Just in time for the autumnal twist in weather conditions, there are a couple of good reasons to spend time indoors: the upcoming Flamenco Festival and the International Festival of Classical Music.
Article by Anastasia Sukhanova
15th Festival de Flamenco Sierra Blanca
Flamenco is an obvious marker of Spanish national identity. Look no further than Toy Story 3 to see just how globally recognized it has become: Buzz Lightyear is mistakenly reset in “Spanish mode” and becomes a passionate Spanish flamenco dancer. In Andalucía, flamenco is omnipresent in street life and if one gets very lucky, a sporadic show can be observed on a normal Friday night with locals gathering around a guitar player and easily improvising on the tunes that practically run in their veins.
Saturday 29th of November will present an opportunity to catch flamenco right in the heart of Marbella’s Old Town, at Teatro Ciudad. Marking the 15th edition, the festival will feature Cancanilla de Marbella, Miguel de Tena, Ana Fargas, Martín Calle as singers and Paco J. Jimeno, Chaparro de Málaga and Ismael Rueda on guitars. You can get tickets online at www.mientrada.net or directly at the venue.
International Festival of Classical Music
Running from Tuesday October 25th to Sunday October 30th, this year’s edition of the International Festival of Classical Music will cater to a wide range of (classical) tastes: from Tchaikovsky, Brahms, and Debussy to Francois Borne’s “Fantaisie Brillante sur “Carmen”. Nine young musicians will be gathering every night at the cultural centre of Trapiche de Guadaiza in San Pedro de Alcántara. Free entry!
Music of Andalucia in personalities
Manuel de Falla
Manuel de Falla y Matheu was an Andalusian Spanish composer and pianist born in Cadiz in 1876. Along with Isaac Albéniz, Francisco Tárrega, and Enrique Granados, he was one of Spain’s most important musicians of the first half of the 20th century. In his life he lived in Paris, Milan, Madrid and Argentina, but the time he spent in his native Andalucia was especially productive. From 1921 to 1939 he lived in Granada, where he organized the Concurso de Cante Jondo. In Granada he wrote the puppet opera El retablo de Maese Pedro and a concerto for harpsichord and chamber ensemble. Falla’s image appeared on the Spanish 1970 100-pesetas banknote while his house in Granada is still preserved as a biographical museum.
Paco de Lucía
Born in 1947 in Algeciras, Francisco Sánchez Gómez, known as Paco de Lucía, was a virtuoso flamenco guitarist, composer, and record producer. A leading proponent of the new flamenco style, he was one of the first flamenco guitarists to branch into classical and jazz. He was the youngest of the five children of flamenco guitarist Antonio Sánchez Pecino and Portuguese mother Lúcia Gomes, his brothers were also flamenco singers and guitarists. His early childhood was spent unknowingly learning the art of flamenco, something that was performed in his small, modest home, daily. Fun fact: he made his first public appearance at age 11 on Radio Algeciras. One can find a detailed description of a Paco de Lucia trail of Algeciras here.
Miguel Rafael Martos Sánchez, often simply referred to as Raphael, is a Spanish singer and television, film and theater actor. Raphael is recognized as one of the most successful Spanish singers in the world, having sold more than 70 million records worldwide in seven languages. Born in a place called Linares in the Jaén province, he is nicknamed both “El Ruiseñor de Linares” (“Nightingale of Linares”) and “El Divo de Linares” (“The Divo from Linares”) but is also known as “El Niño”.
Joaquín Ramón Martínez Sabina, also a native of Jaén, is a musician, singer, composer, artist and poet. His songs usually concern love, heartbreaks and society with a large usage of literary figures similar to the baroque-literature style. He has released 14 studio albums, two live albums, and three compilation albums. He was awarded the Medal of Andalusia in 1989 and honoured with a Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2021.
David Bisbal Ferre is a songwriter and actor who comes from Almería. He gained his initial fame as a runner-up on the interactive reality television show Operación Triunfo. He has since released five studio albums, all of which topped the Spanish Albums Chart, in addition to recording a number of live albums.