The journey to find a genuine fusion of two distinct and profound musical styles is a daunting task for anyone. Can it be done? Do two separate arts have a common-ground musically that adequately represent the cultural integrity of each?
Enter Chris Burton Jácome, Flamenco guitarist and composer. Jácome felt a driving force to answer these questions. He charged his project, ¡FlaMÉXico!, with finding, creating and celebrating the musical confluences of Spain’s Flamenco and México’s Mariachi.
Fast forward to today, ¡FlaMÉXico! has created an enthralling show featuring the melding of two beautiful arts and cultures. During our FREE summer concert series on Friday, August 23 at 7:30pm, ¡FlaMÉXico! will present their findings in a way that will move you to your feet.
Out of pure curiosity as to why anyone would challenge themselves with such a large musical task, we interview Jácome more about his musical journey. Here’s what we found out:
Chandler Center for the Arts [CCA]: How old were you when you started your musical journey?
Chris Burton Jácome: I received my first guitar when I was 13. I started taking lessons right away and, according to my friends, I reached a pretty good skill level more quickly than they might have anticipated. I don’t really consider myself consciously deciding to pursue music though until I was in my late teens. I got more and more into music throughout my teenage years…started giving other high school kids guitar lessons when I was 16. I consider my “official” journey beginning when I decided to get a degree in music in college.
CCA: Do you play any other instruments other than the guitar?
Jácome: I am not musically fluent on any other instrument. I sing. I have composed some very basic piano music but the only instrument I play and can “speak my mind” on is guitar.
CCA: Your website mentioned the “fusion of two distinct and profound musical styles began as more of a whim.” Did you ever imagine this “whim” would bring you to where you are at today?
Jácome: Great question! Sometimes the ideas that just “come to you” are the best ideas! This “whim” that I had a few years ago has already transformed into a very solid, real group. I’m somewhat perplexed as to how this is all working myself…but it is! I still consider this idea in its beginning stages but I am finding more and more artists who are willing to put in the time and energy to cross-train in two different artistic styles and the more artists I get on board the more I can develop the concept. I’m really excited to bring this project to Chandler Center for the Arts and the greater Chandler community. I’ve always believed that Flamenco is an art form that everyone can appreciate but now with the fusion of mariachi music this concert will be a real delight for anyone who has grown up here in the Southwest or has an affinity for Mexican and Spanish cultures.
CCA: Are there any musicians or bands who have inspired you?
Jácome: Generally, I find inspiration in all bands and all music. Specifically, Flamenco artists that inspire me include: Paco de Lucía, Tomatito, Inés Bacán, Moraíto, Manuela Carrasco, Ramón Montoya, Pedro Sierra, Juan Manuel Cañizares, Antonio Mairena, Fernanda de Utrera. In Mariachi…although not traditional, I’m biased because our cousins are married…Linda Ronstadt. As well as artists such as Vicente Fernández, Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, Nati Cano’s Mariachi Los Camperos and all of the mariachi artists that I’ve seen and heard in my life.
CCA: What can our patrons expect from the upcoming show?
Jácome: Rhythms that make you want to dance! Heart-wrenching songs that make you want to hear them again and again! Flamenco footwork that will blow your mind! And, of course, a group of highly skilled artists that love being the tour-guides into the music and dance of the cultures of Mexico and Spain.
CCA: Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?
Jácome: Keep practicing, playing, studying, learning and developing. Find as many teachers as you can. Above all, define your goals with music because your destination will determine what route you take and how dedicated you must be to reach your destination. If your goal is to have fun, then by all means, have fun! Learning a musical instrument enriches your life and provides so many opportunities to create great relationships and communities. If your goal is to become a professional musician and earn your living from your music, well then, you might not have the luxury of music always being fun. Prepare yourself to sometimes call music, “work.”
CCA: Any additional comments?
Jácome: This is going to be a great evening! Flamenco and Mariachi are both art forms of the people and they are wonderful performance art forms because the more audience participation, the BETTER! Please come early to get a good seat and bring your gritos (mariachi yells) and your ¡Olé!’s (flamenco words of encouragement) because we’re going to have a night to remember!
Come and enjoy the best of both worlds of ¡FlaMÉXico!, the musical reflection of two cultures forming a new vision on Friday, August 23 at 7:30pm. No tickets required, the show is FREE. All seating is first come, first served. Doors open at 6:30pm, and seating starts at 7pm. Suggested donations: $5/person, $10/family. Your financial support is appreciated.
Have you been to Chandler Center for the Arts? If not, now is your chance! All during the month of August, the Center will host four different FREE concerts under the On The House program. Each concert showcases a family-friendly performance that is sure to leave you wanting more. Gather your friends and family and experience a Chandler Center for the Arts performance “On The House.”
The free concert series kicks off on August 2, 2013 at 7:30pm with The Bad Cactus Brass Band. Coming out on the scene in 2009, this amazing group brings to life traditional New Orleans Mardi Gras inspired music in a fun and exciting fashion.
Although their name is Bad Cactus Brass Band, there is nothing bad about this group. *Their repertoire includes original dance music, funky street beats, traditional dixieland, gospel and swing, and pop songs reinterpreted with a brass band sound. Powered by tuba, drums, trumpets, saxophones, and trombones, the Bad Cactus Brass Band brings a Mardi Gras energy to street corners, festivals, parties, nightclubs, etc.
“They play loud, they play great… If you were to imagine how it might have sounded if Bix Biederbeck had been in a garage band in his Davenport days, it might have sounded like the Bad Cactus Brass Band.” Jim Phillips, Arizona Classic Jazz Society*
Sample their music below:
Come enjoy the different flavors of jazz and funky beats as this group triggers a joyful energy into the audience that will have everyone dancing till they cannot dance anymore!
No tickets required for this show. All seating is first come, first served. Doors open at 6:30pm, and seating starts at 7pm. Suggested donations: $5/person, $10/family. Your financial support is appreciated. Learn more about our On The House FREE concert series here.
What’s in store this weekend at the Arts Center? Here’s a quick sample of the great events and shows you can expect to enjoy if you come out:
The fun beings Saturday morning at 10am. Warm up those vocal cords for the final audition for Great American Talent Search Chandler Idol. This is your chance to expose your hidden vocal talent and perhaps win cash and prizes totally over $25,000. Don’t forget to register here!
Later in the evening, come together for a night devoted to the Beatles’ album Abbey Road. Classic Albums Live will perform hits such as, “Come Together,” “Something,” “Here Comes the Sun,” “Octopus’s Garden,” and more. Sample the concert now:
Sunday’s show will drive you to your feet with Rhythm of the Dance The Irish Dance Spectacular! The music, beats, dancing and atmosphere will transport you to the world of Irish dancing. Taste the excitement now:
If any (or all) of these events are calling your name, get your tickets here. We’d love to have you join in on the fun!
Musical beats draw us closer, setting us in motion on a rhythmic journey. Chandler Center for the Arts is your weekend destination for a musical exploration this March. From the enchanting beats of Classic Albums Live to the riveting pulse of Rhythm of the Dance you will be swept away on a voyage of entertainment.
The musical journey begins March 9 transporting audiences to the emerging era of rock n’ roll. The wildly successful Beatles’ is the focal point of the evening as Classic Albums Live recreates the Beatles’ rock masterpiece, “Abbey Road.” Founded in 2003 by Craig Martin, Classic Albums Live has become the ultimate destination for music lovers without all the gimmicky and cheesy impersonations. Relying solely on the music, the band has defined itself as a mainstay in performing art centers across North America.
During the concert, experience feature hits from the Beatles’ final album Abbey Road including “Come Together,” “Something,” “Here Comes the Sun,” “Octopus’s Garden,” and more. In addition to the note for note recreation of the album, Classic Albums Live will also highlight some of the Beatles’ greatest hits. Come together for a great night to relive music that changed our history forever.
The following afternoon, March 10, the adventure continues as Rhythm of the Dance The Irish Dance Spectacular heralds a new era in Irish entertainment. The dance crew takes you on an epic journey through the ages, from ancient mythology to the travels of the Irish emigrants, from the rolling hills and stonewalls of Connemara all the way to the modern skyscrapers of New York. This two-hour dance and music extravaganza contains a wealth of Irish talent.
Using modern art forms of dance and music, this richly costumed show blends the contemporary and the ancient. Rhythm of the Dance aspires to preserving the traditions of Irish step dancing and yet, presents it in the most modern format. The show features a live band, three tenors and some 22 dancers. Dan Schmal, Director of Arts Programming at Wisconsin, Lutheran College stated “We have had Irish dance shows before, but this one ranks at the top. All the dancers in the troupe were fantastic!” Experience for yourself the magical odyssey of Rhythm of the Dance.
Whether you seek rock n’ roll or enthralling dance, this weekend adventure of musical beats will transport you to a world of pulsating music and entertainment.
The long, hard road of struggle and trial briefly touches on the roots of our weekend performers, New Directions Veterans Choir. The choir is compromised of inspiring stories of hope and determination. Each choir member carries his and her own personal saga of triumph. But as a whole, the group shares the common foundation of music and hope.
George Hill, choir founder and director, was homeless for 12 years, living in and around MacArthur Park. The power of music and the New Directions program united Hill with similar struggling veterans. This group eventually grew into a soulful cappella choir, New Directions Veterans Choir. The Choir is comprised primarily of men and women who have served proudly in the United States Military. Following their service to our country, they became homeless. New Directions gave them hope and direction.
The choir got their “big break” on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” and since then has been featured on the NBC Nightly News and E! Entertainment Television. They have performed at over 100 venues and events. In doing so, they continue to spread their message of hope and redemption to other vets who struggle today.
Join us on Friday, January 18 at 8 pm as we witness the power of music, hope and inspiration at the New Directions Veterans Choir performance. Purchase tickets here.
Each January, the City of Chandler holds a series of events to honor our community’s heritage and diversity, along with the spirit and ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the civil rights movement.
To kick off the month long event, on Saturday, January 12, the screening of the critically acclaimed film Power of One will occur. The film portrays the story of Nicholas Winton, an Englishman who organized the rescue of 669 Czech and Slovak children just before the outbreak of World War II. Winton, now 102 years old, did not speak about these events with anyone for more than half a century. His exploits would have probably been forgotten if his wife, fifty years later, hadn’t found a suitcase in the attic, full of documents and transport plans. Today the story of this rescue is known all over the world.
The following weekend, on Friday, January 18, New Directions Veteran’s Choir will grace our stage. The New Directions Veterans Choir is an award winning a cappella group that sings renditions of doo-wop, soul, traditional gospel and popular music. The Choir consists of current and former residents of New Directions’ transitional facility, a Veterans Administration (VA) drug rehabilitation program. These men and women who have served proudly in the United States Military and following service to our country, became homeless. George Hill, choir founder and director, was homeless for 12 years. A graduate of New Directions, Hill is also an employee at the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration. “Through singing,” George says, “we hope to let veterans who may be suffering know that there is hope for them.”
The next day, Saturday, January 19, Chandler’s 18th Annual Multicultural Festival will highlight the cultural diversity of our community through music, dance, art, storytelling children’s area and more. This is a FREE event open to the public.
The celebration concludes, on Sunday, January 20, with riveting rhythms, bold beats and ear-grabbing energy, in the show DRUMLine Live. This is an international tour based on the Historically Black College and University marching band tradition. The staged show will be a synchronized musical showcase of the HBCU experience. The group’s performances will range from colorful, choreographed routines to heavy doses of drum riffs and cadences with the rousing sound of the great brass tradition.
Let’s all come together this month and celebrate unity. To learn more or to purchase tickets for any of these incredible events, please click here.
Did you know November is National Drum Month?
Drums have been significant to the history of time. According to All About Drums, “The first drumming in drums history was a series clapping of hands and hitting the chest and knees with open hands. Various rhythms were adapted using this method but was limited because of the volume one could create and because to create higher volume was painful. So the drum was developed to overcome this problem.”
The drum has since signified various proclamations such as celebrating a victorious battle to worship and dance. Now days it is far more common to see a drum used within a performing band.
Let’s imagine the drum…now add choreographed routines to heavy doses of drum riffs and cadences with the rousing sound of the great brass tradition. Sound like showstopping fun? Well my friends, that is exactly what DRUMLINE LIVE is.
This new attraction was created by the team behind the hit movie “Drumline” and brings the Historically Black College and University marching band tradition to the theatrical stage for the very first time. With riveting rhythms and bold beats, this versatile group of musicians and dancers bring explosive energy and athleticism to the marching band experience.
DRUMLINE LIVE is coming to Chandler Center for the Arts on Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 7pm. Don’t delay, get your tickets today.
For those who love the drum or love the power of music and dance, this is the show for you!
Our friends at Sun Lakes, AZ have something really cool going, and now CCA is going to do its part. They are working with the East Valley Marine Corps League Detachment #1296 of Sun Lakes to collect musical instruments for our wounded warriors.
Music therapy helps people deal with stress, manage anxiety, improve communication and memory, and can even help a person learn how to re-use a limb. Its something that works, and this is a perfect way to get rid of that old guitar that you’ve had lying around in the spare bedroom that you’ll start playing again “when you get a minute”. I hate to sound preachy, but the reality is that our soldiers have given all they can, and then some. If you have a spare or old instrument, can you give that?
The instruments do not need to be in perfect condition, because #1296 has ways and means to repair them.
If you have an instrument that you’re looking to give up, or know someone who does, my email is email@example.com
If you’d like to know more about musical therapy, click here.
Here is the original Sun Lakes AZ post