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Miami’s venerable M Ensemble is a company that sometimes dips into its rich history to mount fresh productions of past shows. For its second production in its versatile new home at the Sandrell Rivers Theater in Liberty City, the troupe is revisiting Darren Canady’s “Brothers of the Dust.” Winner of the 2012 M. Elizabeth Osborn Award from the American Theatre Critics Association, the ..

“El cuento de Rene,” actor and director Larry Villanueva’s adaptation of Cuban writer Rene Ariza’s short stories into a work of theater, is more than an homage. It’s a statement on oppression. Ariza was sentenced to eight years in prison for trying to send manuscripts abroad. He was banned from creating theater in Cuba and condemned as “counter-revolutionary.” Ariza served five years of h..

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{This interview was conducted before the film making team went on to amazing Oscar success.} Playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney and filmmaker Barry Jenkins are nine miles away from the Liberty City housing projects where they both grew up, but they are worlds away. They are at the picturesque Standard Hotel to talk about the new movie "Moonlight," with a screenplay by Jenkins base..

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Sales of George Orwell’s chilling dystopian novel “1984” have soared during the early days of the Trump administration, the headlines pouring out of Washington having repositioned a 1949 literary classic as a 21st century cautionary tale. The late Czech president and playwright Václav Havel brought his deeply observed, hard-earned perspective on life under totalitarianism to the stage..

“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 ..

Miami choreographer Augusto Soledade has been a fixture in the local dance world since he arrived here in 2004. His cast has shifted over the years and he continues to challenge himself artis..

In one duet, two dancers use their bodies as counterweights, springing forth from each other’s bodies with explosive power. In another, dancers form a sharp line before torsos undulate and fa..

Teacher, choreographer and activist Dale Andree is known for her ability to merge activism with dance. Andree founded and directs National Water Dance, a site-specific project that joins danc..

In 2016, Philadelphia-based Koresh Dance company crossed their 25-year mark. To celebrate, the company returns to Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts with a 25th anniversary..

From singers like Joan Baez to poets like Maya Angelou to anonymous knitters of pink pussy hats, creative women have played an essential role in this country as agitators and activists. Likew..

When Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami (DDTM) takes the stage this weekend, it will present a program rich in the cultural milieu of Miami. Co-founders Jennifer Kronenberg and Carlos Guerra i..

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..

Josemi Carmona, Javier Colina and a World of Music Beyond Flamenco

Photo: Credit: Anya Bartels
Written by: Fernando Gonzalez
Article Rating

Guitarist, composer and producer Josemi Carmona embodies the spirit of Nuevo Flamenco. Rooted firmly in tradition, he has proven a restless, curious artist, ignoring the boundaries of genres and collaborating with musicians as disparate as jazz bassist Dave Holland, British Indian musician Nitin Sawhney, Norwegian pianist Bugge Wesseltoft and pop superstar Alejandro Sanz. He was 14 when he joined Ketama, the enormously successful flamenco pop group co-founded by his brother, Juan Carmona. And if an endorsement was still necessary, flamenco virtuoso Paco de Lucía called him “one of the guitarists who will define guitar playing in the 21st century.”

So it’s only fitting that Carmona and Javier Colina, one of the premier and most versatile bassists in Spain, as comfortable in jazz as in flamenco, open the two-concert Flamenco Eñe series at the intimate Carnival Studio Theater at the Arsht Center, Sunday at 7 p.m. The duo, with the addition of percussionist José Ruiz, will be performing music from their recently released album De Cerca (Up Close), which includes nods to flamenco, jazz and the Great Latin American Songbook.

The second installment of Flamenco Eñe, featuring the quartet Ultra High Flamenco, also takes place in the Carnival Studio Theater the following Sunday, March 19.

“I love orthodox flamenco. I love to listen to a soleá, to a siguiriya [styles within flamenco]. But flamenco is the result of many fusions in that journey that brought the gypsies from India to the south of Spain, some through Europe, some through the North of Africa, and I´m not against any [musical mix] as long as it’s done from the heart,” says Carmona, reached by phone recently.

Jose Miguel Carmona was born in Madrid in 1971. He´s the son of the great guitarist Pepe Habichuela and the bailaora Amparo Bengala and, as such, part of one of the dynasties of flamenco. He was just 5 when he debuted on stage with the late Enrique Morente, one of the essential voices of flamenco, and as a teenager he toured with his father on the landmark Broadway revue “Flamenco Puro” in the mid 1980s.

He also co-founded the La Barberia del Sur, a flamenco pop group, and later joined Ketama, a group that blended flamenco with strains from pop and jazz, as well as salsa, Brazilian music and African music. The band dissolved in the early 2000s (although in recent statements Carmona called it a “hiatus”) and Carmona embarked on a solo career.

Playing with Colina, a superior player best known for his work with pianists Tete Montoliu, Bebo and Chucho Valdes and trumpeter and conguero Jerry González, De Cerca marks for Carmona a change in approach. This album was recorded “as if playing live, so the listener has the feeling of being up close.”

His interest in other genres and styles from around the world comes from growing up surrounded by music and having a father who was himself open minded and curious about the world beyond flamenco, he says.(Consider as a sample Habichela´s marvelous Yerbaguena, with the Bollywood Strings.)

“Even though my father is a flamenco guitarist through and through, I remember being a kid, in the living room, playing with my little toy cars and my father listening to [classic flamenco figures such as singers Pepe] Marchena o [Manolo] Caracol but also putting on Chick Corea, John Williams, Ravi Shankar or Gilberto Gil. I started playing when I was 4 years old and that was my musical education, open to other music. And then, later on we started to get a lot more information and I devoured it – Michael Jackson, Take Six, Stevie Wonder, Prince, you name it, so it’s not surprising that when the time comes to compose, it comes out.”

“I love jazz, I love pop, I love Indian music, Afro-Caribbean music and I love the mixes with flamenco,” he says. “For me music is about emotion. That’s what I aim to when I play; I want to move people, to have the hairs on their arms stand up. When that happens, that’s beautiful, that’s like saying ‘Ole’.”

 

Josemi Carmona & Javier Colina with Bandolero, part of the Flamenco Ñ series, Sunday at 7:00 p.m., Carnival Studio Theater, Arsht Center for the Performing Arts Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; tickets $50, 305-949-6722; arshtcenter.org.

 

 

 

 


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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

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