Flamenco Festival New York 2019 at Joe’s Pub

The Flamenco Festival New York is at New York City Center in Midtown, Joe’s Pub in NoHo, La Nacional in Chelsea and The CUNY Graduate Center in Murray Hill, Tuesday through Sunday, March 5-10, 2019.

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The Sights and Sounds of Flamenco Festival 2019

Flying in fresh from Andalusia, Flamenco Festival 2019 is getting ready to take New York on an unforgettable journey through the diverse and innovative sounds of flamenco, from the stirring strums of a guitar and the resolute clattering of footwork, to the syncopated sequences of clapped palms and the guttural wail of cante – and beyond.

The unmistakable sounds of flamenco have hypnotized audiences the world over. But flamenco today encompasses far more than just guitars and palmas. This year’s Flamenco Festival showcases the avant-garde of contemporary pianists, flautists, saxophonists, singers and other musical stars who are infusing flamenco with a broad spectrum of innovative sounds that redefine the genre for a new global generation.

The indisputable queen of flamenco footwork Sara Baras headlines this year’s festival. Pianist Chano Domínguez, guitarist Antonio Rey, vocalists Mara Rey, Ismael Fernández, Israel Fernández, and jazz artist Sergio de Lope are among the musical prodigies taking to the stage this year.

Artists Miguel Ángel Cortés, María Terremoto and Diego Guerrero also present their latest works as part of this year’s Flamenco Eñe strand, in collaboration with the SGAE Foundation. All these artists make up a rich dialogue between the various elements that make up the captivating sounds of flamenco.


Sara Baras, the Queen of Zapateado

There are few people whose feet can speak as complex a language as those of Sara Baras. The sounds that a flamenco dancer’s shoes make against the ground beneath them has, for generations, told a story that transcends words and melodies.

The infinitely varied combination of rhythms, tempos and syncopations of the dancer’s zapateado (footwork) form the crucial and complex skeleton of the musical language of flamenco – and Sara Baras is perhaps one of the greatest contemporary examples.

As part of its 75th anniversary season this year, New York City Center welcomes Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras from March 7 through 10, to perform Shadows, a work that commemorates the 20th anniversary of Baras’ dance company and combines her devotion to the traditions of her native Spain with her unwavering commitment to innovation.

Featuring her famed, daring reinterpretation of La Farruca, a quick-footed, dramatic dance traditionally performed only by men, Baras’ performance is a tour de force of female power and transcendence.


Flamenco and Jazz

Flamenco and jazz are two musical genres from opposite parts of the world, existing in different contexts and with separate histories. But they are not as strange bedfellows as one might think – both are born from the troubles of an oppressed, marginalized people; both carry complex time signatures often unfathomable to the uninitiated; both tell the bittersweet stories of sorrow and anguish through a lens of beauty and joy.

Two artists in particular at this year’s Flamenco Festival encapsulate the modern marriage between these art forms.

Chano Domínguez

Chano Dominguez. Courtesy JavieR / Flamenco Festival.

Chano Dominguez. Courtesy JavieR / Flamenco Festival.

Trailblazing pianist Chano Domínguez is celebrated for his unusual cross-integration of the languages of jazz and flamenco. His unique talents are highly sought after, having worked with artists from Paco de Lucía and Enrique Morente to Joe Lovano and Herbie Hancock. His virtuosic performance at Joe’s Pub on March 8 will prove that the piano has the potential to the change the history of flamenco-jazz.

Sergio de Lope

Sergio de Lope. Courtesy Gitanito / Flamenco Festival.

Sergio de Lope. Courtesy Gitanito / Flamenco Festival.

Flautist and saxophonist Sergio de Lope is part of the new generation of creative flamenco makers, building veritable bridges between flamenco and jazz. Sergio makes his New York debut at Joe’s Pub on March 9, performing Ser de luz, an expressive collection of works that sees him and his ensemble transform expressive “flamenco soul” into jazzy compositions. This concert is coproduced by Instituto Cervantes.


A new generation of contemporary singers

Ismael Fernández

Ismael Fernández. Courtesy the artist / World Music Institute.

Ismael Fernández. Courtesy the artist / World Music Institute.

Few flamenco artists can claim to have collaborated with both Madonna and Ricky Martin – the singer Ismael Fernandez is one of them.

At Joe’s Pub on March 7, Ismael performs his new album Trato, whose incorporation of rhythm and base creates a distinctly modern aesthetic.

A commanding, soulful and intensely emotional singer, Ismael has created numerous shows around the world with his partner, the dancer Sonia Olla.

Diego Guerrero

Diego Guerrero. Courtesy Flamenco Festival.

Diego Guerrero. Courtesy Flamenco Festival.

Then, on March 10, Diego Guerrero performs his debut album, Vengo Caminando, an eclectic work rooted in flamenco that opens doors into other styles of music.

Aside from being a brilliant singer, Diego is a prolific musical producer, arranger, composer and guitarist. With the release of his first album, he received international recognition by way of a Latin Grammy nomination.

This concert is part of the series Flamenco Eñe, coproduced by Fundación SGAE.


Sway to the strum of the strings

If dance is the fire of flamenco, then the guitar is unquestionably the air that feeds it. For as long as many can remember, this six-stringed instrument has held a fundamental role in the flamenco tradition. This year’s Flamenco Festival presents some of the boldest and most exciting of contemporary guitarists.

Miguel Ángel Cortés

Miguel Ángel Cortés. Courtesy Flamenco Festival.

Miguel Ángel Cortés. Courtesy Flamenco Festival.

Miguel Ángel Cortés performs a three-part program at Joe’s Pub on March 7, in which he recalls musical legends like José María Gallardo, Sabicas and Enrique Morente. This concert is part of the series Flamenco Eñe, coproduced by Fundación SGAE.

Antonio del Rey and Mara Rey

Antonio del Rey and Mara Rey. Courtesy Flamenco Festival.

Antonio del Rey and Mara Rey. Courtesy Flamenco Festival.

On March 9, the multi-award-winning guitarist Antonio del Rey presents his latest release, Two Parts of Me, accompanied by the remarkable singer Mara Rey.


Tributes to ancestral heritage

Even the most innovative and experimental of contemporary flamenco artists is always conscious of the generations of history and tradition that they carry in their blood. This year’s Flamenco Festival features powerful reminders of the forefathers of the art form who have paved the way for the stars that today grace our stages.

María Terremoto

Maria Terremoto. Courtesy Flamenco Festival.

Maria Terremoto. Courtesy Flamenco Festival.

Maria Terremoto is one of the most exciting young singers in today’s flamenco scene and has just released her first album, La huella de mi sentío, in which she brings a fresh, modern approach to the orthodox style of flamenco singing.

The ‘Terremoto’ name (meaning ‘earthquake’ in Spanish) belongs to a legendary musical family – Maria’s grandfather, El Terremoto de Jerez, was considered one of the greatest flamenco singers of the 20th century.

On March 9 at Joe’s Pub, this latest singer in the Terremoto line will make the ground tremble with her powerful heritage.

This concert is part of the series Flamenco Eñe, coproduced by Fundación SGAE.

Israel Fernández

Israel Fernández. Courtesy the artist / World Music Institute.

Israel Fernández. Courtesy the artist / World Music Institute.

Meanwhile, Israel Fernández – the gypsy singer from Corral de Almaguer (Toledo) who has sung as part of Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras since 2015 – will pay tribute to one of the most important figures in flamenco history, Pastora Pavón (known to many as La Niña de los Peines).

Performing at Joe’s Pub on March 10, the performance will see Israel faithfully maintain the essence of ‘La Niña de los Peines’ art, while putting his own unique stamp on each interpretation.


Beyond the Stage

Andrés Mérida Garabatos Flamencos (Flamenco Scribbles)

Andrés Mérida 'Palmas de luna' (Hands of the Moon). Courtesy the artist / Flamenco Festival.

Andrés Mérida ‘Palmas de luna’ (Hands of the Moon). Courtesy the artist / Flamenco Festival.

From Joan Miró to Joaquín Sorolla, the tradition of flamenco has served as inspiration for a range of painters throughout history.

In a special exhibition taking place at La Nacional from March 5 through 18, contemporary Andalusian artist Andrés Mérida will showcase a selection of paintings and drawings centered on flamenco as an important source of inspiration, and a distinctive art form and cultural heritage.

Mérida designed the sets for Sara Baras’ show Sombras (Shadows).

The opening night of the exhibit will feature a live painting performance.

Sonidos Negros: On the Blackness of Flamenco

K. Meira Goldberg 'Sonidos Negros: On the Blackness of Flamenco.' Courtesy the artist / Flamenco Festival.

K. Meira Goldberg ‘Sonidos Negros: On the Blackness of Flamenco.’ Courtesy the artist / Flamenco Festival.

Over at the CUNY Graduate Center on March 5, Flamenco Festival presents the launch of a new book, Sonidos Negros: On the Blackness of Flamenco, by dance scholar K. Meira Goldberg.

In her new piece of research, Goldberg examines the politics of blackness as figured in the flamenco dancing body and what flamenco tell us about the construction of race in the Atlantic world, drawing a fascinating parallel between the vanquished ‘Moor’ of Spain and the minstrelized figure of the gitano (gypsy).


Want a Flamenco Lesson?

Want to get your dancing shoes on yourself? Take a beginners’ flamenco lesson before the show at New York City Center, taking place on March 7, 8 and 9 at 7pm.

These pre-show lessons are free for ticket holders – but space is limited! Tapas and Spanish wine will be available for purchase at the bar.


Flamenco Festival New York 2019 Schedule

Tuesday, March 5

The art exhibition Andrés Mérida: Garabatos Flamencos opens with a live painting performance at La Nacional in Chelsea, Manhattan from 6-9pm. RSVP at hola@lanacional.org

Dance scholar K. Meira Goldberg launches her new book Sonidos Negros: On the Blackness of Flamenco at the Segal Theatre at CUNY Graduate Center in Murray Hill, Manhattan from 7:30-9pm. FREE. More information at www.gc.cuny.edu

Thursday, March 7

Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras celebrates its 20th anniversary with Sombras (Shadows) at New York City Center in Midtown, Manhattan at 8pm. Free flamenco lesson at 7pm. From $35. Get tickets at www.nycitycenter.com

Ismael Fernández plays Trato at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater in NoHo, Manhattan at 7pm. $30. Get tickets at publictheater.org

Miguel Angel Cortes plays Sonantas en Tres Movimientos at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater in NoHo, Manhattan at 9:30pm. $30. Get tickets at publictheater.org

Friday, March 8

Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras celebrates its 20th anniversary with Sombras (Shadows) at New York City Center in Midtown, Manhattan at 8pm. Free flamenco lesson at 7pm. From $35. Get tickets at www.nycitycenter.com

Chano Domínguez plays Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater in NoHo, Manhattan at 7pm. $30. Get tickets at publictheater.org

Sergio de Lope plays Ser de luz at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater in NoHo, Manhattan at 9:30pm. $30. Get tickets at publictheater.org

Saturday, March 9

Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras celebrates its 20th anniversary with Sombras (Shadows) at New York City Center in Midtown, Manhattan at 8pm. Free flamenco lesson at 7pm. From $35. Get tickets at www.nycitycenter.com

Antonio Rey & Mara Rey play Two parts of Me at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater in NoHo, Manhattan at 7pm. $30. Get tickets at publictheater.org

Maria Terremoto plays La Huella de mi Sentio at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater in NoHo, Manhattan at 9:30pm. $30. Get tickets at publictheater.org

Sunday, March 10

Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras celebrates its 20th anniversary with Sombras (Shadows) at New York City Center in Midtown, Manhattan at 3pm. From $35. Get tickets at www.nycitycenter.com

¡Olé!


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