Aljama: was the name for Jewish communities in Spain before the repelling. The word comes from the Arabic language and it means the group or gathering.
The music group „Aljama“ has been dedicating itself to the Jewish music since 1994.
They inspire their audience with a historically-cultural trip throughout five centuries.
The performance includes also traditional elements from the Mediterranean as well as the Eastern-European geographic areas.
Chaim Kapuja (vocals, guitar, percussion, composition and arrangements) was born in Israel and grew up in a Sephardic family. The Hebrew and Sephardic music accompanied his entire childhood while he was singing and playing the guitar. Arriving in Tübingen in 1980, he brought this musical heritage along, while further working on and developing the style. In early 1994 finally the music group „Aljama“ came into life. Ever since he has been pursuing the aim to introduce the Jewish-Spanish music, Hebrew folklore and lately also the Chassidic and Yiddish music from eastern Europe to the public.
Sigune Lauffer (Cello, percussion) studied the cello at the conservatory in Trossingen, Germany. She teaches the Cello and participates in several ensembles of classic music. During 1995 Sigune Lauffer started off playing with the „Aljama“, and ever since she finds increasingly deepened appreciation for this music.
The „Aljama“ program consists in the first place of medieval and newer compositions, romances and songs of the Spanish Jewish, performed in the original language called „Ladino“ or „Judezmo“ (ancient-Spanish).
Hebrew Folklore, Chassidic and Yiddish Music of the Eastern-European Jews also represent parts of the Jewish music culture, expressing different moods in life, melancholy and on the other side euphoric zest of living. Most songs included in the program are of traditional nature and have been arranged by Chaim Kapuja.
The group’s concerts are purposely set up and performed unplugged in order to conserve and transfer the authentic sound of vocals and instruments.
Chaim Kapuja also provides the audience with additional information about content and background of the songs during the performance to picture the Jewish lifestyle and let the audience actually take part in the happenings.