Emblematic of its mission to provide global music to a global community, this Spring Flushing Town Hall resumes our popular Global Mashups series on Friday, March 24 with the first of five special events.
On tap this spring are: Spain Meets Garifuna on March 24; Japan Meets Puerto Rico on April 7; Mali Meets Morocco on April 21; Taiwan Meets Jamaica on May 5; and, Thailand Meets Tahiti on May 19. All dance lessons begin at 7:00 PM, followed by concerts at 8:00 PM.
The March 24 event features Basilio Georges and his group Flamenco Latino, one of the New York City’s premier flamenco and tango groups, and Lucy Blanco and the Afri-Garifuna Jazz Ensemble, presenting a fusion of jazz and the endangered culture of Garifuna music. We spoke with Basilio about the upcoming performance.
Where are you based?
Flamenco Latino is currently based out of our apartment in Jackson Heights in Queens. The company recently vacated a dance studio space in Midtown Manhattan where for 10 years, it offered classes in flamenco guitar, dance, cante, and produced concerts, recitals, and outreach for adults and children.
Flamenco Latino was founded in 1979.
Describe your style of music.
The music and dance style of Flamenco Latino has always been a mix of traditional flamenco with elements of latin and jazz. The flamenco art form was exposed to elements of latin caribbean culture starting at the end of the 18th century. These forms developed into a genre called La Ida y Vuelta (the Round Trip styles). They include flamenco rumbas, tangos and other cut-time 4/4 rhythms along with use of hips and other body movements, which did not exist in Spain or the rest of Europe. Flamenco Latino’s most creative concert repertoire has always sought to present a modern interpretation of the Ida y Vuelta genre.
What can people experience at your performance?
We will use a very unusual trio of musicians which is flamenco guitar, baritone saxophone and a percussionist playing cajon and congas. There are 2 flamenco dancers. One is my wife Aurora Reyes. She and I also sing in flamenco style. The repertoire will include several flamenco rumbas, tangos and bulerias with jazz and latin flavor to the music, as well as a distinct version of Sevillanas, the popular Andaluz folk form, in which we incorporate elements of an Afro Cuban santo called Elegua Go Anya.
What excites you about participating in this Global Mashup series?
The theme of the series encourages the type of cultural fusions of music and dance which Flamenco Latino has been exploring for over 35 years.
Tickets to all Global Mashup performances are $16, and $10 for members and students. Audience members receive a 20% discount when purchasing tickets to two performances; 30% off when buying tickets to three performances; and, 50% off when purchasing tickets to all five events. Visit http://www.flushingtownhall.org/globalmashup for more details and tickets, or call (718) 463-7700 x222.