The opening night concert of the Seventh Darwin International Guitar Festival, Fiesta Flamenca, will transport Darwin back to the origins of flamenco music, with a melting pot of cultures and artists.
It is generally accepted that flamenco grew out of the unique interplay of native Andalusian, Islamic, Sephardic and Gypsy cultures present in Andalusia, Spain, prior to and after the Reconquest.
In this tradition of melding cultures, Fiesta Flamenca will bring together internationally acclaimed flamenco guitarist Oscar Guzman, who grew up in Seville, Andalusia and a troupe of Australia’s leading flamenco performers, including dancer Roshanne Wijeyeratne, vocalist Antonio Soria and percussionist Claudia Chambers.
Festival director, Adrian Walter said the concert was the perfect way to set the scene for this the Seventh Darwin International Guitar Festival concert series.
‘The passion and driving rhythms of the Flamenco will take people on an exciting Spanish journey,’ he said. ‘It’s also a great reflection of the festival’s international flavour with over 40 performers from 10 different countries filling this year’s two week program.’
Oscar Guzman started his guitar studies in Jorge Tomes El Moro and despite his youth, he has already performed in five continents around the world, in countries including Argentina, Germany, Italy, Peru, Chile, Cyprus, Turkey, Canada, Czech Republic, Ukraine and Belarus.
‘While many relate Flamenco music to the guitar it is just as much about the dance, vocals and percussion,’ Mr Walter said, ‘we’re really excited to have such a talented flamenco troupe, including Oscar Guzman presenting the opening concert at this year’s festival, to give audiences a true flamenco experience.’
Concert vocalist Antonio Soria was born in Malaga in the south of Spain and commenced his career in music as a contemporary singer before dedicating himself to flamenco. He has performed with many of Spain’s leading flamenco artists. He is now based in Sydney, and has been the lead flamenco singer for Australia’s premier company Diana Reyes Flamenco.
Claudia Chambers, the concert troupe’s percussionist has lived in Spain for five years studying Spanish flamenco from leading Flamenco artists and now resides in Bondi, News South Wales and is also currently a percussionist with Flamenco pop artist Gian.
Roshanne Wijeyeratne, the flamenco dancer for the concert has been dancing and performing since childhood and has been studying and teaching flamenco dance for over ten years, including professional training in flamenco dance in Spain and has so far been instructed by some of the biggest names in flamenco including Manuela Carrasco, Juana Amaya, Soraya Clavijo, and El Torombo.
The opening night concert Fiesta Flamenca will be held at the Darwin Entertainment Centre on Wednesday 4 July from 8pm. Tickets are available by calling 8980 3333 or online at www.darwinentertainment.com.au/boxoffice/spanish-nights.asp.