2009 CAJA MADRID FLAMENCO FESTIVAL

Viva Jerez!

Alejandro Escribano. Madrid, March 2nd, 2009

Paco Cepero (guitar) with José Ignacio Franco and Miguel Salado (guitars), Sofía Quarengui (violin) and Pedro Navarro (percussion) / José Mercé (cante) with Moraíto Chico (guitar). 17th Caja Madrid Flamenco Festival 2009. Teatro del Canal. Sala A. Madrid. March 2nd, 2009. 8:30 p.m.

Highslide JS
Paco Cepero
(Photo archive Daniel Muñoz)

The last night of the Caja Madrid Flamenco Festival was devoted entirely to Jerez de la Frontera, with two Jerez-born artists who have developed much of their career in Madrid: José Mercé and Paco Cepero. And which began with the presentation of the 2009 Calle de Alcalá Flamenco Award to the Jerez-born cantaor, a lifetime achievement award which has precisely the aim of recognizing a flamenco artist who has developed most of his professional career in Madrid. He received it from the hands of poet Félix Grande, who commented on his figure with the following words: “Mercé is one of the maestros who give prestige to the cantes from Jerez. There isn’t a creature that’s truer, nor more sincere, nor more belligerently joyful, nor more tragically flamenco than the Jerez-born cantaor”. Mercé was wholeheartedly thankful for the award, “it’s an honor and source of pride for any artist”. The evening was opened, however, by Paco Cepero, also awarded the Calle de Alcalá in 2004, who went back over his solo discography, with special emphasis on his latest creation, ‘Abolengo’. In top form, he reeled off the songs which make up said album: ‘Pueblo Blanco’, ‘Plazuela’, ‘Capricho’, ‘Vendimia’, ‘Serenata Andaluza’ … with the addition of Sofía Quarengui on violin, giving the whole an entirely new atmosphere. Good taste, elegance and flavor are what Cepero offered, with perfect use of technical resources (strummings, staccatos and tremolos) and of the rests. He closed with his smash hit, the rumba ‘Agua marina’, in which he indulged in even sticking in another of his greatest hits, ‘Esa cobardía’.

Highslide JS
José Mercé
(Photo archive Daniel Muñoz)

The festival ended with José Mercé’s recital. He opened, as is usual for him, with some impressive tonás, at the far left of the stage and solely with the support of a very white overhead light. He continued with some aching malagueñas and pleased por soleá, invoking three of the greatest Jerez-born artists of all time: La Paquera, Terremoto and his uncle Manuel Soto “Sordera”. He showed knowledge por seguiriyas and confidence por alegrías. All of it with the firm toque of Moraíto, sober in the accompaniment and creative in the falsetas. But what up until then had been a correct, formal recital turned into a genuine fiesta por bulerías at that instant, in which Mercé took advantage to do a little dance evoking La Paquera, Caracol and his native land of Jerez: “José is my first name / and La Mercé my banner / dawning in my pupils / is my Jerez de la Frontera”. He closed por fandangos, with an emotional final dedication to his mother, Josefa Soto.

 


Further information

More information, tickets
www.obrasocialcajamadrid.es

Cantaor José Mercé stars in the 2009 Caja Madrid Flamenco Festival

Festival Flamenco Caja Madrid 2008. Daily follow-up: reviews, photos and online videos

Festival Flamenco Caja Madrid 2007. Daily follow-up: reviews, photos and online videos

 




 

CD: José Mercé, 'Grandes éxitos'

More information, audio, orders

CD: Paco Cepero, 'Abolengo'

More information, audio, orders

 

José Mercé
Biography, discography, audio and readers' comments

 

 

 

 

 
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