Hazzan Isaac Azose
Hazzan Azose immersed himself in the unique Rhodesli traditions that are the custom at Ezra Bessaroth. After having served in a stellar fashion at Ezra Bessaroth for nearly 34 years, Hazzan Azose continued full force 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. While there he recorded for posterity a priceless sampling of the unique liturgy that is so beloved to him. His first CD "The Liturgy of Ezra Bessaroth" was released to immediate critical acclaim and stands today as 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 in exactitude the traditions of the (Rhodesli & Turkish) Seattle Sephardic Community. Working to unprecedented standards of perfection in dikduk (grammar), minhag and aesthetics, 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 new contribution to our liturgy.
In 2007, Hazzan Azose produced a Seattle Sephardic Mahzor for the three Festival Holidays. It, too, has been a very welcome and popular addition for the members of our community and others around the world. Today Hazzan Azose remains as devoted as ever to the future of our Sephardic community. He spends his daylight hours patiently passing on our traditions to the leaders of tomorrow. Hazzan Azose currently teaches Sephardic Tefilah at the Seattle Hebrew Academy and Torah Day School. Hazzan Azose recently released a magnificent double cd set of 35 Ladino Romansas and Folksongs. You can preview the album and find out more about Hazzan Azose on his website, isaacazose.com.