Catalina Maria Johnson

International radio broadcaster, bilingual cultural journalist, music curator

On this week’s edition of Global Notes, I highlighted a few remarkable contemporary flamenco fusions – all in honor of the Tenth Chicago Flamenco Festival presented by the Instituto Cervantes, which continues through mid-March.

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Annoushka Shankar, legendary sitar virtuoso’s Ravi Shankar’s daughter and an extraordinary sitarist herself, explores the connections between Flamenco and India in her newest album, Traveller (to be released in th U.S. March), as there is evidence to suggest that Flamenco was born in Spain 500 years ago informed by melodies and rhythms brought by gypsies to the land from India.

La Shica, a fierce singer-dancer from Ceuta, Spain also mixes in jazz and hip-hop to her flamenco fusions such as “Sevillanas de la Liebre.”

Canteca de Macao, from Spain, is a large, whimsical ensemble which includes a juggler, is showcasing at the Flamenco Fest, and we get a taste of their ska-reggae-rock-tinged flamenco fusion in their brand-new track, “Tu Voz”.

Finally, Jerry Gonzalez, a renowned Puerto Rican jazz trumpeter now based in Spain, takes Flamenco to the Caribbean in “Avísale a Mi Contrario.”

Heads up, Chicago! Here’s some upcoming concerts you might be interested in if you liked these flamenco fusions:

Canteca de Macao will be here as part of the Flamenco Festival.

Surabhi Melting Pot brings together Chicago musicians who explore Flamenco and Indian music.

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