Growing up in the United States, singer-composer Yoni Avi Battat knew very little about his Iraqi-Jewish ancestors and the long history of Iraqi-Jewish musicians, but he was determined to rediscover his musical roots. Battat discusses his journey into Jewish Arabic poetry, researching translations and tracking down rare editions of Arabic books so he could weave his Arab-Jewish ancestry into his music. The journey led to his newly released album Fragments, a collection of original and traditional music surrounding his Iraqi-Jewish identity with lyrics in Arabic, Hebrew, English, and Yiddish. In conversation with musician Joe Alterman, Executive Director of Neranenah, a concert & culture series celebrating Jewish contributions to music and the arts.
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