Cordoba: Days 3-5
Editors Note:Daily updates from the Cordoba Guitar Festival – Day 3 to 5 – sent in by Corey Whitehead!
Dear Paul and Esteemed Friends,
The third and fourth days of the 30th Edition of the Córdoba Guitar Festival brought Pepe Romero and Duo Assad to the stage of El Teatro Cómico. It is difficult to rest, rehearse and go to all of the concerts and recitals at the Festival, so we had to pick our spots in cases to rest, sometimes during a concert. So we missed Pepe Romero and saw the Duo Assad concert on Friday, July 10th. They were in typical form, astounding the audience with their mastery of ensemble performance, breathtaking technique, and world-class repertoire (and compositions). Odair played solo works of Sérgio from Odair’s new solo CD, they were crowd favorites along with Sérgio’s Grammy-winning composition (for two guitars) from 2005.
Saturday July 10th was much anticipated by all flamenco fans as “F-2” Arcángel and José Antonio Rodríguez (JAR) (with Chico Gallardo-2nd guitar, Agustin Diassera-percussion, Pedro Vinagre-Bass, Coros y Palmas-Los Mellis, Baile-Mercedes de Córdoba). F-2 is the union of two of the most significant artists in the flamenco music scene. This project naturally unifies their styles creating the concept that represents the two (2). As these two have crossed paths, in this encounter, we are submerged in an atmosphere that is absolutely overflowing with ideas that give us music for the creation of flamenco of a high level, in concept and in foundation. They are revered for their technique, technology, and manner of feeling flamenco, that brings to this presentation, an equilibrium between the guitar and the cante. F-2 was born with the intention of being a fabric of ideas from a laboratory of art, in which they have included special guest artists, for that they are the summation of the natural manner of a project, alive and full of energy, recognizing equilibrium and passion. Together they share a vision that enlightens the world of Flamenco from the “Ciudad de Las Ideas” and through their formation have continued the Renaissance of Thought and Ideas that exists in Flamenco, and gives it new life, as the Gualquvir River flows from Córdoba, F-2 flows from Córdoba, and from the inspiration of Manolo Sanlúcar to Sevilla, Cádiz, Jerez, and on to Sanlúcar de Barremeda.The concert began with the entire group and it was immediately apparent that the supporting cast was up to the task. Los Mellis were powerful cantaors and were exhibiting soniquete of the highest order with Agustín Diaserra and the palmas of Arcángel. The arrangement was breathtaking, as was the performance of the dynamic duo. The concert progressed with a traditional duo without the group. JAR was exhibiting a clinic on accompaniment of cante. Then the entire group was joined by the prima ballerina of The Eva Yerbabuena Flamenco Company, Mercedes de Córdoba. She was mesmerizing. A particularly interesting part of the evening was when Arcángel joined JAR at front stage and played guitar! Yes! He played guitar accompanying JAR and at times, himself. It was quite memorable. Another memorable moment was when the group without JAR accompanied Arcángel por Bulerías de Jerez. The main vocal microphone failed and all that remained were the PZM mics for the dancer. They picked up the feet and palmas, and the vocals of Los Mellis, but not Arcángel, he remained poised, and delivered a stunning performance with no microphone and brought the house to a frenzy.Tonight is the World Cup Final, and in Spain you might know what that means this year! After that Leo Brouwer conducts the Orchestra of Córdoba with Coro Ziriyab, and Paco Serano and Javier Riba on guitars! It is at 23:30 at the Roman Ampitheater, it will be a unique evening for sure.Saludos,Corey
Editors Note:While I can't find decent any video of F-2 in action, This is a good excuse for me to drop in one of my favorite Manolo Sanlúcar videos (below), which features José Antonio Rodríguez (JAR).