Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Esperanza Fernández at Bay Area Flamenco Festival
The annual Bay Area Flamenco Festival returns with an impressive lineup of world-class Flamenco artists, including Spanish Gypsy singer Esperanza Fernández and Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba.
Founded in 2005, the Bay Area Flamenco Festival celebrates its 11th year. In addition to several days of live performances, lecture demos, film screenings workshops and master classes, various informal gatherings provide the opportunity for cultural exchange and create a context for sharing cultural traditions and experiencing Flamenco in a genuinely interactive and spontaneous environment.
On March 9th, Spanish Gypsy singer Esperanza Fernández joins in a sizzling new collaboration with a giant of Latin Jazz, Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba. Together on stage for the first time, they celebrate the inimitable Cuban singer Beny Moré (1919-1963) and his Spanish Gypsy counterpoint, the revered Flamenco cantaor Manolo Caracol (1909-1973). Their reinterpretions of such classics as Moré’s Oh Vida! and ¿Cómo Fue? and Caracol’s Carcelero and La Salvadora build new bridges between Spanish and Cuban song, turning the concept of ida y vuelta on its head.
About Gonzalo Rubalcaba
Gonzalo Rubalcaba was born in post-revolutionary Havana in 1963, the same year Beny Moré died. He is an extraordinarily versatile pianist, able to blend disparate strands of Cuban and American jazz traditions into a fresh, modern whole. Born into a musical family, Rubalcaba began studying drums and classical piano at age eight, honing his technique for the next 12 years while playing around Havana by night. In 1983, he toured France and Africa with Cuba’s legendary Orquesta Aragon, and formed his own band, Grupo Proyecto, in 1985, the same year he was discovered by Dizzy Gillespie. In 1986, Rubalcaba played the Havana Jazz Festival with the American rhythm section of Charlie Haden and Paul Motian, and with Haden’s support soon appeared at major international festivals like Montreal and Montreux.
Over the years Rubalcaba has released nearly 25 albums as bandleader and appears as prominent collaborator on numerous other recordings. He has been awarded two Latin Grammys for his own projects and two Grammys for his collaborations with Charlie Haden. To date, Gonzalo has to his credit 15 Grammy nominations, including five for Jazz Album of the Year.
About Esperanza Fernández
Esperanza Fernández is one of Spain’s leading flamenco voices. Born in Triana into a family of Gypsy musicians, she is the daughter of singer Curro Fernández and sister of guitarist Paco Fernández. Deeply rooted in the singing traditions of Lebrija and Triana, she is noted for her unmistakably Flamenco voice. After her debut at age 16 as the lead singer in Mario Maya’s production Amargo, she went on to record with Camaron de la Isla and later appeared with Enrique Morente. She has since collaborated with many of Flamenco’s greats such as Dorantes, Riqueni and the late Paco de Lucía.
She has starred in numerous renditions of El Amor Brujo with symphony orchestras throughout the world and has lent her rich, soulful voice to many other musical styles in collaborations with international greats. She has issued several CDs including her premier release, Esperanza Fernández, which has become a classic among flamenco aficionados; Recuerdos, which was nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2009; and her most recent release, Mi voz en tu palabra (2013), based on the poetry of José Saramago.