Flamenco " the joy and sorrow of Andalucia | AspenTimes.com

Flamenco " the joy and sorrow of Andalucia

Si algun dia yo te llamara

Y tu no vinieras

La muerte amarga a mi me viniera

Y no la sintiera.

(If one day I called you

And you didn’t come

Bitter death would come to me

And I wouldn’t even feel it.)

A young man dressed in black slowly crosses the stage, sits in a straight-backed chair, closes his eyes, leans back and taps his right hand against his thigh. Flexing his fingers, he inhales and suddenly releases the most passionate and extraordinary of voices. This is Miguel Poveda.

I learned to love flamenco music in Aspen, of all places. After work during summers in the 1950s, I would listen over and over to a record called “Alegrias Y Penas de Andalucia” (Joys and Sorrows of Andalucia), featuring a guitar player from Sevilla named Luis Maravilla. Many years later, by total chance, I met this calm, dignified man and we became friends.

The term “flamenco” is of unknown origin, but this traditional song, dance and instrumental music of southern Spain came originally from India. It was brought to Spain via the Moors and Gypsies, and has been refined and developed since then. The songs and dances are often accompanied by rhythmic finger-snapping, hand-clapping and guitar.

Here are some images of today’s men and women who create flamenco, an exciting, rhythmic and often harsh music.

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