the release of her second recording, Memories of Sarajevo, she recorded La Nona Kanta (The Grandmother Songs), songs she herself wrote for her grandchildren.

Now in her 80's Flory has stated that Arvoliko: The Little Tree, released in 2006, will be her final solo recording. The tree, located in Bosnia, is said to be the only marker of the mass grave of 42 massacred members of the Altaras family. She refers to her four recordings as representing the four musical stages of her life. In 2006 she also released a series of duets with Ramón Tasat, Kantikas de amor i vida: Sephardic Duets.[2]

Ladino is in serious danger of extinction but it is experiencing a minor revival among Sephardic communities, especially in music. Jagoda is a leader in this revival.[3][4]

In 2002 she received a Lifetime Honor by the National Heritage Fellowship and the National Endowment for the Arts for her efforts in passing on the tradition of Ladino music.[5] In 2002, Ankica Petrovic produced a documentary film about Flory and her story. Despite being in her 80's, Flory Jagoda continues to teach, write, and perform concerts.



  • Kantikas Di Mi Mona
  • Memories of Sarajevo
  • La Nona Kanta (1992)
  • Arvoliko (2006)
  • Kantikas de amor i vida: Sephardic Duets (2006) Duets with Ramón Tasat


  • The Key From Spain: The Songs and Stories of Flory Jagoda (2002) A documentary film by Ankica Petrovic


See also

External links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Flory Jagoda. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.