Rhodesli Melodies & Liturgy
Hazzan Isaac Azose immersed himself in the unique Rhodesli traditions that are the custom at Ezra Bessaroth. After serving Ezra Bessaroth for nearly 34 years, Hazzan Azose continued his life's work of preserving the distinctive melodies and liturgy of the Rhodesli tradition.
In 1999, Hazzan Azose stepped into the recording studio at the urging of Ezra Bessaroth member Steven Baral. His first CD, The Liturgy of Ezra Bessaroth, is one of the best recorded examples of the Mediterranean Sephardic tradition. Not one to rest on his laurels, Hazzan Azose initiated what would become an exhausting, but satisfying, effort to create a new siddur that would reflect the traditions of the Rhodesli and Turkish Seattle Sephardic community. The Seattle Sephardic Siddur (Zehut Yosef) was completed in 2002 and overnight became the standard prayer book for both Seattle Sephardic congregations. Individuals and synagogues worldwide have sought out this magnificent contribution to our liturgy.
In 2007, Hazzan Azose produced a Seattle Sephardic Mahzor for the three festivals (Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot). It, too, has been a welcome and popular addition for the members of our community and others around the world. Today, Hazzan Azose remains devoted to the future of the Sephardic community, spending his days patiently passing on our traditions to the leaders of tomorrow. Hazzan Azose currently teaches Sephardic tefillah at the Seattle Hebrew Academy and Torah Day School. Hazzan Azose recently released a double CD of 35 Ladino romansas and folk songs. Learn more about his work and music at isaacazose.com — and sample it below.