Vanessa Paloma is active as a soloist, performance artist and lecturer. She founded and co-directs Flor de Serena, a Judeo-Spanish ensemble. Recent performances were at the International Association for Jewish Studies Conference, UC Berkeley, the San Fernando Mission, the Craft and Folk Art Museum, the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre as part of the World Festival for Sacred Music, at the Southern Theatre in Minneapolis and at Cal State Long Beach’s Daniel Recital Hall. Paloma has toured her most recent solo project throughout California, Sephardic Songs of the Sea, a solo show combining Ladino songs and kabbalistic teachings. She was Artist in Residence at Milken Community High School during 2004-2005 and currently directs “Los Bilbilicos” Sephardic Community Choir of Los Angeles. Paloma has appeared on National television on the Hallmark Channel and was interviewed for a Passover Special by Public Radio International (PRI) that is airing throughout the United States. Paloma has published in OLAM magazine and in Hadassah’s anthology on women’s prayer: Pray Tell. She presented at the Association for Jewish Studies on Ladino music as a women’s parallel to medieval Hebrew mystical poetry and in 2006 on Ladino romances in the Romancero of Latin America and remnants of this as a cultural remain of converso background. Ms. Paloma leads workshops and gives classes on Jewish mysticism, Sephardic culture and women’s religious expression.
In addition to being the Founding Artistic Director of the SYNERGY ensemble and its leader until 2003, Paloma was a soloist with Long Beach Opera, Camerata Pacifica Baroque, Ensemble Nuance (Jerusalem) and the St. Paul Early Music Society among others. Grantors such as the Righteous Persons Foundation, The Maurice Amado Foundation, American Sephardi Federation, the United States State Department, American Friends of the Marranos and the California Council for the Humanities have funded her projects. In 2007 she was invited to Portugal to perform, teach and do research with Crypto-Jewish communities in Porto, Lisbon and Belmonte.
Paloma began her musical studies at a young age at the San Juan Children’s Choir in Puerto Rico and later continued at the Andes University in her native Bogotá, Colombia. After moving to the United States, Paloma studied at Indiana University’s School of Music where she received a Master of Music in Early Music performance, specializing in the music of medieval Spain. She studied Jewish Mysticism in the Old City of Jerusalem and continues her studies with Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburgh.
Paloma’s recent projects are focusing on the connections between women, spirituality and creativity. She is currently writing a book on Ladino music as traditional women’s creative and spiritual expression.
P.O. Box 35455, Los Angeles 90035