Live @ 365: Brings the finest artists from around the world, including many debuts to the exquisite Elebash Hall at The Graduate Center in NYC.
The Festero Tradition with José El Pañero and Javier Heredia
José El Pañero from the Andalusian port city of Algeciras, the birthplace of ...
Perico el Pañero and his brother José el Pañero are often described as being “from another planet” and most definitely “from another time,” but they are actually young flamenco artists in their 30s from the Andalusian port city of Algeciras, the birthplace of guitarist Paco de Lucia.
Joined by two outstanding emerging artists from Jerez de la Frontera—guitarist Pepe del Morao and singer Rafael del Zambo—Pañero will share this legacy with New Yorkers for the first time on May 5, 2016 at 7 pm, as part of Live@365: A GLOBAL MUSIC SERIES, presented by the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and curated by Isabel Soffer/Live Sounds. The Graduate Center opens its doors to the public each semester, providing opportunities to engage with leading thinkers, writers, scholars, and performers.
Their singing and dancing embodies a deep memory passed down through the generations in a language of gestures and melisma. Their art is rooted in a time when Gypsy music and dance were enmeshed in the harsh reality of poverty and social marginalization and when flamenco dance was a spontaneous expression of cultural identity sparked by the deep feelings evoked by the cante.
“Of course Gypsy flamenco is a living culture which evolves with time,” Perico el Pañero says. “Each artist’s own personality and charisma come through in the singing and dancing. You have to understand: we are not performing. We're expressing ourselves, our life experience and our culture. But at the same time, we are also channeling the ancestors.”
Born into a lineage of respected, non-professional Gypsy singers, the Pañero brothers have garnered a cult following among discerning flamenco aficionados. They are said to evoke the old school “festeros,” who sang and danced at the same time, charming fiesta participants with their charisma, their humor, and the surprising twists of their improvised movements.
Pepe del Morao is one of the younger members of the Morao guitar-playing dynasty. Born in 1986, he began his professional life at age 14 working with his grandfather’s group, Manuel Morao y los Gitanos de Jerez. He was taken under the wing of his uncle Moraíto at a young age, performing with him and with his cousin Diego del Morao throughout Spain and around the world. A skilled accompanist for the cante, he has worked with renowned singers such as Juana la del Pipa and Jesus Méndez and appears on the CD Nueva Frontera del Cante de Jerez.
The young Rafael del Zambo—nephew of renowned cantaor, Luis el Zambo—stands out among other singers of his generation in Jerez because of his dedication to the most traditional styles. Lovers of great flamenco signing have their eye on him and many feel he will continue developing as one of the best singers of the cante gitano.
“Being born into a Gypsy family where flamenco is a way of life, we have the cante in our veins,” del Zambo says. “If you are born with the gift, you can work hard and develop it and your ancestors will live on through you.”
Thanks to these stellar torchbearers of tradition, New Yorkers will get to live and breathe this rarely experienced intensity and devotion firsthand. “I’m really surprised that Gypsy cante is so respected outside of Andalucia and even outside of Spain,” José el Pañero says. “I’m very happy and grateful for the opportunity to sing and dance in the U.S. for the first time.”
Live@365 is presented by the Graduate Center of the City University of New York to showcase diverse artistic voices from around the globe. Curated by Isabel Soffer/Live Sounds, all Live@365 shows take place at the Graduate Center’s Elebash Recital Hall, an intimate 180-seat space designed with classical recital-hall design and superb, state-of-art sound. Tickets are free to CUNY students.
Live@365 is funded with generous gifts from the Baisley Powell Elebash Fund and the Ford Foundation’s Good Neighbor Committee.
The Graduate Center is located at 365 5th Avenue, between West 34 and West 35th Street. The venue is a short walk from the 6 train at the 33rd Street stop, the B / D / F / M or PATH train at the 34 Street Herald Square stop or the 1 / 2 / 3 trains at 34 Street Penn Station.
Tickets for all Live@365 shows can be purchased by visiting us online at Liveat365.org, by calling Showclix at 1-888-71-TICKETS (1-888-718-4253) or in person (if available), from 6 pm until showtime on the day of the show at the venue. Tickets to all shows are $25 or $20 for Graduate Center members, faculty, and staff. CUNY students may reserve free tickets by calling 212-817-8215. Discount tickets for non-CUNY students may be purchased in person at the event, when available.
For more information about shows, questions about the venue, and to learn more about the entire Live@365 season, please visit us on the web at Liveat365.org.
About the Graduate Center:
As an intellectual and cultural hub in midtown Manhattan, the Graduate Center opens its doors to the public each semester with its GC Presents series, Live@365 music series, and many other events. The Spring season features Mayor Bill de Blasio, Patti Smith, Paul Krugman, Murray Perahia, Margo Jefferson, Tania Bruguera, Bassem Youssef, and many others, offering timely discussions, diverse cultural perspectives, and thought-provoking ideas. The central premise that knowledge is a public good underlies the research, teaching, and public events of the principal doctorate-granting institution of the City University of New York. For more information about the Graduate Center and its events, please visit www.gc.cuny.edu/publicprograms.