10th Annual Bay Area Flamenco Festival • Festival Flamenco Gitano presents Cante Gitano • Direct from Spain
LA SUSI & JOSÉ MÉNDEZ
with Paco Fernández
Luis de la Tota & Lakshmi “La Chimi"
Thursday, September 10th
Lobby opens 7pm / Show 8pm
A special evening featuring two luminaries of today’s flamenco, revered Gypsy flamenco singers, La Susi and José Méndez. They will be joined by guitarist Paco Fernández, dancer Lakshmi “La Chimi" and percussionist Luis de la Tota.
As we continue to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Bay Area Flamenco Festival, we are thrilled to present a group of very special visiting artists from Spain. This concert features the Bay Area debut of LA SUSI, a major star of Seville’s flamenco scene of the 1980s and JOSÉ MÉNDEZ, the extraordinary singer from Jerez de la Frontera who performed at the Bay Area Flamenco Festival a year ago, in the fall 2014. Accompanying them are renowned guitarist PACO FERNÁNDEZ, one of the great artists of his generation who has not been in the Bay Area for well over 10 years, acclaimed dancer LAKSHMI “LA CHIMI" and percussion wizard, LUIS DE LA TOTA.
La Susi makes her Bay Area debut with this special concert. Before becoming a major star of flamenco pop in the 1980s, shebegan dancing in her early teens at the tablaos in Madrid with her brother, guitarist Joaquín Amador and his wife, dancer Manuela Carrasco. Highly regarded by the aficionados for her baile, she later began singing. When she was only 17, she was discovered by Paco de Lucía who put her in touch with his father Antonio Sánchez, producer of Camarón de la Isla’s recordings, and he produced her first album, “La Primavera.” She went on to make 12 more records, including her most recent “Agua de Mayo.” La Susi toured with Camarón de la Isla. VIDEO LA SUSI: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mN-uYOTkPWI
José Méndez was born into the legendary Méndez clan of Gypsy flamenco singers from Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. A direct descendant of La Paquera, he is the grandson of the festero “El Pili” and a cousin of Bay Area favorite, Kina Méndez. A member of Cristina Hoyo’s company for many years, José Méndez has specialized in singing for dancers. He is also an outstanding soloist with a voice that echoes La Paquera. He performed in the U.S. for the first time at the 2014 Bay Area Flamenco Festival and later that year he returned to San Francisco to sing for Theatre Flamenco’s “Solo Flamenco.”
Paco Fernández was born in Triana, in the heart of one of the most prestigious families in the world of Gypsy flamenco. In his late teens and early 20s, Paco was part of the renowned group “La Familia Fernández” along with his parents, Curro Fernández and Pepa Vargas and his siblings, José and Esperanza Fernández. Since then Paco Fernandez has performed with leading figures such as Camarón de la Isla, Chocolate, Farruco, Potito, Duquende, La Susi, Aurora Vargas, Juana Amaya, Joaquín Cortés, La Niña Pastori and many more. Producer, singer, songwriter and guitarist, his first solo album, "Sastipén Tali" featured collaborations by Dorantes, Diego de Morao, Potito, and El Farru as well as his siblings, Esperanza Fernández and Jose Fernández. VIDEO PACO FERNANDEZ: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyr3hgzeeAs
Lakshmi "La Chimi” has lived in, Spain since 2002 and has solidly established her career in Sevilla, an essential cradle place of flamenco. Studying with prominent Gypsy artists such as Los Farruco, Angelita Vargas, Juana Amaya, Yolanda Heredia and Concha Vargas, she was given the nickname "La Chimi" (which is simply her own name re-pronounced). In recent years she has had the opportunity to share the stage with such luminaries as Manuel Molina, Remedios Amaya, Jose Mendez, Antonio Moya, La Herminia, Carmen Ledesma, Antonio Rey and La Toná. In 2011 Lakshmi made history, being the first non-Spanish artist to win an award for flamenco dance at the prestigious Concurso de las Minas de La Unión. She also was granted an award in another important competition, the Concurso Nacional de Arte Flamenco e Córdoba. Lakshmi performs daily as a soloist at El Palacio Andaluz in Sevilla and appears with major flamenco artists at private parties and festivals throughout the year. Though still residing principally in Sevilla, Spain, Lakshmi visits the United States yearly to teach and perform. VIDEO LAKSHMI “LA CHIMI” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DY0ZXOfiKQ8
Luis de la Tota was born in one of the oldest Gypsy neighborhoods of Jerez de La Frontera, El Barrio de Santiago He began his career as a percussionist at the age of 8, taking his artistic name from his grandmother 'La Tota' who has been an inspiration to him since his infancy. As a percussionist and palmero, Luis tours with flamenco's top artists such as Antonio Del Pipa, Fernando de La Morena, El Capullo, Moraito, Diego Carrasco and Angelita Vargas. As a Flamenco lyricist, his verses (letras) have been recorded widely and his work as a percussionist can be heard on many CDs.