Kurie Fitzgerald: [email protected], 202-994-6461
Maralee Csellar: [email protected], 202-994-7564
WASHINGTON (Oct. 8, 2015)—Fado, jazz, Flamenco and contemporary world music will take center stage with a series of Iberian music and dance performances at the George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium. The 2015-16 series and a Flamenco Festival in the spring will feature artists from Spain, Portugal and Brazil.
Portuguese singer Mariza will return to Lisner for the first time since 2005 and opens the series with her show on Oct. 24. Mariza is part of a new generation of musicians that are reinvigorating fado – a style of singing that blends timeless Portuguese folk melodies and poetry with Arabic cadences and African and Brazilian rhythms. Her passionate, charismatic performances have won her legions of fans worldwide. Her album “Mundo” will be released on Friday, marking her first recording after a five-year hiatus. Her previous record, “Fado Tradicional,” was released in 2010.
“We continue our 2015-2016 season with a series of artists and performances representing Iberian culture around the globe,” said Maryann Lombardi, executive director of GW’s Lisner Auditorium. “It is exciting for us to bring our audiences some of the most genre-defining people in fado, flamenco and jazz music as well as in flamenco dance.”
On Nov. 18, Paco Peña, guitarist, composer, dramatist, producer and artistic mentor from Córdoba, Spain, will bring to Lisner’s stage his embodiment of both authenticity and innovation in flamenco music. Mr. Peña has performed around the world from London’s Royal Albert Hall to New York City’s Carnegie Hall. This fall at Lisner, he will perform his newest work called “Flamencura,” a showcase combining voice, guitar, percussion and dance.
GW’s Lisner will continue its foray into Iberian culture this spring with a four-day Flamenco Festival, beginning on March 8, 2016, with Farruquito, a Flamenco dancer from Seville, Spain. Hosted in partnership with Jaleo and José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup, the festival includes some of the most important performers in Flamenco dance, from world-renowned veterans to newcomers. Founded in 2001, the Flamenco Festival now is one of the largest showcases for Flamenco outside of Spain.
Farruquito’s performance at Lisner is part of his first U.S. tour in more than a decade. He is regarded as one of the most faithful representatives of “flamenco puro” – the dance in its traditional state. A phenomenally popular artist both in Spain and around the world, his precise yet passionate dancing style embodies this rich cultural heritage. At Lisner he will perform “Improvisao,” a master class in authentic and visceral Flamenco and an intimate show centered on daring improvisation.
As part of Flamenco Festival Ballet Flamenco de Andalucia, a dance company based in Seville, Spain, will perform “Images: 20 Years” on March 12, 2016. Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía, recognized as the most important representative of Flamenco art in Spain, performs “Images” under the direction of Rafaela Carrasco. The company will celebrate its 20th anniversary with this performance, revisiting five of the most celebrated choreographies in its repertoire. Not only a tribute to the company’s former directors who also inspired Ms. Carrasco during her career, the show is also an interpretation of the rich history of Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía.
Rocío Molina, a Spanish dancer on the forefront of modern Flamenco, comes to Lisner on March 18, 2016. Ms. Molina has been awarded many of Spain’s top accolades, including National Dancer of the Year in 2010. She has been described as an “exceptional artist” by the New York Times, and wowed audiences at Lisner in 2010. She will perform “Danzaora,” which explores her personal dance language combining Flamenco with traditional “bolero” and Spanish classical dance.
On March 19, 2016, Lisner will host “Qasida,” a musical collaboration between Sevillian folksinger Rosario Guerrero “La Tremendita” and Iranian traditional vocalist Mohammad Motamedi. In Qasida, songs of Spanish folk poetry and Persian high art merge into a musical world in which the Muslim Spain of old is revived.
Rounding out Lisner’s series on Iberian culture, Buika performs on April 16, 2016. Buika is a poet, composer and music producer based in Miami. Hailed as a star in contemporary world music, jazz and flamenco, Buika has a remarkable voice, best described as “velvet gravel.” She will perform songs from her new album “Vivir Sin Miedo,” released this month, including the first single off the record, “Carry Your Own Weight,” featuring Jason Mraz.
Media interested in covering shows and/or receiving complimentary tickets for shows in the Iberian series must contact Kurie Fitzgerald at [email protected], or 202-994-6461.
Tickets may be purchased by calling GW’s Lisner Auditorium’s box office at 202-994-6800 or by visiting www.lisner.gwu.edu. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the GW Lisner box office. Box office hours are Tuesday through Friday, noon-6 p.m. Also, visit www.lisner.gwu.edu for information about other performances this year.