Three Flamenco Fests, Thousands of Miles Apart

In the next two months—February and March— London, the San Francisco Bay Area, and New York City will each be hosting major flamenco festivals. Here are some details:

First up is the one in our own backyard, so to speak: The 12th Bay Area Flamenco Festival, which has a number of events between February 12 and February 25, in San Francisco and across SF Bay in both Berkeley and Oakland. Concerts include Andalucía! featuring Gypsy artists from Jerez de la Frontera, including singer Felipa del Moreno, guitarists Manuel Valencia and Luis de Periquín, and guest dancer Antonio Choro Molina (Feb. 12); a gala performance at SF’s beautiful Herbst Theatre of Jose Maya‘s Latente, with Maya, Juana la del Pipa, guitarist Pino Losada and  singers Enrique El Extremeño and Manuel Tañé (Feb. 19); Cante Jondo, Cante Gitano, with singers El Extremeño and la del Pipa, and guitarists Losada and Pepe del Morao (Feb. 23); and Gitanería de Jerez! with Pepe del Morao, dancer Lakshmi, singer Manuel Tañé, and percussionist Luis de la Tota. There are also several  singing, dancing, and rhythm workshops with some of the featured artists during the festival period. Click for the complete schedule.

Below, watch a hot performance by singer Felipa del Moreno and the amazing guitarist Manuel Valencia:

Meanwhile, 6,000 miles from California, Sadler’s Wells will be hosting the 14th annual Flamenco Festival London, which runs from Wednesday, February 15 through Sunday February 26. As always, it will offer an eclectic range of small concerts and various conceptual presentations, most of them UK premieres. On Feb. 15 and 16, Israel Galván stages a new work called FLA.CO.MEN which, like previous productions, promises to “break the rules, deconstruct and push the boundaries of the dance form.” Feb. 17–19 will see the return of the great dancer Eva Yerbabuena with an all-new production called Aparencias, featuring four other dancers and her ensemble of musicians, including African guest singer Alana Sinkëy. Jerez dancer Mercedes Ruiz unveils the UK debut of her show Déjame que te baile (“Let me dance for you”), which is being touted as “an autobiographical work glancing back on Ruiz’s career.” This year’s Gala Flamenca (Feb. 23–25) directed by Manuel Liñan, will feature such well-known dancers Juana Amaya, Olga Pericet, Jesús Carmona, and Patricia Guerrero, plus singer Rocío Márquez (and, no doubt, musicians!), Closing out the main schedule (Feb. 26) is Liñan’s company (Cía) performing a new work called Reversible, “an emotional voyage back to the memories and instincts of childhood.” There are also a few more intimate concerts, including flamenco guitarist Santiago Lara‘s Feb. 22 Tribute to Pat Metheny. For more show and ticket info, go to the Sadler’s Wells website.


Here’s a cool promo for Gala Flemenca, which is playing in both London and New York: 

Last but not least, we have New York City Center’s Flamenco Festival 2017, spanning March 9-12. The first three nights will be devoted to aforementioned Gala Flamenca, as in London directed by Manuel Liñan and featuring Juana Amaya, Olga Pericet, Jesús Carmona, and Patricia Guerrero, and Rocío Márquez, among others. Gala Flamenca has been part of the NY Flamenco festival since 2001. Then, for the last night (Feb. 12), Olga Pericet leads the New York premiere of a production called Pisadas (“Footprints”), which “explores the origins and rituals of human life with a daring feminist slant.” Sounds intriguing! For more on NYC’s flamenco fests, click here.

And in the next issue of Classical Guitar, out in mid- to late February, look for Jason Webster’s “Keepers of the Flamenco” column, this one on “Playing for a Dancer.”

This montage shows some highlights from Olga Pericet’s Pisadas, which is having its New York premiere in March: