I've been involved with the practice of flamenco since about 2002, first as a complete novice, then as a percussionist, now as a guitarist (and dabbler in dancing sevillanas . . .). Flamenco, as an art form, and Flamenco Louisville, as a community, have become my path for discovery, growth, and belonging.
And when I say path, imagine a meandering route through an amazing landscape, where opportunities abound . . . including the opportunity to get overwhelmed and lost. I've been extremely lucky, having had some amazing teachers along the way, but the big challenge has always been RESOURCES!
When I started, finding music, videos, historical resources, whatever, was difficult because of scarcity and access. For decades there had been efforts to creates teaching materials, historical records, etc., but in the US there were only a few stores or internet outlets, and there was only so much you could pack in your suitcase coming back from Spain.
Now, though, we have a true embarrassment of riches. Say what you will about the shortcomings of the internet, but flamenco is alive and well there. There is still no substitute for experiencing the real thing, live and in person, but when that's not possible, you definitely have options now.
And that presents a problem in and of itself: where to start?
If you're a beginning student or a budding aficionado, how do you begin to make sense of it all? For instance, when we begin to introduce bulerias in class, it's pretty normal for our students to want to do some homework, to see it performed, to absorb the sound. No problem! Just a little internet searching, and . . . wow.
The embarrassment of riches. It's a very real thing.
So, what I hope to do here is do what has been done for me before. Do a little sharing, offer some selections, try to be a guide on that path. I'm not an expert, but flamenco has definitely taught me that it's kind of a sacred duty to give back, to flamenco and to the community of those who are on el camino flamenco.
I'll offer links to recordings and videos and anything that might be illuminating, with some commentary and context . . . if you have anything to add, please get in touch with us! There's a lot more out there than I'll ever be able to find on my own.
Mostly, enjoy the journey as you find it for yourself.