Saturday, November 16, 2013

"Flamenco Hoy" Award Ceremony

     Wednesday night I was in a room with over a hundred flamenco artists and aficionados at the 'Flamenco Today' award ceremony. Many of the best and most important contemporary flamenco artists were present to receive awards given by the Crítica Nacional de Flamenco, a group of influential members of the flamenco community. It is an invitation only event and my friend and I were definitely the only non-Spaniards to attend. So, why did I get to go? Long story short, I know a girl who knows a guy who I now know. Long story a little longer, I am looking for a flamenco guitar and one of my friends knows a respected flamenco guitarist. The guitarist invited the girl I know to the event, but she couldn't go and sent me the invitation. I talked with the guitarist and he said he would be happy if I attended. The flamenco guitarist, Pablo San Nicasio Ramos, happens to be on the committee who elects the winners of the awards.

     The event was supposed to start at 9pm. We showed up at 9:15 thinking we might be late. I must've forgotten what country I was in. The presenters took the stage at 10:45. In the interim, we were served drinks and several tapas, and the room filled up. We got good seats at a table near the stage, which we shared with José Anillo and company, who won an award for best singer. 
José Anillo
     The presenters would give a few awards and then the 'house band' would come on stage and play a couple of songs. The room being filled with flamenco artists, I thought the audience would  listen closely and shout timely olés. Not exactly so. They talked amongst themselves, probably wanting to enjoy the rare occurance of so many artists together in one room.

    The winner of the best solo guitar album was Juan Manuel Cañizares, which was special for me because he started my still-growing obsession with flamenco music. He was there to accept the award.

Juan Manuel Cañizares
     Another winner was La Argentina, who I am looking forward to seeing at the Auditorio Nacional this year.

La Argentina
     After the show I met Pablo for the first time, who could not have been nicer. He is a well-respected music journalist as well as flamenco guitarist and has been generous in imparting to me some of his vast knowledge of all things flamenco. I even went to his house last week to try out a guitar he had, where I received my first flamenco ¡olé! 
     Needless to say, the award show was a success and I look forward to continuing my flamenco education this year.

The winners (All of the night's winners can be found HERE. )

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