Cantan Los Fuegos

Flamenco/jazz comes to Pasadena

By Marcia Martinez
Published on LatinoLA: May 15, 2003

Cantan Los Fuegos

Since 1975, flamenco has experienced a transformation as revolutionary as jazz in the bebop era. As the Franco regime ended, a phenomenon known as La Movida erupted as Spanish artists in all disciplines began exploring new avenues of expression. For flamenco musicians and dancers, this meant fusing flamenco with American jazz, Latin American and African rhythms, and contemporary pop and rock styles. Now there?s flamenco/jazz, flamenco/rock -- even flamenco/rap!

Moj?car (http://www.mojacarflamenco.com) represents this flow of ideas the other way across the Atlantic. This L.A. based trio, featuring guitarist Stephen Dick, dancer Katerina Tom?s and percussionist Fernando Diez, have merged flamenco music and dance with jazz harmonies and Latin rhythms into a unique sound and performance style. Weaving guitar, percussion and footwork together in tight interplay, they create flamenco with a modern pulse whether they?re playing explosive, rhythmic music or intense dance works in the Cante Jondo style.

On Saturday, June 21st, Moj?car will bring their distinctive blend of contemporary flamenco music and dance to the McKinley Auditorium in Pasadena for one night only.

Latin Style magazine described Moj?car?s music as ? . . . a beautiful and unique sound. Their musical influences are worldwide and they combine them masterfully, making them seem like they were made for each other.?

It?s this blending of forms and styles that makes Moj?car?s music so distinctive. Stephen came to flamenco as a classically trained composer . Katerina was a modern dancer before she began studying flamenco with the great Rosa Montoya. Fernando studied percussion in Africa and Cuba. All three have studied traditional flamenco intensely, but their work in flamenco is always influenced by their talent and experience in other styles.

?Cantan Los Fuegos,? a new work that will premiere at the June 21st concert is an example of Moj?car?s ability to transform traditional forms. In this work, the group has taken three movements from Manuel de Falla?s El Amor Brujo and set them to a 5/4 rhythm with a flamenco feel. The result is powerful, driving, innovative music and dance.

?La Reina del Cielo,? a new dance work also premiering on June 21st, is in the ancient La Ca?a form. This form calls for a dozen different sections at four different tempos performed in one continuous gesture. Moj?car have recast much of the characteristic music of this ancient form in their unique style while retaining the traditional structure.

For more information, visit Moj?car's website at www.mojacarflamenco.com

About Marcia Martinez:
Marcia Martinez has been studying and performing flamenco for over five years and is active in L.A. area Latino/a service organizations including Girls Today Women Tomorrow.

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