It's about 1:00am on Tuesday as I type these words. My photographer friend Steve Johnson kindly offered to let me republish some of his fabulous photos from last year's DC Feria de Sevilla. As expected, it was really hard for me to narrow them down to about 10 (actually 12) in my attempt to give you an idea what it's like to go to this highly-anticipated annual event.
In case you've never been, you're in luck. This year's DC Feria de Sevilla is coming up very soon on Sunday June 12, 2013. It's from noon until 6:00pm and takes place at Strathmore at 5301 Tuckerman Lane in North Bethesda, Maryland. There's a very convenient parking garage across the street with a pedestrian bridge leading directly to the site. There's also the Grosvenor/Strathmore metro stop. Best of all: admission is FREE!
So what's this DC Feria about? Don't get me wrong. It doesn't even come close in comparison with the real Feria in Sevilla in Spain. But it's still a very large event attended by hundreds perhaps even a thousand every year. It's more like a celebration of Spanish culture with:
1. Flamenco performances by local dance companies all afternoon,
2. Non-stop Sevillanas dance parties in tents called casetas,
3. Vendors selling samples of authentic dishes from each region of Spain,
4. Vendors flamenco shoes, dresses, castanets, fans, CD's, DVD's and more!
The organization that puts on the DC Feria every year is Centro Español de Washington DC.
Arte Flamenco dancers Terrie and Mark in Tangos de Málaga. May 5, 2013 (Photo by Stan Peters)
It's 6pm on Wednesday as I type these words. Did a school show this morning at La Tasca Rockville and now I'm here in Alexandria at my favorite cafe catching up on email before heading to my gig at Las Tapas.
Since the closing of Plaza del Sol, my former Saturday night gig for a year-and-a-half, I still haven't found a replacement gig yet. Fortunately, I've had a quite a few calls for one-time private gigs and performances with local dance companies like Natalia Monteleón's Arte Flamenco.
So this past Sunday, Arte Flamenco performed at Baltimore's "oldest and finest" Cinco de Mayo festival hosted by Education Based Latino Outreach. Yours truly was the guitarist accompanying singer/dancer Claudia Román and members of the dance company.
My longtime photographer friend Stan Peters came out to show his support and graciously offered to photograph our performance. Here is a small selection of photos. Enjoy!
Flamenco dancers Yolit Yospe and Jason Vera y Aragón at Lima Lounge. April 26, 2013 (photo by Jill Hatzai)
No it's not a regular gig—just a one-time engagement for the Learn4Change fundraiser. But nonetheless, it's still a very cool performance space and lucky for us that same night, my longtime photographer friend Jill Hatzai was in the audience and sure enough she brought her camera. Here are a few pics. Enjoy!
Flamenco guitarist Miguelito with dancers Kyoko and Sarah Louisa Castellanos at La Tasca Clarendon. May 1, 2013 (photo by AJ Landaeta)
It's 10-something am on Thursday as I type these words. So last night I had a gig at La Tasca in Clarendon which, lucky for me, happens to be almost walking distance from my house—love it when that happens!
You must be wondering if these Mahou-sponsored flamenco shows at La Tasca are just a one-time deal or if it's a regular thing. Well here's what's up: the Mahou brewery company (from Madrid) is making its way into the bars and restaurants of DC. And Mahou sales rep AJ Landaeta is making that happen to the delight of Spanish beer lovers.
So when a DC area Spanish restaurant adds a Mahou tap to the bar, we're adding a little something extra to the celebration with a live flamenco show. And yours truly with a few flamenco dancers will be doing a little "tour" of the DC area La Tasca restaurants.
As usual, I'll be promoting upcoming Mahou-sponsored flamenco shows of course, but you can also follow Mahou sales rep AJ on Twitter for up-to-the-minute announcements.
Here are a few pics from last night at La Tasca Clarendon. Enjoy!
Flamenco dancers Sarah Louisa Castellanos, Jason Vera y Aragón, Yolit Yospe and guitarist Miguelito at Lima Lounge in Washington DC. April 26, 2013 (photo by Mark Kanawati)
It's 2-something pm on Monday as I type these words. So this past Friday, I had the pleasure and privilege of being invited to perform at a fundraiser hosted by Learn4Change at Lima Lounge in Washington, DC.
From the Learn4Change website:
Two Birthdays & Two Schools is our biggest event yet to celebrate the birthdays of the learn4change founders Alvin and Maria and raise funds for two wonderful organizations in La Paz, Bolivia. 100% of all donations will go directly to the children! Aywina Sindrome de Down is a volunteer-run organization that promotes social inclusion, education, and employment opportunities for children with Down Syndrome. Project Helping Hands helps marginalized Bolivian youth stay in school until they finish high school and also provides the opportunity to continue post secondary education in Bolivian technical institutes and universities.
[Editor's note: the event is over, but you can still donate online.]
As far as I know, this was the first time flamenco was performed here at Lima. Of course, I'm not forgetting that rumba group Duende Camarón gigged here in 2009. I'm talking about flamenco beyond rumba: tangos, tientos, soleá, alegrías, bulerías etc.