Renowned Spanish dancer and choreographer Aída Gómez is one of the recipients of this year’s Medalla de Oro al Mérito en el Trabajo (Gold Medal of Merit at Work) from Spain’s government. The award recognizes her brilliant professional career and her important work in boosting the performing arts.
Aída Gómez is currently directing the 12th edition of the Suma Flamenca festival, produced by the Community of Madrid (Madrid’s regional government). Suma Flamenca started June 6th and will run until June 25.
Suma Flamenca turns the region of Madrid into the European center of flamenco, with remarkable programming that includes top vocalists, guitarists and dancers.
Aída Gómez also directs the Madrid en Danza festival also produced by the Community of Madrid.
Flamenco icon Miguel Poveda is one of the acts set to perform at Los Conciertos de la Muralla de Alcalá de Henares 2017. The concert series will run from August 26 to September 24, featuring flamenco, rock, humor and other styles. Concerts take place at the Auditorio del Patrimonio in Alcalá de Henares, Madrid.
The other artists scheduled to perform include Leiva, Antonio José, Burning, La Guardia, La Frontera, Los Morancos, Antología de la Zarzuela and Cantajuego.
Tickets available at www.redentradas.com, Ticketea, Oficina de Turismo Santos Niños, Centro Comercial Alcalá Magna and Restaurante Pepe Pasión.
La Isla Ciudad Flamenca festival will celebrate its fourth edition July 21 to August 31, 2017 in San Fernando (Cádiz), in southern Spain. The annual flamenco festival takes place in the island where legendary flamenco singer Camarón de la Isla was born.
The venue for this event is the entire city of San Fernando. In addition to concerts, there will be master classes, workshops, conferences, and exhibitions.
The lineup this year includes Antonio Molina ‘El Choro’; Duquende “De Camarón A Lucía”; Antonio Canales and David Palomar “Sones De Cadiz”; El Farru; Piraña; Chiculeo; María La Mónica; Farruquito y Familia; Raúl El Bule; José Núñez; Miguel Rosendo; Jesús Castilla; Macarena Ramírez; Inma Lara; Ana Polanco; Rafael Romero; El Niño Del Parque, María José Coca; Rafael Varga; Manuel Lucas; Grupo Al Aire, Coral Castilla and other artists.
La Mar de Músicas, the significant world music and rock festival in Cartagena (southeastern Spain), will celebrate the traditional, cutting-edge and mestizo sounds of Latin America. The festival, organized by the City Council of Cartagena, will feature 23 groups from Puerto Rico, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Chile, Honduras, Argentina, Brazil and Guatemala as well as additional acts from Africa, North America and Europe. La Mar de Músicas is expected to run July 14 to 22. Of the 48 concerts scheduled, 22 will be free.
In addition to music, arts fans visiting Cartagena can look ahead to a series of events featuring other art forms: La Mar de Arte (Art), La Mar de Letras (Literature) and La Mar de Cine (Film).
La Mar de Músicas opens on Friday, July 14 with Puerto Rican artist René Pérez, the leader of Calle 13. He’ll present his first solo work, “Residente”. That same night, the festival will showcase innovative Colombian act Puerto Candelaria, Ecuadorian Nicola Cruz, Peruvian psychedelic folk band Kanaku y el Tigre, and Mexican indie star Carla Morrison.
Two additional acts from Puerto Rico are scheduled: iLe, René’s sister and also former Calle 13 member. She’ll present her first solo album that inspired by 1950s boleros. African-American artist Mark Underwood, who relocated to Puerto Rico, will showcase his futuristic folkloric concept under the name of Ifé.
In addition to Puerto Candelaria, the Colombian lineup includes mestizo rock masters Aterciopelados and roots innovators Systema Solar.
Mateo Kingman is the other artist representing Ecuador. His music makes reference to nature and jungle sounds.
Bareto, one of the finest Peruvian bands at the moment is projected to showcase its alternative tropical sound.
Cuban music fans can look ahead to concerts by La Dame Blanche (Yaite Ramos Rodriguez), a vocalist and flute player who mixes urban and tropical genres. The festival has also planned to celebrate the lifetime achievement of legendary Cuban singer-songwriter Pablo Milanés, who’ll receive the La Mar de Musicas 2017 prize. Pablo Milanés is set to perform a special concert accompanied on stage by Pablo López, Rozalén and Jorge Marazu.
Chile returns to La Mar de Músicas with a tribute to the influential folklorist Violeta Parra. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of the writer of the iconic song “Gracias a la vida” and the festival has planned a special concert that includes Chilean singer-songwriter Manuel García and the granddaughter of Violeta, Tita Parra. This tribute includes an exhibition, a lecture and the projection of the documentary that her brother Ángel Parra made. La Mar de Musicas will also feature irresistible Chilean cumbia masters Chico Trujillo.
The talent from Brazil includes young female singers Céu and Maria Gadú who are well known in their country, as well as Brazilian Afrobeat act Bixiga 70, a world music sensation in 2016.
Representing Honduras is Garifuna music star Aurelio. Another Central American artist, Madrid-based Guatemalan artist Meneo is scheduled to present his vision of global electronica.
Argentine band Chancha Vía Circuito is set to present its combination of Latin American folk sounds and electronica.
Celebrated pianist Michel Camilo, from the Dominican Republic and flamenco guitar maestro Tomatito will present the latest part of their longtime collaboration. The two artists have been working together for years, celebrating Latin American music, jazz, flamenco and Spanish music. Their latest album is Spain Forever.
Two artists from the United States are set to perform, folk innovator Leyla McCalla and jazz singer Kandance Springs. Leyla McCalla plays a mix of old time folk music, jazz and traditional Haitian music.
Africa is usually well represented at La Mar de Músicas. This year the festival’s last day has programmed a great African party with Malian star Oumou Sangaré, who will present her new album, and the most important African reggae act, Alpha Blondy. Other African acts include Konono nº1’s congotronics and Angolan artists Toto ST and Elenco Da Paz.
European acts include influential pop singer-songwriter Franco Battiato (who was also an electronic music pioneer in Italy); acclaimed British reggae band UB40; Portugal’s Rodrigo Leão, who will be accompanied by Australian artist Scott Matthew; and Norwegian act Moddi.
The Spanish part of the festival includes Rosalía, Raúl Refrëe, Rocío Márquez, the new sensation Estricnina (Juanito Makandé and Canijo de Jérez) and Macaco.
The festival regularly programs local and regional talent from the Murcia region. The artists featured this year are Perro, Ayoho, Noise Box, La Farándula and the project Fémina Project featuring the vocals of Saray Melo and Paula Marengo.
La Mar Chica, the musical section dedicated to children, has scheduled concerts by Feten Feten, Jamaikids, Malvariche and Perlita.
Benjamin Escoriza, was born in Granada and later moved to Madrid. In the Spanish capital he met French multi-instrumentalist Vincent Molino and Spanish percussionist Fain Sanchez Dueñas and the result of their musical chemistry was the groundbreaking band Radio Tarifa, founded in the 1990s.
In 1993, Radio Tarifa’s Rumba Argelina was released. The album, produced by indie label Música Sin Fin, is regarded as a masterpiece of Spanish world music. Other recordings followed, Temporal, Cruzando el Rio and Fiebre, recorded live in Toronto (Canada).
Along with his work for Radio Tarifa, Benjamin Escoriza worked on a solo album. He enlisted Jaime Muela, Vicente Molino, Fernando Mej5as and the producer of Rumba Argelina, Juan Alberto Arteche. Together they created Alevanta!. The album is a powerful mix of Arabic music, Flamenco, Arab Andalusian and Sephardic influences, along with Andalusian folk, Medieval music and rock.
On Alevanta!, Benjamin Escoriza shifted from being a contributor to writer of all the material. In this flamenco-focused record Benjamin left his Granada roots more visible. The songwriting process took place in stages. After writing the lyrics, Benjamin tried them out over his own guitar or small electric keyboard, searching for melodies and chords and writing them down on a 4-track recorder. He later worked on the rough demos with his various musical collaborators, primarily Vincent Molino, but also Jaime Muela, Fernando Mejias and producer Juan Alberto Arteche. Much of the record was put together in these musicians’ homes. By working through the ideas and arrangements, the songs gradually took shape and the choice of instruments was selected to reflect the mood and meaning of each composition.
Piper Xosé Manuel Budiño was born in Moaña, Spain. He is the son of a fisherman, a common profession in Spain’s northwestern reion of Galicia. Although none of his family members were musicians, Budiño soon took an interest in the traditional music that his parents played at home.
In his hometown of Moaña there were also many choir groups and bagpipe bands that he listened to. Budiño’s first instrument was the flute, which he learned how to play in school at the age of seven. In addition to studying classical music, the kids also learned Galician traditional music.
A few years later, Budiño started to play the gaita (Galician bagpipe), performing locally and throughout the region with a local group. What started as a group of friends playing bagpipes eventually became a bagpipe school, Escuela de gaitas Semente Nova (New Seed) de Moaña, which is now run by the city government.
A young Budiño played at his first festival at the age of 15, in Lorient (Brittany). He knew then that he wanted to be a professional musician. He started to play at competitions for solo pipes in Galicia and won some awards. His success led to his selection as representative of Galicia at the Macallan Trophy at the Lorient Interceltic Festival where he won the master bagpiper award several times.
In 1991 he formed Fol de Niu together with musicians that came from the fields of folk and jazz music. The progressive folk band lasted four years until the band members decided to go in separate ways. At that time, Budiño formed his own band.
His first album, Paralaia, came out in 1977. Budiño invited one of his idols to play in the album, Breton musician Jacky Molard. There were other Breton and Spanish musicians that participated in the recordings. The album brought immediate critical acclaim and Budiño was praised as one of the new innovators of Galician music.
To record Arredor (Around), Budiño traveled to Glasgow (Scotland) where he worked with producer Donald Shaw.
* Paralaia (Resistencia, 1997)
* Arredor (Virgin Music Spain, 2000)
* Zume de Terra (Boa, 2004)
* Home (Falcatruada, 2007)
* Volta (2010)
* Sotaque (Fol Musica, 2013)
* Paralaia 20 Aniversario (2017), book + CD
Tomás San Miguel was born in Vitoria (Spain) in 1953. He is living presently in Madrid, working as a pianist, composer and an accomplished accordionist.
He recorded piano and flute duos with flamenco flutist and saxophonist Jorge Pardo, on the album Life in Cathedrals.
San Miguel has composed numerous soundtracks and themes, including themes for Spanish National Radio (RNE), the movie score for Big City Blues by Clive Fleury with Burt Reynolds and Balthasar Getty (USA, 1997), TV series such as Para Elisa (1992) and Muerte a Destiempo (1990).
He recorded a trilogy of recordings accompanied by the chalaparta, a Basque percussion instrument. The trilogy includes Dan Txa, Lezao and Ten.
* Esta Noche, with Gerardo Núñez (21 Records 1985)
* Vida en catedrales Life in Cathedrals, with Jorge Pardo (Sonifolk, 1991)
* Lezao, Tomas San Miguel + Txalaparta (Spain: Nuevos Medios, 1993 / USA: Narada, 1993)
Sergio Monroy was born in Cadiz (Spain). He has developed a unique synthesis of flamenco and piano music. His debut album was acclaimed in the new flamenco community for its freshness and accessibility, wedding flamenco with jazz. Sergio fuses all the components of flamenco – the guitar, the palmas (hand-clapping) and the voice – without imitating them, bringing all the piano’s melodic resources, rhythm and harmony into play.
Monroy’s career began at an early age: at seventeen the pianist performed his first open air concert at the Mentidero square in Cadiz and his true debut came at twenty when he accompanied celebrated flamenco singer Miguel Poveda in the Central Lechera theatre, also in Cadiz, in 2000. Since then he has performed in many renowned theatres in Spain, ranging from the prestigious Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid to the Mercado de Música Viva showcase in Vic. He has also played concerts in England, Netherlands, Germany, United States of America and France.
His first album, titled Monroy – Piano Flamenco, was released in 2003. It already showed his interest in approaching flamenco and jazz and included appearances of celebrated singers such as Javier Ruibal and Miguel Poveda. Chicuco, his second recording, showed the ancient wisdom of Cadiz flamenco and a deep respect for the folk songs as they were sung at the popular Mentidero square and where they were caught in the air by this fresh-minded flamenco artist, eager to renew his sound.
Chicuco is how you call in Cadiz the brisk boy from the northern coast who has come to the town to help out in the little corner shops. It is a true homage to his roots, to his father, to a lifestyle and a spirit. There is also a village in Mozambique and a valley in northern Mexico called Chicuco. And Monroy is wise and humble enough to listen while he’s working and melting together an universe of artistic influences: flamenco, jazz, Spanish folk music, Cuban son and other rhythms.