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January 22, 2010

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Spanish flamenco, funk, rock

SPANISH composer, singer and guitarist Abraham Carmona will give the first public performance of his new musical fusion concept show "Flamentrico" on February 7 at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center.

Carmona, who performed "Fire of Flamenco" last March in the city, calls his new creation "a trinity of pure flamenco, instrumental flamenco/jazz and flamenco/rock/funk/fusion."

"Flamentriko" by Carmona and his band is part of the JZ Jazz Concert series at the center.

"Like the water which can be steam, ice or liquid ... my music can be represented in three ways of expression," says Carmona, "'Flamentriko' is the result of my experience, exposure and experiment with music, a tridimensional picture of my personal concept of flamenco."

Three years ago, Carmona arrived in Shanghai for musical exploration and built his seven-person band in the city with international musicians from Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, the Czech Republic, France, Spain and the United States. He presents a global sound fusion.

"I came here simply because I was curious about China," Carmona recalls. "For three months I was busy going around and meeting people. But all of a sudden I found out there was a music scene going on here. I met so many great musicians in town, musicians like JQ Whitcomb, Chris Trzcinski and Lawrence Ku."

The band lineup for the Shanghai concert will be Trzcinski on drums, Whitcomb on trumpet, Peng Fei on violin, and Ku, Jeremy Lasry (Dr Jay) and Carmona on guitar. Carmona will also be on keyboard, a first for him in a live concert. He will also be on percussion in a duet with Trzcinski.

"For this show I will put in everything I have gotten to know throughout the years," he says.

"It is not a big group, but it will sound rather interesting," he says. "It's not some musicians from the same background coming together. Every one in this project brings in a little bit of their own influences and mixes everything together."

Carmona was born into a musical family in Andalusia and began to play traditional flamenco guitar when he was eight years old. Ten years ago he began his professional career as a composer, guitarist and singer. "Ever since I was born my mind has been filled with music," he says. "That's why I was always very quiet and never talked too much. It was very natural for me to choose music as a profession."

His guitar playing is described as hypnotic and electrifying, full of power, freedom and intricate precision. His authentic voice conveys the emotional ranges of shared human experience.

"My flamenco roots are evident in the rhythmic heartbeat and soulful voice of pure flamenco, the mathematical dance of flamenco jazz and get-you-out-of-your-seat-and-dance energy of the band's rock/funk/fusion," he says.

Carmona's eclectic and original sound combines the complexity of flamenco with influences of rumba, bossa nova, other Latin music, jazz, hip-hop and Middle Eastern sounds.

"I am weaving the different times of my life through the mix of flamenco with jazz, bossa, tango and copla (Spanish music and poetry)," says Carmona.

Carmona likes to experiment and the band provides more possibilities to explore and expand his range.

"Each show is a moment that you can never repeat again. I like that the audience knows and feels that they are part of it, part of a unique moment where everyone is provoked by the magic of the music. I hope everyone will feel the passion of flamenco and be transported to my land, Andalusia," he says.

Date: February 7, 3pm

Address: 425 Dingxiang Rd, Pudong

Tickets: 60-300 yuan

Tel: 6854-1234, 962-388



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