Flamenco dancers Rocío Montoya, Sara Jerez and Pam de Ocampo in bulerías at Jalapeños Restaurant in Annapolis, Maryland. January 26, 2012 (photo by Fran Farkas)
It's almost 1pm on a Tuesday as I type these words. I actually started working on this blog yesterday, but I was shall we say, brain dead. I'm guessing that this past flamenco-filled weekend totally wore me out.
Anywayz, last Thursday I had the pleasure of performing again at Jalapeños Restaurant in Annapolis, Maryland. All the photos are by Fran Farkas with the exception of one courtesy of Pam de Ocampo.
Joining me onstage were a few familiar faces that you've seen in my blog countless times over the years: dancers Pam de Ocampo and Sara Jerez as well as singer Carlton Ashton. It's always a blast working with these people of course, but we also had a special guest all the way from Granada, Spain: dancer Rocío Montoya!
It's 7:22am on Tuesday as I type these words. Believe it or not I went to bed before midnight for a change. So I'm up early and it so happens, it's my website's 16th birthday today, yay! It was first launched on January 10, 1996. Hmmmm, how will I celebrate?
Sixteen years is a very long time to be on the Internet, and if you're interested, I pretty much covered the origins of my website in last year's birthday blog. And yeah, while I've definitely had a huge impact on the DC flamenco community as far getting the word out about the local scene, the truth is that DCFlamenco is dying.
Just kidding…I'm being overly dramatic to make a point. Thing is that a few years ago, a website was the center of information. And it still is in a way. You go to Google, type in "flamenco" or "flamenco in DC" and my website consistently shows up in the top results and all the info you need about the DC flamenco scene is still at your fingertips.
But the "game" has changed. Social media is where it's at: consequently, my website has been relegated to being just one of many sources of information that people go to in their search for info about flamenco in DC. The quality of the content in DCFlamenco is still the same of course. What's changed is that people go to social media more than individual websites like mine.
Flamenco singer Esperanza Fernández and Furia Flamenca director Estela Velez at Born 2 Dance studio in Vienna, Virginia. December 4, 2011 (photo by Stan Peters)
It's almost 8pm on Sunday as I type these words. And yeah I know this workshop took place a month ago, so it is kind of old news, but I so much wanted to document it here. And on top of that, these photos were already published in FaceBook and lots of people "liked" them and posted many positive comments. So why do I bother to publishing this blog entry?
Well, my DCFlamenco.com website (which hosts this blog) will be turning 16 years old this Tuesday January 10th. Without a doubt, it has been and continues to be THE online source to go to when you want find out what is going on in the DC Flamenco scene currently as well as what was going on many years back. Who knows? In 2022, when FaceBook eventually gets replaced by some other social network, DCFlamenco will very likely still be around (knock on wood) as it has been for the past 16 years to document the history of flamenco in DC.
I know you how you all adore my conversational writing style. However, today I have the pleasure of letting two guest contributors say a few words about flamenco singer Esperanza Fernández's cante workshop which took place way back on December 4th, 2011. Estela Velez organized the workshop and Behzad Habibzai provided accompaniment on guitar. I yield the floor to my esteemed colleagues:
Café Bonaparte in Georgetown, Washington DC. January 4, 2012
It's 2:30 in the morning on Thursday as I type these words. Last night (Wednesday) I was at Café Bonaparte for the return (yet again) of their popular Flamenco Night featuring guitarist Behzad Habibzai and singer Carlton Ashton. The show has been on and off over the years since as far back as 2004 and has gone through so many different combinations of artists that I've lost track:
- Behzad and Gerard in 2004
- Behzad, Gerard and Miguelito in 2004
- Behzad, Miguelito and Carlton in 2005
- Miguelito, Carlton and Richard in 2005
- Behzad and Carlton in 2008
- Ramin and José in 2009
The above list of combinations is by no means complete. OK…so what's different this time around is that, for the first time ever, there's no Gipsy Kings-style rumba repertoire in the set list—just flamenco palos like farruca, tientos, fandangos de Huelva, soleá por bulerías, guajiras, soleá, alegrías, bulerías etc. You get the idea.
Flamenco Night at Café Bonaparte (1522 Wisconsin Ave NW in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington DC) takes place on the first and third Wednesdays of the month. Behzad and Carlton do three sets starting at around 7:00pm and ending around 10:00pm. Seating is very limited so reservations are a must. Call 202-333-8830.
There almost always are local flamencos in the audience who usually get invited to join in the show which sometimes leads to a juerga afterwards. You never know. Internationally-known artists passing through DC have been known to drop by: dancer Antonio Vargas, singer Jesús Montoya and even percussionist Rubem Dantas!
I took about a 100 photos last night. Here's a random selection to give you an idea of what you missed. Enjoy!