Ladino is a Sephardi Jewish language, also known as Judeo-Espagnol, which is a fusion of Castilian Spanish (15th century) and Hebrew dating from the Spanish Expulsion in 1492, after which Ladino became a vernacular among eastern and Mediterranean Sephardi Jews and constituted a major part of their literary and folksong culture as well as a daily spoken language.

Ladino  remained the primary language for the countless thousands in the Spanish Diaspora, as they moved first to Portugal, and then to the Netherlands, Italy and throughout the Balkans.  Until World War II, it was the common international language of Jews in the countries of the Ottoman Empire. Now it is spoken in only handful Sephardic communities in the Balkans, Israel, and the United States. However around the world there is a resurgence of interest in ladino music.

Not surprisingly Sephardic music has adapted to the cultures of its many adopted homelands. Its rhythms and sounds and themes reflect the varied music of Italy, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, and North Africa.  Still, one constant theme runs through much of the music–the longing for the lost Spanish homeland.  Indeed, the complex music of modern Andalusia reflects its multicultural heritage, long after the expulsion of its Moslems and Jews.