Nov 1, 2012
For most jazz listeners, flamenco music officially became part of the jazz canon with the 1981 release of Friday Night in San Francisco, a live album by fusion masters Al Di Meola and John McLaughlin, joined by Spanish guitarist Paco de Lucía. Their 1980 concert was described by jazz author and critic Walter Kolosky as "a musical event that could be compared to the Benny Goodman Band's performance at Carnegie Hall in 1938” and perhaps “the most influential of all live acoustic guitar albums".
Juanito Pascual seems intent on carrying that torch in the 21st century, mixing flamenco, jazz and even a bit of a rock sound on his 2009 CD Language of the Heart, and his just released EP, New Flamenco Trio. He will show off his virtuoso chops alongside another 21st century six-string wunderkind, Julian Lage, on Saturday, November 3 at 8:00 PM, performing separate sets in a spectacular world-infused, jazz and flamenco concert at the Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square, Somerville, MA 02144.
A Minneapolis native, Pascual moved to Spain as a teenager, acting on the advice of a friend’s father. He soon immersed himself in flamenco culture by playing in the subways of Madrid and cutting his teeth on the streets studying with legendary flamenco artists. He moved back to the United States, attended New England Conservatory and subsequently had a string of successes including performing internationally with some of today’s top flamenco, jazz and world music artists. Pascual has performed with Grammy-winning artists such as jazz pianists Michel Camilo and Danilo Perez, bassist John Patitucci, percussionist Jamey Haddad, renowned Middle-Eastern musician Omar Faruk Takbilek and even Israeli cantor Emil Zrihan
I spoke with Juanito as he prepared for the concert, and we discussed the elements of Flamenco (and New Flamenco) music, how it relates to jazz, and his plans for his next recording. Click here to listen to Podcast 311, including musical selections from his releases such as:
Juanito Pascal - "Samyeli (Rumba)" from Language of the Heart.
Juanito Pascal - "Viaje (Bulerias)" from Language of the Heart.
Juanito Pascal - "Tiferet" from New Flamenco