Flamenco: Cancer Research UK: St. Michael in the Northgate Oxford

I gave a flamenco guitar concert together with duets of guitar and castanets with the two wonderful flamenco dancers Maria Garcia and Rocio Gomez.

The concert was to raise funds for Cancer Research UK which is a charity dear to me heart as my mother died of cancer and I wish that the last months of her life could have been very different.

I understand from the Vicar Bob Wilkes of the church of St. Michael in the Northgate, Oxford that a good sum was raised.

We performed last year at St. Michael and so you can imagine that we are very happy to have  been asked to return.

I started the concert thsi time with Guajira which was a guitar piece with both flamenco dancers playing castanets.

Just before the concert I said to them as I frequently do: ” OK we have done all the rehearsing, now please enjoy yourselves and do whatever you feel is right”.

When playing with other flamenco performers I do not necessarily always want to know in advance how things are going to develop.

As these two flamenco castanet players know exactly what they are doing it is more exciting to just start together and let the music develop according to our inspiration in the moment.

Guajira was followed by Soleares as a solo and then Tientos y Tangos Flamencos with flamenco handclapping ( palmas) at the end with the more energetic Tangos rhythm.

We also played the very Arabic Zambra Mora and Maria and Rocio accompanied with little finger held bells.

Bulerias which is strongly Gipsy influenced was with palmas and the concert ended with a dance of Sevillanas.

I find it really rather difficult to convey what the concert was like in words.

It was a wonderful experience for us all. The audience were beautifully quiet and you could sense how they really did want to know about flamenco and really enjoy it.

Applause was most generous.

I used a minimum of amplification and the church acoustics suited the guitar perfectly.

Ideally, I would not use any amplification whatsoever but I did not want to risk losing the very fine notes such as harmonics.

I want to especially thank the concert organiser Rachel Constable not only for managing the event but especially for being my chauffeur to and from the concert as I was pretty sure I would get lost trying to drive in a town I do not know.

We were all so glad to have had this opportunity to perform flamenco once again at St Michael in the Northgate.


Flamenco:Cancer Research UK: St Michael in the Northgate Oxford