The Source for Media Coverage of The Arts in Miami.
Articles, reviews, previews and features on dance and music performances and events.
Sign Up
No one logged in. Log in

Artburst Portal

“Carousel,” which contains some of the most gorgeous and memorable songs ever written for a musical, may be a musical you’ve never seen, though it has been around since 1945. The follow-up to “Oklahoma!,” Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s hugely successful debut as a composer-lyricist team, “Carousel” requires a huge cast by today’s standards, an orchestra that can do that gl..

Before women like movie star Melissa McCarthy, Chrissy Metz of NBC’s “This Is Us” and Whitney Thore of TLC’s “My Big Fat Fabulous Life” became widely embraced personalities, Josefina Lopez wrote a play titled “Real Women Have Curves.” Lopez’s 1994 comedy, made into a 2002 movie that marked America Ferrera’s film debut, is about many things. Its subjects include the fears of undocument..

Stephen Adly Guirgis won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for drama for his darkly comic “Between Riverside and Crazy.” Two years later, as GableStage’s sizzling new production so abundantly demonstrates, the play feels completely of the moment – in part because its characters traffic in “alternative facts.” Retired New York cop Walter “Pops” Washington (Leo Finnie) refuses to settle an eight-..

Neo-Impressionist Georges Seurat was an influential visionary whose pointillist work launched a movement before his untimely death in Paris in 1891 at the age of 31. He spent two years painting his masterpiece, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,” in which tiny dots of juxtaposed color viewed at the right distance transform into a host of Parisians relaxing on an island ..

Thirty-two playwrights, a half dozen directors, and around ninety plays in less than two hours. This is the South Florida One-Minute Play Festival, now in its fifth year, which runs this weekend. The festival, performed at the Deering Estate in Palmetto Bay and curated by Caitlin Wees and Dominic D’Andrea, has become a phenomenon in its own right. South Florida’s version of the festival i..

Mention the Harlem Renaissance, and those who know their history would be able to tell you a little or a lot about that vibrant period in New York’s black social and cultural life. But bring up the New York Renaissance – also known as the Renaissance Big Five or the Rens – and you’d be likely to stump anyone who isn’t steeped in basketball lore. Playwright and director Layon Gray ..

Listen up, humanity. God has a bone (or 10) to pick with us, and we’d best pay attention. I mean, if he can zap the wing off an argumentative archangel – and he can – just imagine what’s in store for us. Or simply consider the news, post-election. David Javerbaum, the Emmy Award-winning executive producer and head writer of Comedy Central’s much-missed “The Daily Show with Jon Ste..

I saw Lorca en un vestido verde, the Spanish-language version of Nilo Cruz’s play Lorca in a Green Dress eight years ago on a cramped stage in Little Havana’s Teatro Ocho, where Rolando Moreno took on the task of directing four actors who play eight roles. Even with the limitations of the production, Cruz’s inventive and lyrical script made Lorca one of my favorites from the Pulitzer Priz..

Kleber Mendonça Filho’s Aquarius (2016) is a masterful and engaging film exploring the dilemma of a singularly strong-willed, exceedingly attractive older woman who refuses to budge when power comes knocking at her door and tries to blow it off its hinges. A relative newbie to the director’s chair, Mendonça is a former film critic who layers a rich texture of skillfully developed metaphor..

The words that South Florida playwright Michael McKeever has chosen for his intense new play ‘After’ are powerful indeed. They would have to be, since his Zoetic Stage world premiere at Miami’s Arsht Center is a devastating piece about bullying, school violence and the moment when one horrific act destroys two families. But just as powerful as the words in “After” are the silences, as..

It is an awe-inspiring experience to see the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater dancers perform. They are well trained dancers, athletes and artists. Not often known is that some of the dance..

Back for an 8th season in Miami, the legendary Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater packs the house every year. With Liberty City hometown hero Robert Battle in his fifth year, we have many rea..

Awash in sunlight, around 50 women stand in a circle on the rooftop performance space of Casa Gaia in Old Havana, Cuba, as part of a belly-dance festival. Biodanza facilitator Karen Rodríguez..

Choreographer Jeanguy Saintus works primarily from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, but his creative work has global appeal. He is a pioneering artist who blends Haiti’s traditional music and dance alo..

New life for a legacy ballet—a veritable choreographer-magnet—created a great buzz about Miami City Ballet’s third program this season. But at the Arsht Center for the Performing ..

Who doesn’t delight in fairies? Miami City Ballet, for the success of its third program of the season, is certainly banking on one. And, instead of wielding a magic wand, she comes eager to p..

Transgendered performance artist Scott Turner Schofield is a collector of stories. Growing up in the South, the tales that were told about the gay and trans community were the ugliest kind of..

The Miami Theater Center in Miami Shores is giving experimental dancer-choreographer Lazaro Godoy the opportunity to interweave his visual arts and performance passions in ArMOUR, a multimedi..

The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet artistic director Tom Mossbrucker and executive director Jean-Philippe Malaty have thrilled audiences world wide with stimulating and exciting performances, and Miam..

Antonio Lizana, From Jazz and Flamenco, One Voice

Photo:
Written by: Fernando Gonzalez
Article Rating

Flamenco and jazz have had a fitful relationship. The early, tentative approaches — such as the notable Sketches of Spain (1960) by Miles Davis and Gil Evans or Jazz Flamenco (1967) by Spanish saxophonist Pedro Iturralde and a young flamenco guitarist called Paco De Lucia — didn’t really bear fruit until decades later, when the emergence of musically bilingual musicians and a much more fluid contact helped produce albums such as Friday Night in San Francisco (1981) by the Al DiMeola, John McLaughlin and de Lucia trio and Flamenco Big Band (2008) by saxophonist Perico Sambeat.

Now the work of saxophonist and cantaor Antonio Lizana, appearing with his flamenco trio at the Spanish Cultural Center of Miami (Centro Cultural Español) Thursday, offers yet another twist to that fusion. Born and raised in Cádiz, in Andalucía, Lizana´s music is a truly organic blend of jazz and flamenco elements. A sax melody may give way, without missing a beat, to a moment of cante in true flamenco style – before going back to the jagged sax line of a post-bop improvisation. The surprise is not the juxtaposition but how natural it sounds.

Lizana, who fell in love with music at age 8 when his father, a rock fan, played him a recording of Deep Purple, had a classical music education, having studied at the conservatory in Cadiz. But he was a progressive rock fan growing up surrounded by flamenco; so, at 14, he also began to accompany flamenco acts: “I´ve learnt [flamenco] playing with guitarists friends who would teach me the licks of [flamenco guitarists such as] Paco de Lucía and Tomatito,” he once recalled. “And I would translate it to the sax.” The sax led him to jazz, at first more for a technical interest than real love. But while attending Superior Music Center of the Basque Country in San Sebastián, he fell in love with jazz and found his voice, literally and figuratively.

He has two albums to his name, De viento(2011) andQuimeras al mar(2015), featuring all originals. He will be appearing with what he calls his flamenco group, long time collaborators Adriano Lozano, guitar; and Epi Pacheco, percussion.

Lizana spoke to Artburst from Madrid, Spain, where he currently resides.

You were born in Cadiz -- flamenco country -- got into music because you loved rock, had a classical education. How did you end up with a saxophone and jazz?

The music I heard at home was my father’s prog rock,and the leading player in that music is the electric guitar. But at the conservatory in Cadiz there was no electric guitar, and of all the instruments they gave me to choose from I picked the sax because I had heard it with Pink Floyd and Dire Straits and thought, ‘This will work for what I want to do’”.

So until I was 20 I was studying classical music. But when I went to the Basque Country, that’s when I met really good jazz teachers. As a teenager, with my groups, the thing was about improvising and the solos, so in looking for the best improvisers, I ended up in jazz, with Charlie Parker, John Coltrane … and Kenny Garrett who is my main influence.

How did you come up with the idea of incorporating the singing to your playing? That’s unusual for a jazz saxophonist.

The school was in an area (Basque Country) where there are no flamenco musicians, and the voice I needed was flamenca. At first the voice parts were few … so I thought “Well, for now, just to sing these bits I can do it myself and later we’ll see.” But it turned out that I love’d it and it was very well received so I started to study singing just as I had study saxophone.

You have said in some interviews that you don’t like the “jazz-flamenco fusion" label. Why so?

Labeling things is useful. That way we all agree on what we are talking about. But labels tend to leave things out. My music is obviously rooted in jazz and flamenco, that’s what I’ve studied, that’s what I heard growing up, but when I write I want to stay open to other things I find along the way, like African music or Arabic music. In fact, what keeps the flame alive for me is finding new things that might inspire me. I don’t want to stay in place, going around in circles over the same thing, over and over. But of course, the protagonist in this music is my sax, which means jazz, and my voice, which is flamenco, so here we are, we end the conversation at the same place we started.

Antonio Lizana Trioperforms Thursday, Jan. 26, 8:00 p.m., Centro Cultural Español, 1490 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; tickets $10, members of CCE Miami, free; 305-448-9677, www.ccemiami.org.

 


Leave a comment...
Must be Logged in
No one logged in. Log in
Leave a comment...
Was this helpful?
No Very

Captcha Image

About The writer

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 & ..

About the Writer

Desde Las troyanas de Eurípides hasta “Guernica” de Picasso, o de la canción “Blowing in the Wind” de Bob Dylan al diseño de las gorras rosadas que llevaron miles de mujeres en las protestas ..

En un discurso de 1977, el escritor argentino Jorge Luis Borges desmintió la idea de que la ceguera fuera un mundo de oscuridad cuando describió su propia “modesta ceguera”. Hablaba de ciert..

En su discurso de recibimiento del Premio Nobel, el poeta chileno Pablo Neruda afirmó que el poeta no es un "pequeño dios." De hecho expresó que el mejor poeta “es el hombre que nos entrega e..

En la cultura yoruba, y sobre todo en sus manifestaciones caribeñas como la afrocubana, las historias contadas oralmente por generaciones ocupan un lugar esencial. Esas historias, muchas de e..

En la serie artística Out in the Tropics, la tarima no discrimina, la sensibilidad de los intérpretes es inclusiva y todo público es bienvenido. Producción de la entidad local sin fines d..

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 Fl..

La problemática del cambio climático está que arde. Sobre todo en un estado como la Florida, en primera fila para sufrir consecuencias drásticas. Llegar al público con este mensaje e inspirar..

La música tiende puentes, y por más de media década ya, dos entidades artístico culturales del sur de la Florida, FUNDarte (http://fundarte.us/fundarte_event.php?id=221) y Miami Light Project..

La colaboración del pianista cubano de jazz Gonzalo Rubalcaba y la cantaora flamenca española Esperanza Fernández junta a dos artistas de primera línea en sus respectivos géneros sin miedo d..