Jazz, Blues, & More

David Peña Dorantes

When: Sun., May 27, 9 p.m. 2012

Where's his guitar? Dorantes' first instrument was the guitar, but early on he was drawn to the piano — not an instrument typically associated with flamenco. This counterintuitive trend continued with his conservatory training in classical music and composition. Dorantes reckons that by expanding his musical vocabulary in these ways, he furthers his quest to bridge tradition and innovation.

Flamenco in the family tree. Dorantes was not only born in "flamenco country" — Sevilla — he is also heir to deep-rooted family ties with this music. His clan includes some of flamenco's legendary talents: grandmother María Fernandez Granados, a renowned flamenco singer; father Pedro Peña, guitarist and cantaor; uncle Juan Peña, cantaor; and many others, going back to the 19th century, whose contributions to flamenco were preserved not by audio recordings, but by family oral tradition.

What's this "jondura" thing? Flamenco's popular image — clacking castanets, stomping feet, keening voices, and staccato guitar riffs — may be all passion and fury, but that's just the street-side, pedestrian's view. Take up residence inside the walls of flamenco and the foundation becomes clear. Holding up the entire structure of the art form is that ineffable quality called "jondura." You could say it means "depth." You could call it "soul." It's one of those things: You either got it, or you don't.

Jon Santiago

Price: $30-$45

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