By Karen Blythe
Attention flamenco fusion fans. The Off de la Latina Theatre in the La Latina – Lavapies district of Madrid is holding a series of flamenco jazz concerts “Autores de Flamenco Jazz” (Authors of Flamenco Jazz) from 25 September through 11 December. Performers, who are among the most outstanding of contemporary flamenco fusion artists, are as follows:
Sept 25: Guillermo McGill – South Quartet
Oct 2: Pablo Rubén Maldonado
Oct 9: Enrique “Enriquito” Rodriguez
Oct 16: Jorge Pardo
Oct 23: Julián Sanchez, Javier Galiana and Sonia Sanchez
Nov 6: Juan José “Paquete” Suarez and Pablo M. Caminero
Nov 13: Josemi Carmona and Javier Colina
Nov 20: Rycardo Moreno – Lebrija Sound Project
Dec 4: Alain Perez and Nino de los Reyes
Dec 11: Marc Miralta – Flamenco Quartet
Authors of Flamenco Jazz tickets range from €10 to €14 at the ticket window or the web oficial de Off de La Latina. Curtain time for all the concerts is at 9:30 PM.
Off de La Latina: Calle Mancebos 4, 28005 Madrid
The great percussionist Guillermo McGill of Uruguayan origins has played a crucial role in the historic fusion between jazz and flamenco and has cut several records with fellow musicians of the genre. This giant of flamenco fusion has been awarded five first prizes of the Concurso Nacional de Jazz (National Jazz Contest for young artists) before he was 28 years old and a Best Composer award of the Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (SGAE).
McGill is no stranger to the Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center in New York, the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, the Marinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, the Teatro Real in Madrid, or the Palais des Congrès in Paris.
He is a regular performer at the most prestigious flamenco festivals such as the Festival de Flamenco de Jerez and the Festival Internacional del Cante de las Minas in La Unión, Murcia.
Maldonado is a key figure in the resurgence of flamenco. Author and composer, he plays the piano preferably, an unusual musical instrument for flamenco but which lets him tackle melodies and rhythms better than the more conventional guitar or the cajon, a box-shaped percussion instrument.
Born to a gypsy family with strong ties to flamenco, Maldonado is a passionate musician with an impressive emotional range that hugs the spectator.
While he is faithful to the constitutive elements of the flamenco, there is room for the classical, the Afro-Caribbean, pop, tango, funk and jazz music in his wide repertoire.
The fusion of flamenco and jazz has given birth to Enrique “Enriquito” Rodriguez as a musician. Predictably his first album, “Me Quito el Sombrero,” is flamenco-jazz with a markedly cante jondo character. Cante jondo is the deepest, most serious form of flamenco music.
However, just a few months ago, Enriquito launched his second album, “Alcudia”, which is more jazz than flamenco. This more profound exploration of jazz is what awaits the spectator at Off de la Latina on the 9th of October.
Enriquito will be accompanied by Ruben García on the piano, Yago Salorio with his bass guitar, Carlos Leal and his electric lead guitar, and Rodrigo “El Niño” Diaz with his drums.
He who likes jazz will like Jorge Pardo. So will he like him if he likes flamenco. Saxophonist, flutist, composer and winner of the Award for Best European Jazz Musician by the prestigious French Jazz Academy, Pardo imprints magic on his musical instruments. His concert for the Authors of Flamenco Jazz features Huellas Trio, the musical group founded on the deep-rooted tradition of the flamenco. These origins have not however prevented the trio from experimenting with jazz, folk, South American, classical, and even the Beatles’ music.
The important contribution of the atypical Huellas to flamenco is their unshackled vision which has enriched the genre, making it lovelier than it ever was. Actually the general trend on the traditional Spanish music scene is to approach flamenco through the freedom of vision.
The Julian Sánchez – Javier Galiana tandem, better known as the Sánchez & Galiana Dúo, has produced two albums (“Aires “Vols. I and II). It regularly makes the flamenco and jazz concert circuits in Spain and abroad. Whether individually or as a duo, jazz trumpeter Sánchez and pianist Galiana are known for their uninhibited experimentation with flamenco but more especially with jazz.
And now they are joined by Sonia Sánchez, one of the very few bailaoras (flamenco dancers) who enjoys unqualified success in improvisation but is never forgetful of the canons of tradition.
As a result, Authors of Flamenco Jazz is able to present a vibrant trio that throws daring irreverence and conventionalism into a magical mix.
Prior to Authors of Flamenco and Jazz, “Paquete” and Pablo had never performed together as a duo despite the fact that they move in the same circle and have lots of common artist friends. At Off de la Latina the spectator will be treated to vertiginous leaps into vanguard flamenco and dizzying plunges into the most orthodox of jazz courtesy of the duo.
“Paquete” is a descendant of the Porrines of Badajoz, a family of great flamenco cantaores (singers), bailaoras and instrumentalists. Multifaceted, he, like Caminero, is actor, producer, composer (he won two Grammies for “Agua Dulce” with famous flamenco guitarist Tomatito and “Picasso en mis Ojos” with El Cigala) and flamenco guitarist.
Caminero is known as a genius with the classic violoncello; he studied at the Music School of Vienna. For his album “El Caminero” he won one of the III Premios BBK – Jazz in 2011.
Carmona with his guitar, and Colina with his violoncello, so enjoy an enviable rapport that has made their setting up a duo’s project inevitable. Their palpable empathy has given rise to a powerful sensitivity the memory of which will stay with the spectator for a long time.
When the spectator attends “Authors” he will come across an incomparable mix of Colina’s virtuosity with the chords and Carmona’s magically intuitive music.
The two flamenco jazz musicians have an exciting habit of wowing audiences at home and in foreign lands.
At Off de la Latina Rycardo will offer a preview of his upcoming work, “The Libreja Sound,” his powerful Libreja (Seville) gypsy heritage providing a defining framework. The show will consist of flamenco-jazz in the form of soleá, tiento, tango, bulería, cantina and bolero.
Rycardo’s track record is awesome. At age 20 the “Eh Bonbon” which he played with De Ojana Na topped the national charts. He did his first show as soloist, “Un Gitano en Nueva York,” in the Festival of New York. His quartet, the Flamenco World Music, has played in prestigious venues in that city (Zinc Bar, Le Poisson Rouge, Terraza 7). He habitually enchants audiences in jazz and flamenco festivals in Europe, the Americas, and Spain of course.
Rycardo enjoys a well-deserved global fame as one of the best musicians of the genre.
Bassist Alain Pérez and flamenco dancer Nino de los Reyes comprise a gifted duo with extraordinary mastery of Latin and flamenco rhythms. Alain, who came to Madrid from Cuba, is quite capable of turning cha-cha-cha, bolero, guaracha, funky, rock and soul music into tantalizing cyber-era pop music.
Alain has partnered at various times with absolute masters the likes of Jerry Gonzáles and Paco de Lucía.
Boston-born Nino de los Reyes is the son of dancer and choreographer Ramon de los Reyes and Clara Ramona who has her own ballet company. An out of the ordinary product of the Amor de Dios school in Madrid, he studied under Josele Heredia, María Magdalena, Manole, Antonio Reyes and Alejandro Granados. He also had Nadine Boisaubert for ballet teacher in the Conservatory of Madrid and has formed part of the Boston Ballet.
He debuted at the age of 6 at the Opera Theater of Buenos Aires with his mother’s ballet company. At 7 he did Miles Davis’ soleá choreography at the Teatro Albéniz and the Centro Cultural de la Villa de Madrid.
And these are just for starters; today the dance prodigal is on to exploring the outer limits of flamenco along uncharted routes.
Drummer Marc Miralta is one of Spain’s flamenco-jazz musicians of great international renown. He gave shape to the “New York Flamenco Reunion,” one of the most important works in the history of flamenco jazz.
As a brilliant exponent of the flamenco jazz platform, he will present at the Off de la Latina a quartet adaptation of “Flamenco Reunion” which, one might say, is the natural offshoot of the “New York Flamenco Reunion”, accompanied by his saxophonist Perico Sambeat, the prestigious double bass player Javier Colina, and the versatile French pianist Baptiste Trotignon.
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