Capullo de Jerez
Biography, discography, Real Audio and readers' comments


The universal appeal of Capullo de Jerez

Carlos Sánchez. Jerez, 11th September 2004

More than eight thousand people turned out at the bullring in Jerez de la Frontera to witness the 37th edition of the Fiesta de la Bulería. This year's event, dedicated to Francisca Méndez Garrido ‘Paquera de Jerez’, contained something for everyone, with some first-rate performers. Capullo de Jerez and Joaquín Grilo were the evening's showstoppers. Luis el Zambo left a good taste in the mouth, Vicente Soto ‘Sordera’ did his thing, while El Torta never quite seemed to find his feet.

Jerez 'por bulerías'. This is how the current edition kicked off, with a group comprising up-and-coming local talent. Jesús Méndez, Sara Salado, El Torrán, Sandra Rincón, Paco Peña ‘Gasolina hijo’, Eva de Rubichi and Rocío Fernández were entrusted with warming up the proceedings. And the guitars of Pedro Pimentel and Manuel Jero rounded off the group of newcomers. Next up was cantaor Luis el Zambo from the famous flamenco barrio de Santiago in Jerez. The cantaor's dark voice, oozing gypsy charm, provided the very definition of the roots and the essence of cante flamenco. Antonio Jero backed him up on guitar. An original voice coupled with an excellent command of compás made for a worthy performance. His repertoire comprised taranta, malagueña, soleá with a hint of bulería por soleá, seguiriya, fandangos and bulerías. El Zambo showed due respect for the roots of cante. And of course he wanted to leave the public in no doubt that the 'bulería corta de Santiago' is unparalleled as a cante, all the more important in these times when light-hearted cuplés encroach ever more on the idiosyncrasy of this form.

Joaquín Grilo
(Photo: Carlos Sánchez)

He was introduced by Luis de Pacote. The simple mention of his name had the audience in raptures. The arena erupts. This is a vocalist with universal appeal... and not only with the present audience. The man of the moment is Miguel Flores ‘Capullo de Jerez’. He kicks off with his standard repertoire. Soleá por bulería. Then he shifts gear. “Que no me gusta el pan, que no me gusta el queso, lo que más me gusta son tus besos” (I don't like bread, I don't like cheese, what I really like is your kisses). To a rumbas rhythm. The troubador from the Asunción neighborhood takes up populist themes and builds on them in his lyrics. “Tantos majaretas y tantos criticones” (So many madmen, so many faultfinders). A protest song. Antonio Jero accompanies him on guitar. Tequila and Jesús Flores provided the backing 'coros' and 'palmas'. And Rubichi slapped the cajón. He winds up with some lyrics he wrote in memory of the March 11th bombings in Madrid, which he first sang not long ago in the capital's Sabatini gardens. “Tenemos que unirnos y luchar por la paz” (We have to unite and fight for peace). And Jerez fell to its knees before him. Capullo knows how to transmit his feelings - he gets his message across. Por bulerías. The bullring goes wild. Rumba. “La vida es una rutina” (Life is a routine). The audience were on their feet.

Dance, form and movement

After the interval it was dance that took over the proceedings. Joaquín Grilo. The bailaor from Jerez, so fond of his hometown, was the night's other shining star. Tonight he was bursting with enthusiasm, and it showed. His dance dazzled, his furious footwork was breathtaking, his soles crashed mercilessly down on the stage. On this occasion he brought along his complete company. The artist gave his home town a taste of his new show ‘Forma y movimiento’. He began with a foot-stomping tango. The whole company huddles around him. Grilo stays put. In the seguiriya he starts to give a taste of what he's capable of. His steps are measured, he displays them up and down the front of the stage. He swirls around, and brings the piece to a close. El Pulga and Carmen Grilo give the bailaor a chance to catch his breath, 'por tangos'. The dancer returns. The soleá plunges him deep into a world of immortals, brimming over with sensations. He's immersed in his dance. His body demands more and more of him. He enters a trance-like state. His artform has invaded his person. Lefèvre's violin adds extra depth to the moment. And the bulería calls him. He's on his home turf here. He gives his all. This one's for you, Paquera.

Then it was back to the vocals, with Vicente Soto ‘Sordera’. The artist from barrio de Santiago drew on an up-beat repertoire in keeping with the philosophy behind the event. Diego del Morao strummed the chords for him. Alegrías, soleá por bulería, seguiriya (a little heavy for three in the morning), tangos and cuplé por bulerías. The evening was drawing to a close. Now came the turn of the bohemian Juan Moneo Lara ‘El Torta’ from La Plazuela in the very heart of Jerez. The audience chanted his name. But this wasn't Juan's night. The pressure was too much for him. Fresh from his triumphant appearance with Diego del Morao a few days ago at the Festival Bienal de Sevilla, the genius from La Plazuela just couldn't get a grip. Taranto, cartagenera, and still trying to hit the spot with a malagueña. He leaves the somber forms behind and switches to some more up-beat rhythms - first 'por tangos'. He recalls Luis de la Pica. He performs a new tangos piece from his forthcoming album. And then it was time for a bulería. His talent resembles that of bullfighter Rafael de Paula. He's capable of giving both the best and the worst performances. He dedicated some lines to the matador from Jerez. He rounds off with a bulería on the subject of drugs. Oh, well - maybe next time. The curtains came down on the thirty-seventh edition with the obligatory Grand finale, featuring each and every one of the performers. And that's it... until the thirty-eighth.

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