Big in Iran: Yasmin Levy, Though Relatively Unknown in Her Native Israel, Is Making Global Waves

On her new powerful album, the Jerusalemite combines her dramatic voice with the string section of a traditional Turkish orchestra – then adds a touch of flamenco.

Yasmin Levy does not actually compose the melodies she writes. They "land" on her, she says, "like a gift from heaven. I can go to the grocery store to buy milk - and come back with milk and a melody." These melodies, which come to her infrequently and number perhaps five per year, generally surface along with a word or a phrase, always in Spanish. Around all these Levy builds her lyrics.