Saturday, February 13, 2016

My detective work on a Triana flamenco joint

Everybody who ever visited Seville knows that Triana is the home of flamenco with its own flare. Living in Triana is pretty special. I love observing the life here. So here's what I found out about the Flamenco joint next door on the legendary Calle Pureza.

On the walls, there are big, almost life size, paintings of a flamenco dancer in her mature age. She's really stunning with her facial expressions that rattle the earth below you. I had no idea that they were pictures of a real dancer, actually a pretty famous one.

Her name is Manuela Carrasco (in the pic), and of course she's born in Triana. Here's her history on wikipedia, she for example performed on Carlos Saura's both flamenco films.

I saw her performance in the Bienal de Flamenco in 2014. Even more impressive than her dance was the anticipation and feeling in the Real Maestranza when she performed, she's really loved here. Check the review of that performance, it gives you a taste of that. I've seen her a few times in the joint too, having a drink, but I've never seen her dance there.

I found out about her identity once talking to the owner of the joint. It took me many times of going there before he warmed up a bit for a chat. Actually, I think he only wanted to talk to my friend, but hey, we got interesting stuff out!

He turns out to be Joaquín Amador, Manuela's husband and her long time guitar player. Apparently, they played and performed a lot together in their early days in the 1980's (an old clip of them performing). My friend and I were exited to hear that he's guitarist, but he was quick to say that he never plays in his own joint, somehow insinuating that it's way below he's class. So I had to dig out some early recordings of his playing on YouTube, and I found out that he's the brother of the famous flamenco singer called La Susi! See a clip from the old age of him playing with his sister La Susi.

So if the owner does not play in his own flamenco joint, who does? Well, once there with another friend listening to a young flamenco singer with a honey-smoky voice, like I call her, my friend noted the resemblance between the singer and the pictures on the walls. At that time, I didn't know that the pictures were of Manuela Carrasco, so I kinda passed her comment.

Later, though, I realised that my honey-smoky singer is the daughter of Manuela Carrasco and Joaquín Amador. Her name is Zamara Carrasco. She sings also with the group called La puro mando, but I think her voice works better in a small bar than on the big stage, where she seems to be forcing it a bit too much. This tv documentary of her is done already some years ago, but that's how l love to see her singing.

And - to finally to answer to the question: who plays the guitar? It's Zamara Carrasco's husband! He's pretty kick-ass too, I really like to listen to him, you can see him in this video. The only thing is that you never know when they play…. The joints opens close to the mid-night, he's working behind the bar and serving drinks, and you might end up waiting for an hour before anything happens. Or sometimes nothing happens... We actually almost never go there anymore, as something has changed and things don't seem to run in the same old manner anymore. But if you are nearby, it might be worth the visit!

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