Niño de Elche in concert: Colombiana
“Colombiana,” the new album by Niño de Elche, explores the relation between colonialism, spices, the economy and the transoceanic exchanges within Flamenco and Latin American rhythms.
“Flamenco is about a journey, it’s about leaving and returning.” This expression refers to specific Flamenco songs that “returned” to Spain from Latin America. African rhythms travelled along with African slaves and Native Americans and were then introduced into Spain, where they found themselves adding sabor and ritmo to flamenca guajiras, milongas, the soleá and the seguiriya. Romances, cabales, peteneras and pregones were developed in the wide Afro-Andalusian Caribbean. And, by all means, the fandango. This was the same route taken by sugar, coffee, cacao, rum and cane.
Colombiana, by Niño de Elche, is thus a continuation of the fascinating journey between these two worlds. The album originated from a travel that Francisco Contreras (Niño de Elche) did to Colombia to meet Eblis Álvarez, alma mater of the South American folklore renovation project and founder of the wildly eclectic Meridian Brothers.
About the artist
Niño de Elche is an unusual cantaor or flamenco singer (“ex-flamenco,” as he calls himself). His practice moved away from the traditional Flamenco sphere into contemporary practices such as performances, poetry, improvisation, minimalism, singer-songwriting, rock or electronics. His albums Sí, a Miguel Hernández, Voces del Extremo or Antología del Cante Flamenco Heterodoxo coexist with performing arts collaborations with dancers such as Israel Galván or performative interventions such as La farsa monea at Documenta 14 in Kassel.
Niño de Elche also participated in projects with the rock band Toundra, the meta-band Exquirla, Los Planetas, Fuerza Nueva and C. Tangana, with whom he released the song Un veneno.