“Pasajera, an Evening of Flamenco” passes through Sonoma on Friday night, with an 8 p.m. show in room 210 at the Sonoma Community Center. Dance and music lovers alike will delight in the visually rich and musically thunderous evening.
Savannah Fuentes is the mastermind behind tonight’s show. Born and raised in the Seattle, Washington area, Fuentes discovered and fell in love with flamenco as a teenager. She has been dancing and touring since 2011. She says she is one of the only touring flamenco artists in the Northwest and Western United States. Fuentes studies both “cante,” or flamenco singing, and “baile,” which is flamenco dance.
Fuentes is also the featured performer of “Pasajera.” She will be joined and supported tonight by two exceptional and seasoned flamenco performers: guitarist Pedro Cortes and singer/percussionist/dancer Jose Moreno.
Cortes comes from a family of Spanish gypsy guitarists, and learned the complicated guitar style from his father, the well-known guitarist Sabicas. He prides himself on maintaining the purity of the flamenco tradition.
Moreno’s parents were famous flamenco artists: his mother was Estella Morena, his father, Pepe de Malaga. He began performing at an early age, and his talent has taken him all over Europe and the Americas.
Flamenco is an art form that originated in southern Spain. Many Sonomans have seen live flamenco shows while visiting Sevilla, Granada, or other towns in picturesque Andalusia. They have witnessed the power and excitement of the event.
“Flamenco is an old and complicated art form,’ said Fuentes. “It is a style of musical expression that is part Romani and part Spanish.”
A flamenco performance can be fiery, sensuous and exciting. Attendees tonight will see a lavish multi-layered production of vigorous dance, flashy guitar work and cajon-driven percussion. Fuentes said, “It is a very different kind of show. Some people think it is not for them. But others love it.”
Not only is Fuentes the star, she is also the promoter, booking agent and producer. She proudly said, “I created all of this myself.”
Fuentes elaborated on her role as performer, “I love the connection with the audience and the time we spend together. It is an emotional and deep art form… it is intense and it means a lot to me.
“Often, at the end of the show, people come up to me and tell me how they loved it, how they were moved, how they cried.” Fuentes said.
Be ready to whoop and holler, stomp your feet and clap your hands in time, as this is a show that allows audience participation.