I posted a Debussy piece earlier today one if his Arabesques. A friend of mine commented on the post that I should check out Sabicas’ flamenco piece entitled, “Arabian Dance.” I agree it is a great piece!
Sabicas is one of the huge legends of flamenco guitar and a pioneer in spreading the genre outside of it’s native Spain. I have heard a lot of his stuff but never this one. It is a very virtuoso piece for sure lots of runs and very ‘Arabic’ sounding in its use of the harmonic minor scale. Arabic sounds have always been a big part of flamenco as the Moorish influences moved into Spain and combined with the existing culture.
San Diego is a great town for flamenco guitar. It’s proximity to Mexico, it’s rich Spanish Mission history, Spanish style architecture throughout the community and warm Mediterranean type climate make it a perfect match for the Iberian music.
As a guitarist, I play weddings and events throughout the region and flamenco truly pairs perfectly with our Latin infused city. Both traditional and nova styles of flamenco blend flawlessly with outdoor venues along the Pacific coast, Balboa Park and in so many of the great Mexican restaurants in San Diego.
Another amazing feature of San Diego is the ‘World Famous San Diego Zoo’
What an amazing place this is, a must see if you’ve never been. Here you will find beautiful weather and animals ranging from polar bears to pandas and every type of animal in-between including flamingos.
Herein lies a play on words not easily detected by the uninitiated. I am often asked if I can play flamingo guitar?? Do they want me to stand on one leg? Eat shrimp? Wear pink? Well so far this has never been the case…although I like shrimp and my daughter would love for me to wear an all pink outfit…
Nope, I just take it in stride and assume they have made the ever popular inadvertent mistake of transposing the words Flamenco and Flamingo and their true intention is Flamenco!! So far I haven’t been wrong and shown up to a flamenco guitar event where I was expected to wear pink, although sometimes they do serve shrimp.
However you pronounce it flamenco is an incredible form of music from Spain with Middle Eastern influences. It is a music rich in tradition that has been passed on from generation to generation. Great masters of the traditional style include Sabicas and Montoya to Paco de Lucia still with all the great technique in a more contemporary style. Then there is the modern flamenco ‘nova’ style with artists like the Gypsy Kings, Ottmar Liebert and Strunz & Farah bringing flamenco to even more listeners throughout the world. Make sure you give a listen to all the styles below
Remember to ask FLAMENCO for guitar music and FLAMINGO for the zoo!!! Either way San Diego is your city!