Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Upcoming in ABQ - Festival Flamenco de Alburquerque

Living in Albuquerque, sometimes it's easy to overlook or become overly accustomed to some big events. I'm talking about major happenings like the International Balloon Fiesta or the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow. These draw in huge crowds from within but also outside the state and country. I hope that living here and having major events year after year doesn't leave us jaded to their immense draw.

One of the events that runs the risk of flying under our radar is the Festival Flamenco de Alburquerque.

It's already in its 26th year yet there are plenty of people who live right here in Albuquerque who have probably never been. Do you know how I know? Because I'm one of them.

Which is a darn shame considering I took classical guitar in high school and performed flamenco pieces and attended shows and truly fell in love with the craft. But somehow, the Festival Flamenco managed to pass by without my notice.

This year is different. I recently sat down with Marisa from the National Institute of Flamenco to talk and learn more about the festival.

The festival has two main manifestations: performances and workshops. Organizers are bringing in a total of 26 performers from outside the United States. They'll be performing at the various shows during the week and many of them will also be teaching the different workshops. Workshops go on throughout the day with performances in the evening.

I asked Marisa which was the one performance I shouldn't miss. She said her personal favorite is Israel Galván but that if you're only seeing one show, go to one of the performances on Friday or Saturday. Whether you go on June 14th or 15th, you'll have a chance to see a collaborative effort with each headliner performing a number at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.

That means you'll be seeing Marco Flores, Iván Vargas, Karime Amaya, and Israel Galván all in one night. I know that those names might not mean anything to someone outside of the flamenco community, but suffice it to say that these are some big names and their performances are sure to be top notch.

This weeklong festival runs from Monday, June 10th through Saturday, June 15th. Check out the schedule online for all the details on times and venues.


So whether you're one of the roughly 300 workshop participants or one of over 5,000 audience members, make sure you don't miss this year's Festival Flamenco. Remember, this is the biggest flamenco festival in North America and it's happening right here in our city. I'm definitely not missing it this time around.

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