'North London's Los Desterrados tackle the traditional Sephardic repertoire with rather un-English passion and up-tempo energy. Some of these numbers have been performed for more than a millennium, but the urgency of these performances makes the years fall away.' The Wire
The songs themselves may be ancient, but they’re as relevant and powerful as they were 500 years ago, with their tales of love, faith, war and family life. Each member of the band brings their own musical inspirations to the mix, whether it’s jazz, funk, classical, flamenco, heavy metal or folk and the resulting music is an energetic blend of all these influences, plus a healthy dose of London attitude.
In 2009 Los Desterrados were nominated for Best Group in the inaugural Songlines Music Awards, which led to appearances at the Womad, Shambala, Queen's (Belfast), Canterbury and Brighton Sacred Music festivals. Los Des can also be found performing regularly as part of the London’s thriving world music scene at venues which have included The Roundhouse, IndigO2, National Theatre, Notting Hill Arts Club, Wilton’s Music Hall, The Clore Ballroom, St Ethelburga’s, Rich Mix, The Jewish Museum, The Scoop and artsdepot. Outside London, the band has played successful gigs at St George’s (Bristol), National Early Music Centre (York), The Venue and The Carriage Works (Leeds) and Warwick Arts Centre.
Los Desterrados have released four albums, selling over 6,000 CDs to date (including over 1,000 in Turkey) through worldwide distribution. Their third album, 'Miradores', was produced by Simon Edwards, former member of Brit Award-winning 80s band Fairground Attraction.
Los Desterrados were nominated again for a Songlines Music Award in 2014 for their 4th studio album – ‘Dos Amantes’.
“We had a packed house for Los Desterrados, who entertained us with charm and humour as well as great music rooted in the festivals and rites of passage of Jewish life.” Kate Whyman, Director, Brighton World Sacred Music Festival
"Los Desterrados are a Balkan blast! Lively, heart-warming, an eclectic mix of international sounds that brought the audience to their feet." Rosie Turner, Festival Director, Canterbury Festival
Los Desterrados – ‘The Exiles’ – was formed in 2000 as the brainchild of guitarist and oud player Daniel Jonas, with the objective of exploring the largely overlooked Judeo-Spanish musical tradition and bringing ancient Ladino music back to life for modern audiences.
The repertoire is sung mainly in Ladino, a UNESCO-protected language. It is estimated that there are fewer than 250,000 Ladino speakers left.