Cori Bernal dancing a soleá accompanied by guitarist Miguelito and singer Hector Márquez. June 17, 2010 (photo by Franciska)
With the struggling economy, business for us flamencos has been slow the past year and while it is picking up little by little, we're all still struggling. But every now and then I get a whole string of gigs one after the other...when it rains it pours, as the saying goes. And last week was one of those weeks! Besides rehearsing everyday for the Hurricane Whispers gig with Helena Lalita, and my usual weekly gigs at Las Tapas and Cafe Citron, I was also tapped to join Natalia Monteleón's Arte Flamenco for their monthly show at Jalapeño's Restaurant in Annapolis, Maryland last Thursday.
I have played for Arte Flamenco for more than 10 years and I am one of their regular guitarists, but this was my first time to perform at Jalapeño's so I was especially excited. It's not too often I get out to Annapolis, other than driving through on my way to the beaches in Delaware.
Don't let the strip mall exterior fool you. Upon first pulling into the parking lot, my impression was that this was a tiny fast food restaurant, but once you get past the bar, you're greeted by a fancy glass wall fountain. The hostess then leads you to the dining area with fancy classic wooden chairs, white linen-covered tables and murals depicting presumably the Spanish countryside.
Dancer Ginette, videographer Seanie Blue, guitarist Michael Leuchtenberger, singer/violinist Helena Lalita, singer Sandra Bishop, guitarist Miguelito and sitar/tabla player John Protopapas. June 20, 2010 (photo by Jani)
It's 2-something pm on Thursday as I type these words. It's been almost two weeks since the DC Feria and I still haven't published pics. So much catching up to do! But to be honest I'm drowning in a sea of pics (many of them gorgeous!) so it'll take me some time to sort through them. In the meantime, I'll catch up on blogging by publishing a few short entries starting with the most recent flamenco-related event this past Sunday at the Wonderbox.
My friend Seanie Blue and I have known each other since 1991, the year I first arrived to live in the DC area. He's one of the masterminds behind Wonderbox, an artspace based here in DC. While on a recent trip to Southern California he stumbled upon a young musician named Helena Lalita and was so intrigued by her talent he decided to bring her to DC to adapt a suite of songs (authored by himself, Peter Fox and Steve McCormick) and have her collaborate with me on flamenco guitar, singer Sandra Bishop, tabla/sitar player John Protopapas, guitarist Michael Leuchtenberger and flamenco dancer Ginette.