Monday, 21 March 2011

Syncrude Arts Alive Presents: Flamenco Ensemble

“Passion” is a word that applies to the latest work by Jorge Miguel, to the music and to his commitment to explore the roots of the tradition and to find within that depth the seeds of new possibilities for the ancient art of Flamenco.” — Jowi Taylor – CBC’s Global Village

Flamenco is one of the oldest forms of ‘world’ music inhabiting the contemporary performing arts- passionate, fatalistic music that has deep roots in Andalucía in southern Spain. It has three key elements- the guitar or ‘toque’, the song or ‘cante’ and the dance or ‘baile’. Jorge Miguel’s mission is to offer the flamenco tradition through the fingers, voice and feet of an ensemble committed to its authentic spirit. Jorge Miguel is a Spanish Canadian guitarist and composer from Toronto. His family comes from Cadiz, a city in the flamenco heartland and he has spent much time living and studying there. Flamenco is best learned from ‘the elders’ and Jorge’s teachers included some of the best- Carlos del Rio in Madrid, Augustin ‘Bola’ Carbonell in Seville and other veterans.

Jorge Miguel’s style of Flamenco is full contact, hard-core. This is the real thing. Alegrias, Bulerias, Tangos and Sevillanas, the traditional songs and dances passed down through the generations after hundreds of years of development and growth. The arpeggios, rasgueados and alzapua of the Flamenco guitar, the escobillas, zapateado and llamadas of the Flamenco dancers, the cante jondo and chico of the Flamenco song, and the palmas, castanets and percussion driving the complex compound rhythms.

To realize his vision Jorge has drawn from Toronto’s finest flamenco aficionados- singers who have immersed themselves in the tradition, and percussionists and bassists who are at home in many musical styles and bring Latin and jazz influences to the table as well as a deep knowledge of the flamenco ritmo. Flamenco is only partly about music. Flamenco without dance is like Andalucía without sun and Jorge works with several dancers trained in the best schools of Seville and Jerez, absorbing the tradition while grafting new shoots onto old roots. Together Jorge Miguel and associates create new music that both takes flamenco somewhere new and preserves its duende- an untranslatable Spanish word that means spirit or soul. Olé!

The Jorge Miguel Flamenco Ensemble comes to Keyano Theatre & Arts Centre on Friday, March 25 at 8 pm. For tickets, or more information, please visit or call the Box Office is 780-791-4990

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