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Though the Miami New Drama-commissioned “Queen of Basel” will have its official world premiere at Studio Theatre in Washington D.C. next season, you don’t have to wait or travel to discover how playwright Hilary Bettis has reimagined August Strindberg’s controversial 1888 classic “Miss Julie.” With three powerful actors and a small audience sharing the stage space at Miami Beach’s Co..

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Mention flamenco and the immediate associations are with dancing, singing and the guitar. The piano has a rather tentative history in flamenco. While some scholars include the instrument in p..

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La Flaka, una cantaora para el siglo XXI

Photo: La Flaka
Written by: Fernando Gonzalez
Article Rating

El flamenco es una música de fusión. La tradición es de sobrevivencia, de cambio constante y adaptación al lugar y los tiempos. Mientras el sonido puede ser diferente, el espíritu de Nuevo Flamenco es el del flamenco de siempre. “La Flaka”, Jessica Cánovas, es una cantaora del siglo XXI. Ella incorpora en su música elementos del soul, R&B, electrónica o jazz; puede cantar bulerías y escribir sus propias canciones, pero también hacer suyos temas de Alejandro Sanz, Djavan, Gloria Estefan o The Police.

La Flaka, acompañada por un grupo que incluye a Junior Míguez, baile y programación; Pepe Pulido, guitarra, y Daniel González en percusión, presentará su primer disco en solitario, Capricho, el viernes 20 de mayo a las 8 p.m. en el Miami-Dade County Auditorium. El concierto, su debut en los Estados Unidos, es parte del festival FlamenGo presentado por el Centro Cultural Español de Miami.

Nacida y criada en el histórico barrio de Triana, un referente de la cultura flamenca en la orilla del Guadalquivir en Sevilla, La Flaka creció rodeada de música. Su bisabuela, su abuelo, su madre, todos cantaban, cuenta ella, pero ninguno lo hizo profesionalmente. “Les daba vergüenza, y en esto, si tienes vergüenza, no va”, dice La Flaka con inconfundible acento andaluz, y rompe a reír. Sólo su tía África, a quien ella acompañó sobre el escenario con apenas 11 años, llegó a tener una carrera profesional, grabando un disco y haciendo giras.

Algún recuerdo de esa experiencia en el escenario debe haber quedado en la niña, porque La Flaka, 30, comenzó ya de joven a cantar localmente y fue corista para el músico de hip hop flamenco y bailarín Junior Míguez, una figura de la nueva generación de artistas flamencos.

Míguez es hoy también su esposo y productor.

Un momento importante para La Flaka fue cuando la gran cantaora Lole Montoya, quizás mejor conocida como parte del dúo Lole y Manuel, la invitó a ser parte de su ensamble para una presentación en el Festival de Músicas del Mundo en Portugal, en el 2010. Y sin duda, su carrera recibió un gran espaldarazo cuando La Flaka participó, el año pasado, en la tercera edición de La Voz, un concurso de nuevos talentos en la televisión española. En el show, sus coaches fueron dos estrellas del pop en español, los cantantes Laura Pausini y Alejandro Sanz, y en su participación La Flaka interpretó canciones de Pancho Céspedes (“Remolino”) y Sanz (“Mi soledad y yo”). Aunque fue eliminada en las semifinales, para entonces, La Flaka era ya una favorita de la audiencia.

En anticipo de su presentación, La Flaka habló con Artburst desde su casa en Sevilla.

Tu disco Capricho tiene todo tipo de influencias, flamenco, por supuesto, pero también soul, hip hop, pop y R&B. ¿Cómo has llegado a esa mezcla?

El flamenco ha sido siempre una música de mezclas. Yo creo que el flamenco lo acepta todo, es algo muy abierto. Es que naces en Triana, estás metida en lo mismo todo el tiempo y necesitas innovar, buscar otras cosas. Cuando empezamos a grabar Caprichos tenía claro que no quería hacer un disco de flamenco al uso (como es habitual) porque creo que la vida va avanzando, las épocas van cambiando. Igual, cuando yo canto, la voz me suena flamenca. Es que sale así sola. Si es que desde que uno nace ya lo lleva en la sangre. Eso se tiene. Ya tenemos al flamenco-flamenco. Yo deseaba hacer un disco de flamenco pero con otras cosas porque hay que innovar, hay que avanzar, dar un pasito más adelante.

¿Te preocupan las críticas de los puristas del flamenco?

Es que yo también tengo raíces flamencas-flamencas. Yo he estudiado flamenco- flamenco. Pero me gusta mucho innovar y buscar y escuchar otras músicas. De hecho, lo que menos escucho es flamenco, porque flamenco es lo que tengo en la sangre. Gracias a Dios, he nacido con ello. Entonces, intento beber de otro tipo de música para poder expandirme. Escucho Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, escucho muchas cosas que no son para nada típico del flamenco, por eso el disco tiene un poco de todo — pop, soul, jazz , hasta tiene un poco de electrónica.

¿Cómo fue esa experiencia con Lole Montoya?

Eso de tener la oportunidad de que ella me llame, me lleve de la mano y me diga, ‘Vente conmigo flaquita, que yo confío mucho en ti’, fue fuerte. Recuerdo que en ese festival había gente de muchos países y aquello fue increíble, cómo entendían cuando Lole cantaba. ¡Es que con el flamenco nos entendemos, vamos! Y después hemos hecho más cosas. Es que Lole es del barrio, de toda la vida. Yo conozco a Lole desde cuando yo era un bebé y ella siempre que hace cosas me llama.

En una publicación sevillana hay una cita tuya en la que dices: “No creo que para ser flamenco haya que ponerse un vestido de faralaes”. Parece una declaración de principios.

Es que cuando yo llego a un lugar y me ven me preguntan: ‘Y tú, ¿qué cantas?’, y cuando les digo ‘flamenco’ y me ven con la chaqueta de cuero y vaqueros y el pelo corto, ahí me preguntan, ‘¿Y tú cantas flamenco?’ Sí, yo canto mi flamenco, que no deja de ser flamenco pero es el flamenco que yo siento. Además, a la música hay que aportarle cosas. Encima que la cosa está así, regular, sí también nosotros no vamos innovando y cambiando, ¿que nos queda para el futuro?

WHAT: La Flaka Flamenco fusion

WHEN: Friday, May 20, 8 p.m.

WHERE: Miami-Dade County Auditorium, 2901 W Flagler St. Miami

Info: General: $28. Seniors/ groups/ Students and CCE Miami members: $23 ph 305-547-5414.

 


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Music writer, associate editor of the Latin GRAMMY Print & Special Projects for The Latin Recording Academy

Emmy-winner and GRAMMY®-nominated writer, critic, and editor Fernando González is the associate editor of The Latin GRAMMY Print & ..

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