Ladino is the language of the Jews who lived in Spain for 1500 years until their expulsion in 1492 by Isabella and Ferdinand. After that traumatic separation, the Jews migrated to various areas, and the language incorporated words from countries all across the Ottoman Empire. Yasmin Levy's father was a Sephardic Jew from Turkey, and Ladino was spoken by her parents. She learned to sing and loved the repertoire from an early age, but her incorporation of Flamenco into her interpretations has stirred controversy among purists. However, Yasmin is a charismatic and passionate advocate for the language and music, and feels that the best way she can help her beloved Ladino to survive is to make the songs more accessable.
When I was a kid going to a Jewish summer camp, we all had to learn a Ladino song, "Los Bilbilicos" (The Nightingales). It was a stately song, and very Spanish sounding to me. More recently, another Ladino treasure that has become popular among the cognicenti is "El Rey de Francia," a magnificent song worth searching out....but personally, I can't imagine a Flamenco treatment of it!