I am especially excited for our annual Flamenco Festival this week! I always look forward to the performances. I relish in the passion and exuberance of the artists and also in the contagious energy of our ever-enthusiastic flamenco audience. Our first Flamenco Festival was back in 2000 and featured the companies of Manuel Soler and Carmen Cortéz. Over the past 14 years, I’ve gotten to see such a wide range of flamenco, from Sara Baras’s contemporary interpretations to Farruquito y Familia’s more traditional approach. And of course, I will never forget the ultimate artistry of Paco de Lucía, whom we had the privilege to present seven times. His first performance with us was in 1993 at the Berklee Performance Center, and tragically, his last was at the Boston Opera House in 2012. The legacy of this incredible musician will certainly be in my heart during the festival this year and beyond.
I have been attending World Music/CRASHarts concerts featuring Angelique Kidjo since 1994 and continue to enjoy her amazing performances. Not only does her music move me, I also greatly admire her personal commitment to improving educational opportunities for girls and women in Africa through her foundation “The Batonga Foundation.” Her work parallels my own commitment to providing educational opportunities for the youth of Africa. I thank World Music/CRASHarts for bringing to Boston these important African artists who are not only exceptional musicians but care about their homeland and want to ensure that their people receive a better life.
I first heard about World Music/CRASHarts one year ago when my father took me to the Sinclair to see the band Red Baraat. What a show! With music influences from Jazz, Latin, funk, and North Indian Bhangra music, the band had me dancing alongside people of all ages and backgrounds. The music brought us together, and I still have never heard another group that sounds anything like Red Baraat.
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