With the holiday season on it’s way, Bay Area Flamenco is delighted to invite the community to a special flamenco holiday celebration: Zambomba Gitana!

A  joyful evening of dance and music, featuring a cast of Gypsy flamenco artists from Jerez de la Frontera, Spain including Jose Gálvez, El Pele de los Reyes, María Bermúdez, Angelita Agujetas, Kina Méndez, Antonio de Jerez and Luis de la Tota.

The concerts take place from December 6 through December 8 in intimate venues including San Francisco’s Brava Theater, Berkeley’s La Peña Cultural Center and Santa Cruz’s Kuumbwa Jazz Center. Families are encouraged to attend and the mood will be welcoming and festive.

The Zambomba is a traditional Andalusian holiday celebration where friends, family and neighbors gather to sing holiday songs known as villancicos. In Jerez de la Frontera the Zambomba has been embraced by the Gypsy community who have adapted the traditional villancicos to flamenco forms, especially bulerias, a form which epitomizes the town’s unique and world-renowned brand of flamenco. 

For the Gypsies of Jerez de la Frontera, the Zambombas are unmistakably flamenco, yet they are significantly different from other flamenco fiestas. There is an important element of participation in a Zambomba, where everyone sings or plays an instrument and most songs have choruses which are sung by everyone.

The Zambomba celebration takes the name of a unique instrument which is only played during the festivities: a clay vessel with a wide opening covered with thin material in the center of which a long cane is secured. A deep sound is produced when the cane is rubbed.

Traditionally the Zambomba is held outdoors, often in a plaza around a small bonfire in a metal barrel. The whole community gathers and forms a chorus to sing and dance all night long while sharing wine, anisette and holiday sweets.

Now-a-days it is common for flamenco peñas and/or families to present a Zambomba on stage in a theater during the holidays. These performances strive to maintain the same feel as the more informal outdoor events: both professionals and amateur community members participate singing flamenco-style villancicos and taking turns dancing bulerias.

Bay Area Flamenco is proud to have the opportunity to expose local audiences to this unique holiday tradition of the Gypsy community of Jerez de la Frontera, a town known for flamenco music and dance as well as for Andalusian horses and sherry wines.

Prices for performances start at $25


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