FIN DE FIESTA FLAMENCO: AUDACIA: Saturday, August 27. 8:00pm. $20 /$15 students/seniors/un(der)waged. Direct from Seville, Spain: Fin de Fiesta Flamenco dance and music ensemble presents AUDACIA, a bold new production that explores the many sides of one of the world’s most passionate and intense art forms: flamenco. Though they come from different continents, Fin de Fiesta Flamenco’s core members make their home base in Seville Spain while calling the world home, and collaborating with artists from all over the planet. Flamenco’s gypsy roots in Andalusia are echoed in their vagabond life, “We’ve chosen to live a life of movement… following the dance and the music where it takes us,” says guitarist Dennis Duffin. Ancient rhythms meet avant-garde ideas and converge in an explosion of staccato guitar, haunting flute, stunning vocals and percussive footwork. To the south of Spain and back again, AUDACIA will leave you breathless, with the pulsing rhythms of flamenco beating in your heart. Fin de Fiesta Flamenco is Lia Grainger (artistic director, dance), Dennis Duffin (musical director, guitar), Lara Wong (flute), Alejandro Mendía (voice), Davide Sampaulo (percussion, for select performances) and Jessica Hana Deutsch (violin, for select performances). www.findefiestaflamenco.com Fin de Fiesta Flamenco in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n12IrFQCoCM
The name FIN DE FIESTA translates to “End of the Party”, a reference to the open jam session that occurs at the end of a traditional flamenco show in Spain when the true improvisational and spirited nature of flamenco shows itself. It is this lively spirit – unpredictable and unrestrained – that inspires their work.
Grainger and guitarist, Duffin, found flamenco in unique ways. Grainger was once a collegiate level basketball player in her hometown of Vancouver, and then an award-winning journalist, but she threw it all away to become a professional flamenco dancer, a feat that once seemed impossible for the 6’2” blond-haired, green-eyed Canadian.
Dennis Duffin graduated with a PhD in Astrophysics from McMaster University, and promptly left Ontario to pursue his love of flamenco living in Seville to study guitar with the best in the world. The two artists who founded Fin de Fiesta Flamenco in 2012 turned their backs on “normal” lives in order to devote themselves entirely to their true passion, flamenco.
Now, Grainger is returning home to Canada with an international band of musicians gathered on her travels to present AUDACIA. Their 24 show, cross-Canada tour kicks off in Salmon Arm on July 29.
Lia Grainger (artistic director, dance): Lia has been dancing flamenco across Canada for the past decade, and currently resides in Seville. In Canada, she was a featured performer at the Montreal Flamenco Festival, Vancouver’s Jondo Flamenco Festival and the Victoria Flamenco Festival and has performed in theatres and venues across the country. In Spain, she has performed at Seville’s Flamenqueria and La Sala Garufa. In 2013 she was selected to participate in the prestigious “Paso a Paso” mentoring program run by Myriam Allard and Hedi Graja of La Otra Orilla in Montreal. She spent much of 2015 in Seville studying baile with the help of a Chalmers Professional Development Grant from the Ontario Arts Council. Last September, Lia decided to permanently relocate to Seville, where she devotes her life to the study of flamenco.
Dennis Duffin (musical director, guitar):Dennis Duffin grew up in a musical family playing guitar from a very early age, and was taught flamenco by his father with whom he performed as a teenager. Today, he is a regular in the Canadian flamenco scene, playing for renowned artists in Spain and in Canada including flamenco ensembles Fin de Fiesta Flamenco, Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company, Ilse Gudiño’s Amigos de Pilar, Flamenco Nomadico and Flamenguitos del Norte. Dennis has also performed in a wide variety of World Music fusion groups such as Ventanas, the Lemon Bucket Orkestra, Mashregh, Joanna Moon, and even a stint with Jesse Cook. Living in Seville, he has had the chance to study with maestros such as Tomatito, Manuel Parilla, Jesus Guerrero and Alfredo Lagos, to name a few. Dennis also holds a Ph.D. in astrophysics from McMaster University.
Lara Wong (flute): Lara Wong is a flamenco flautist with an eclectic style stemming from her jazz and classical roots. Originally from Vancouver, Lara now spends most of her time in Seville, where she performs with various flamenco groups and studies flamenco singing. In Canada, Lara is known for her work not only in flamenco but also with various Latin and African bands. Outside of her work in Spain and Canada, Lara has toured in Mexico, Armenia and Japan. She has studied in Spain with Calixto Sanchez, Pedro Sierra and Jeromo Segura and participated in workshops with Jorge Pardo. She also holds a Music Performance degree from McGill University where she studied jazz flute with David Gossage. This will be her second tour with Fin De Fiesta Flamenco.
Alejandro Mendía (voice): Alejandro Mendía started his flamenco cante studies in 2007 in Seville at the renowned flamenco academy of Cristina Heeren. After completing an intensive year of cante, compas and flamenco history he continued his studies with Esperanza Fernandez, Niño de Elche and Encarna Anillo. Alejandro’s relocation to Jerez brought a new facet to his singing as he began to accompany dance classes (Manuela Carpio, Ana Maria Lopez, Chiqui de Jerez). Alejandro’s talent has taken him all over the world. Recent tours include shows in Morocco, Ecuador, Mexico, Canada, Malaysia, France and Switzerland. Alejandro currently lives in Bordeaux and his new album, “La Luna y El Sol”, with flamenco/Balkan fusion group, “Les Noces Gitanes”, has received outstanding reviews.
Davide Sampaulo (percussion): Davide Sampaolo is from Rome, Italy and comes from a family of musicians. He studied music as a child including piano, classical guitar and drums. His passion soon evolved towards percussion. He studied early on with Senegalese maestros Badu N’dyae and Sena M’baye, at the “Scuola popolare di Musica di Testaccio” in Rome. He also studied afro-cuban percussion (conga, timbal, bongò, batà) at TIMBA drum school in Rome. Davide has travelled around Spain including Seville, Cordoba, Granada, Malaga and Barcelona working with flamenco greats including guitarists Manuel Montero Miranda (Seville), Rycardo Moreno (Lebrija), Vahagni Turgutyan (Armenia – Los Angeles), Daniel Jurado (Seville), and many more.
Jessica Hana Deutsch (violin): Jessica Hana Deutsch is a multi-style violinist, violist and vocalist from Toronto. She began the violin at the age of 4, was a three-time National finalist at the Canadian Music Competition and has played extensively in ensembles including the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra and the UBC Symphony Orchestra. After her early success in classical music, she began to perform Celtic, Mariachi and Roma music in Vancouver, BC, performing in several bands there, followed by a move to Barcelona in 2009, where she worked full-time as a musician. Through travels in Europe, Turkey and South America, she learned to play many folk music styles. Soon after returning to Toronto, she became an in-demand side woman, performing and recording with the Lemon Bucket Orkestra, Jayme Stone, Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company, Cafe Con Pan, Ventanas, and Yamantaka//Sonic Titan. She also studied jazz with Drew Jurecka at Humber College. Jessica’s diverse abilities have garnered her attention in the folk, jazz, world and indie scenes. She began to compose in 2012 as a way to bring together all of her diverse influences in a unique way and formed her band, Ozere, in April of that year, with the specific goal of crossing between chamber music and groove-based folk music. Ozere recorded a debut EP, “Three Generations”, in April, 2013 and their first full-length album “Finding Anyplace” in October 2015, to great critical acclaim.