HomeliveFlamenco Festival Gathers more than 32,500 spectators in Its 23rd Edition, with 44 unforgettable shows in memory of Paco de Lucía

Flamenco Festival Gathers more than 32,500 spectators in Its 23rd Edition, with 44 unforgettable shows in memory of Paco de Lucía

The most famous flamenco event in the US with the best offer of Spanish flamenco guitar, dance, and singing, registered an average occupancy of 84% and 11 sold-out shows out of the 44 performances held across 21 venues in New York, Miami, Boston, Chicago, and Washington D.C.
This Sunday 17th of march, Flamenco Festival New York concluded its 23rd edition, marked by unique and unrepeatable moments that brought together over 32,500 spectators across performances held in New York, Miami, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, D. C. With an average occupancy of 84% and 15 sold-out shows out of the 44 performances which were programmed, one more year, the enthusiastic response from American audiences have established Flamenco Festival as one of the main Spanish cultural events celebrating flamenco art in the country. Notably, this edition featured the highest number of shows compared to the previous ones. In this sense, as pointed out by the festival’s director, Miguel Marín, "once again The New York Times, considered the quintessential newspaper in the United States, has dedicated several pages to Flamenco Festival, and that is only achieved thanks to the work developed during these 23 editions. That presence is an indicator of its contribution to the richness of New York’s cultural scene." The response from the audience has once again highlighted the city's support to the festival. "The reception has been as passionate and enthusiastic as usual, even more so after witnessing shows that will go down in the history of this festival. We have experienced historic nights and unforgettable moments” created by each of the 19 participating companies and artists, in order to pay tribute to the figure of Paco de Lucía. The historic recital led by Tomatito on Friday, March 1, at The Town Hall, the same venue where maestro Sabicas (Agustín Castellón Campos, the promoter of flamenco's internationalization) presented the first flamenco guitar recital in history in 1959, caused a reaction never seen before at Flamenco Festival: a thunderous ovation on behalf of the audience that stood on their feet in the middle of the concert. Equally moving was the closing performance also in memory of the Spanish guitar virtuoso, in this occasion by the National Ballet of Spain, in four shows at the New York City Center. The piece 'Almoraima,' was choreographed by Rubén Olmo, director of the company, and it earned standing ovations from the 9,000 spectators who attended 'Invocación'. The company returned to New York with this adaptation of 'De lo Flamenco,' a choreography by Mario Maya for the then Andalusian Dance Company (now called Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía). Standing, ovations and applause along, the audience at Roulette expressed their gratitude while enjoying 'A Gaya,' the intimate recital presented by the singer Inma La Carbonera and guitarist Antonia Jiménez, the first joint proposal from both artists. This show highlighted the key role of women in the evolution of flamenco guitar. This original and groundbreaking program, featuring stanzas by Federico García Lorca and other Spanish poets, was also showcased at the former residence of the Spanish ambassador in Washington, D. C., and at the Cervantes Institute of Chicago. The performance by the quartet Las Migas at Joe's Pub, part of the legendary Public Theater, marked the end of their North American tour at Flamenco Festival with sold-out tickets within three days of release. Moreover, the audience had the opportunity to see on stage the saxophonist Tim Ries, collaborator of the Rolling Stones, who is a regular attendee of the festival and the guest of honor at this show as well as the singer and Latin Grammy winner Nella Rojas. In addition to showcasing the art of the most representative and established names in Spanish flamenco, Flamenco Festival also provides a platform for emerging young figures, offering them a space to enter the international scene. Thus, alongside Tomatito, Olga Pericet, Manuel Liñán, and the National Ballet of Spain, North American audiences witnessed performances by emerging talents such as Paula Comitre, Alejandro Hurtado, Andrés Barrios, Sandra Carrasco, David de Arahal, Raúl Cantizano, Alfonso Losa, El Yiyo, Inma La Carbonera, María José Llergo, and Israel Fernández alongside his inseparable Diego del Morao. The Kauffman Music Center/Merkin Concert Hall witnessed the unique personality of Israel Fernández's singing, in a sold-out concert, as was also the case with the shows offered by Las Migas, guitarists Antonio Rey, Alejandro Hurtado, Rycardo Moreno, and Yotam Silberstein, the National Ballet of Spain, and pianist Andrés Barrios, among others. Indeed, the audience has once again massively supported Flamenco Festival New York, which continues to attract new enthusiasts. In this regard, the festival has once again organized a performance for students, attended by 2,000 children aged between 8 and 14 who could enjoy 'La Leona' as an exclusive experience. In this show, the dancer and 2018 National Dance Award winner Olga Pericet paid homage to the famous guitar by luthier Antonio de Torres, the first prototype of the instrument as it is currently known in the flamenco world today, tracing its construction process. Later that evening, Pericet presented the show again at the New York City Center to an enthralled audience that has been following the Cordoban's trajectory since her previous appearances in Flamenco Festival. This openness is also reflected in the expansion of the event to new circuits. In addition to the usual venues (Cervantes Institute, Jazz At Lincoln Center, The Town Hall, and Elebash Recital Hall, among others), Flamenco Festival New York reaches diverse audiences expanding to other sites located in different neighborhoods and districts, from Manhattan to Brooklyn through the Bronx. As highlighted by the director Miguel Marín, "The audience is the reason for Flamenco Festival's existence. They are the ones filling theaters and showing their passion and enthusiasm for flamenco. It's the spectators who give us the momentum and motivation to continue year after year, and among them, we find both new and young people as well as those who have been faithful spectators since the beginning". As Marín highlights, "one of the greatest achievements of the festival is having consolidated a mature audience interested in the work and performances of a specific artist in their entirety. Even when it is more sober and intimate, the connection established between artists and spectators is very strong and tangible. This has been the case, for example, with the several concerts and Spanish guitar recitals offered by both Inma La Carbonera and Antonia Jiménez, and Israel Fernández and Diego del Morao, to name a few."

A Flamenco Experience That Transcends Stages

In this edition dedicated to great masters like Vicente Espinel, considered the father of the Spanish guitar, and Paco de Lucía, there was also room for one of the essential figures of Spanish painting. Thus, the Hispanic Society of America in New York hosted a unique event in which art and flamenco came together during an evening dedicated to the work of the Valencian painter Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida. The pictorial ensemble 'Visión de España' came to life with performances by the singer Gabriel de la Tomasa, guitarist Alejandro Hurtado, dancers Sara Arévalo and Estela Alonso, and the director of the National Ballet of Spain, Rubén Olmo. As Marín points out, "What is surprising about New York is that, after 23 years, we can celebrate events like this, in spaces that inspire both the audience and the artists to give their best." Thus, beyond the stage, Flamenco Festival continues to expand its ties with other spaces and institutions in the city to offer significant events that enrich the experience of contemporary Spanish flamenco. This includes the International Symposium 'Paco de Lucía and the Americas,' organized by the Foundation for Iberian Music (The City University of New York), the first academic event around this figure held in the United States. This unprecedented date brought together acclaimed musicians, prestigious academics, and journalists to analyze and discuss the indelible influence of America on Paco de Lucía and vice versa, as well as the influence he had on the world’s music scene. The conference given by journalist Juan José Téllez at the Cervantes Institute ('From Vicente Espinel to young singer-songwriters: of verses and strings') and the world premiere of 'Transmissions’, a documentary series focused on creators who use art and flamenco as vehicles for artistic and personal transformation, complemented the parallel activities held in this 23rd edition, along with a cajón tribute. This moving initiative to remember Paco de Lucía, featuring the Peruvian instrument that he introduced masterfully into flamenco, brought together over thirty cajones in the iconic 'El Rincón Criollo' (La Casita de Chema). Located in the Bronx, this venue, a regular meeting place for the Puerto Rican community in New York that organizes performances and musical workshops, was the setting for this emotional tribute that brought together flamenco and Latin American percussionists in an unforgettable day.

The most important platform for flamenco worldwide

Throughout its 20 years of history, Flamenco Festival has taken over almost the entire world, having presence in 101 cities, presenting 129 companies, 1.225 shows and an audience of over 1,600.000 people.

The largest flamenco platform in the international scene

Flamenco Festival 20 Years artists Operating since 1996, Flamenco Festival is the main international flamenco promoter in the world. Its mission is to promote and spread the richness and variety of flamenco art, from traditional flamenco to the most avant-garde proposals.
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