The 7th Annual Bay Area Flamenco Festival: Festival Flamenco Gitano USA will feature world-class artists from Spain, including performances at San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts featuring the West Coast premier of superstar Jose Mercé, the world premier of Fiesta Jerez: Gypsy Flamenco All-Stars and the anticipated U.S. premier of El Carpeta -14-year-old prodigy of the legendary Farruco Family who will appear with clan matriarch, La Farruca. Opening night will feature a concert by Gypsy guitarist Diego del Morao at Yoshi’s Oakland. There will also be a series of workshops and master classes, and for the first time this year, the Festival will present “Flamenco on Film,” at Landmark Embarcadero Cinema featuring the S.F. premier of Spanish director Carlos Saura’s latest production.
THE BAY AREA FLAMENCO FESTIVAL is recognized as one of the most vibrant flamenco festivals in the United States, featuring authentic, world-renowned flamenco talent from Spain. Founded in 2005, the Festival has grown into a popular and vital annual Bay Area cultural event drawing over 3000 world music and dance enthusiasts.
2012 SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Diego del Morao: Gypsy Flamenco Guitar of the 21st Century Wednesday, September 26. Yoshi’s Oakland One of the most sought-after guitarists on today’s scene, he is known for his work with Spain’s top flamenco artists such as Diego el Cigala and José Mercé. Paco de Lucía made a cameo appearance on del Morao’s solo release “Orate” (2010 Cigala Music). He is the son of guitarist “Moraíto,” one of the most important flamenco artists of our time, who along with his uncle Manuel Morao, developed the signature sound of traditional Jerez-style flamenco guitar. Diego del Morao takes that legacy into the 21st century. In the words of veteran guitar legend Manolo Sanlúcar: “This is the vanguard, and at the same time our essence: past, present and future: he is a visionary”. “Del Morao is special. [...] …tenacious and extravagant”. - The New York Times
¡Fiesta Jerez! Gypsy Flamenco All-Stars Thursday, September 27, 7pm; Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco This concert, celebrating the roots, joy and soul of flamenco, feels less like a stage production and more like an invitation to a Gypsy family gathering in Jerez de la Frontera. From the heart of Andalusia’s wine country, this 12-member ensemble features singer/dancer Juana la del Pipa, singer Enrique el Zambo, singer/dancer Kina Mendez, and dancer Gema Moneo, a rising star in flamenco.
José Mercé Friday, September 28, 8pm; Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco West Coast premier of Spanish superstar, José Mercé, one of the world’s greatest flamenco artists. His 1998 recording “Del Amanecer” (Virgen) garnered worldwide recognition with his contemporary arrangements aimed at a younger audience. With multiple Latin Grammy nominations and more than 600,000 albums sold in the last 15 years, he has made an indelible mark on flamenco. His latest CD will be released on Blue Note in the fall of 2012. “[...] energetic to the max, with [a] unique, magnificent voice.” Flamenco-World.com
Farruco Family: El Carpeta y La Farruca Sunday, September 30, 7pm; Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco The U.S. debut of the 14-year-old prodigy El Carpeta, and return of matriarch La Farruca—both of the legendary Los Farruco dynasty, the first family of Gypsy flamenco dance. As La Farruca is acclaimed for her elegance, her son El Carpeta, youngest brother of superstar Farruquito, is becoming known as the most extraordinary flamenco dancer of his generation and torchbearer for the family legacy. “… you feel in La Farruca …the accumulated wisdom of decades, the calm mastery that holds an audience in thrall and never lets it go.” –New York Times
FLAMENCO ON FILM: September 24-26 Landmark Embarcadero Cinema, San Francisco
Carlos Saura’s “Flamenco, Flamenco” (130 min. Eng subtitles, 2010) 14 years after the release of his 1996 film “Flamenco,” Carlos Saura returns, bringing a new perspective to the lively and dynamic world of flamenco and creating “a visual banquet” that, exclaims film critic Kathleen Murphy, “serves up so much cinematic artfulness and beauty, your faith in the power of movies is reborn”. Photographed by master cinematographer Vittorio Storaro (The Last Emperor, The Sheltering Sky), the film features performances by more than 21 flamenco artists such as Eva la Yerbabuena, Sara Baras, Niña Pastori, Rocío Molina, Israel Galván, El Carpeta and José Mercé.
“MORAO: Good Flamenco Singing Hurts” (55 min. Eng subtitles, 2011) A journey into the art of flamenco as a way of life, through the figure of legendary guitarist ‘Moraíto Chico’ who passed away last year at the age of 55. Together with his uncle Manuel Morao and his son Diego del Morao, he forms the heart of the Morao Gypsy dynasty of Jerez de la Frontera, a hotbed of flamenco. Moraíto created an unparalleled style, a reflection of his great personality and humor that ignited everything and everyone around him.