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Flamenco: a generous offer

February 2013 | Trends | Night | Barcelona

In Catalonia there are lots of possiblilities for enjoing and learning more about it thanks to the many festivals, concerts and symposiums that are held here throughout the year.
Sara Baras
Estrella Morente
Flamenco in Barcelona: a generous offer
Miguel Poveda, copla singer
Mayte Martín, flamenco singer

If for any reason a flamenco enthusiast were to come to live in Barcelona, he or she might think that there would be few occasions for enjoying this type of music here. Once installed, however, such a person would discover that the flamenco offering in Catalonia is abundant, diverse and of very high quality. Indeed, there is so much happening on the flamenco agenda here that it is hard to keep up with it all.

What’s more, for the first time in history, a splendid generation of flamenco artists has been born in Catalonia, lives in this land and makes its unquestionably good music here. The vigorously assertive presence of flamenco, without inferiority complexes, in the traditional local culture, according to Arcadi Espada, restores this music’s fundamental character, something that dazzled, for example, Sebastià Gasch, the avant-garde critic who wrote about the flamenco passion and fever in Catalonia in the the past.

Catalan flamenco artists

This is a magnificent generation of young artists who are keen on living the life of today but without turning their backs on tradition, using it as a source of knowledge yet refusing to be corseted by it. Surprising one and all, they reap success wherever they appear, untiringly and tenaciously. These artists form a superb reality and a splendid gift.

They are a generation that has helped to transform the traditional aesthetic of flamenco, a generation that rebels against the tyranny of nostalgia. Their needs and interests are different from those of the classic flamenco artists. They have diversifi ed the places where they perform and they appear in universalized circuits in which the audience considers flamenco to be an artistic genre like all the rest and not one that is necessarily linked to the territory where it was born. In short, they are performers who are open to artistic experimentation and investigation and to creative fusion or blending, which is a characteristic of all flamenco for that matter, opposed to “purity” as a concept limiting its expression.

They have no qualms when it comes to making incursions into other fields of music. Their flamenco, the same as that of the young Madrid artists and a considerable number of the Andalusian ones, is a radically urban music.

They do flamenco for the obscure reasons that cause it to be considered a form of art. Above all, however, they do it because it meets their aesthetic needs.


A unique generation
An eclectic heterogeneous group of singers, instrumentalists and dancers, some are Gypsies and some are not, and their diverse approaches include conventional experimentation, the quest for renovation or academic postulates. They have some traits in common, however, and they have all been born in Catalonia.

Combining inspiration, vocation and intuition with hard work, discipline, study and preparation, this generation has unhesitatingly chosen flamenco as its personal artistic vehicle of expression, open to change and to renewal. In short, it is a generation marked by its musical and cultural blending.

Raised in an industrialized urban environment, these artists feel far removed from the vital historical circumstances that originated and shaped classic flamenco, learning with enthusiasm, never despairing, and leaning more towards stylistic renovation than towards classicism. Their aesthetic references are Paco de Lucía, Camarón de la Isla, Enrique Morente, Canales... Despite the vastly orthodox component of these models, in many cases they interest the new artists because of the spirit of renewal, experimentation and modernity with which they are imbued.

The ever-growing public acknowledgement of flamenco and the increasing acceptance that it has won in Catalonia does much to support the dedication of the new generation to this music and encourages its members and the younger figures who are constantly appearing to persevere in their careers.


Miguel Poveda, copla singer
Miguel Poveda is an outstanding singer of flamenco and, lately, of copla music. With his prodigious voice he weaves and caresses notes like no one else. Indeed, his voice is an instrument that expresses the most intense emotions, thrilling those who hear it. In each of his performances he displays a unique musical elegance, feeling and wisdom, opening his heart and soul to the audience through his music. Miguel Poveda is a performer who seems bigger than life on stage.


Mayte Martín, flamenco singer
A born artist, creative, multifaceted and vibrant, Mayte Martín has marked a turning point in the flamenco panorama in Catalonia. Her repertoire is as long as it is wide and as classic as it is modern, continually seeking a perfect balance between renewal and tradition. Simply sober yet intensely warm, Mayte’s uniquely beautiful singing is always brimming with talent and exquisite sensitivity. She is one of the new generation’s fundamental guides and references.
 

TEXT | Francisco Hidalgo Gómez
DIGITAL ENGRAVINGS | José Hidalgo Gómez

 

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