Connecting The Dots: A Jazz Flamenco Performance
Flamenco is to Spain, what jazz is to America. Both are improvisational styles of music that originated within oppressed minority communities and have now reached a status that sees them as their respective country’s unique export and original contribution to the arts. The first cross-pollination between the two forms is generally credited to a performance at the 1967 Berlin Jazz Festival by Spanish saxophonist Pedro Iturralde and master guitarist Paco de Lucia. De Lucia, who would continue blending elements from various other musical
forms into flamenco, is also credited with reinvigorating the ancient art form in the late 20th century. Another striking commonality between the two art forms: the idea of duende
, which can be loosely translated in the jazz world as “soul.” When a musical performance does not give you goose bumps, most likely, the performers are lacking duende
. Known for its operative “Jazz Thursdays,” and “Flamenco Fridays,” Carmens de la Calle will present its first ever jazz flamenco performance in its 17-year history on Thursday, July 6. Considering the popularity of both genres at this venue, it’s almost surprising that it’s taken this long for a collaboration to emerge between its regular seasoned performers. This special event will feature a performance by saxophonist Rene Saenz and Brazilian jazz guitarist Gabriel Santiago alongside flamenco guitarist Alejandro Pais Iriart and flamenco dancer Illeana Gomez. $15-$20, 8pm Thu, Carmens de la Calle, 320 N. Flores St., (210) 281-4349, carmensdelacalle.com.
— Marco Aquino