Twelve years have passed since UNESCO included Flamenco in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. A milestone for our art that, once again, was under the umbrella of an institution dedicated to disseminate and preserve cultural values worldwide.
Flamenco is an artistic manifestation that goes beyond a simple musical genre. It is the feeling of a people that tries to express emotions through the quejío, the toque and the dance; It is that 12/8 rhythm that is born and dies in the palms, in the wood of the cajón or in the guitar's beater; It is the reflection of a society halfway between tradition and vanguard but with an inexhaustible source of talent throughout the centuries.
Today, Flamenco continues to be an important tourist attraction and one of the fundamental pieces of the economic engine in Spain. We have ensured that its essence is present in the charm and lushness of the Botanical Garden of the Complutense University throughout these six editions.
Since 2016, the stage of Noches del Botánico has hosted artists of the stature of Tomatito, Diego "El Cigala", Niña Pastori, Estrella Morente, Israel Suárez "El Piraña" or Farruquito and great exponents of the new generations such as María José Llergo, Miguel Poveda, Israel Fernández or Nino de los Reyes, among many others.
If there has been a recurring trend in the flamenco evenings of Noches del Botánico, it has been the fusion of our roots with the different musical currents of the world. It is not unreasonable to say that certain branches of flamenco make good friends with genres such as jazz or rock. Masters like Camarón de la Isla or Enrique Morente already showed us with their respective 'La Leyenda del Tiempo' and 'Omega' that they had been living in the future for several decades.
In Noches del Botánico we have carried out this formula and the result has been unique and unrepeatable. As much as being able to see two legends of classical and electric guitar, respectively, such as Tomatito and George Benson, sharing the stage in 2019 or enjoy the same year one of the last shows of Chick Corea, in a double program with the Paco de Lucía Project show that pays tribute to the best guitarist of all time.
On the fifth anniversary, Diego "El Cigala" surprised us all with a group of mariachis paying tribute to his latest work 'Cigala canta a México'. A feast of diversity as Miguel Poveda offered us this past summer in a concert marked by the swinging genres exposed on stage by the singer from Barcelona. Although the highlight, in terms of the fusion of cultures, was taken this year by the dancer Nino de los Reyes, who left us a scene not the least differentiated and unique, to burst in the middle of the concert of Snarky Puppy to mark a taconeo of pure and masterful execution.
As Camarón would say "Purity can never be lost when you really have it inside you". And the truth is that we have not been able to avoid a tear in our eye when we remember all these magical moments that we have lived, in our little oasis, thanks to this way of understanding life and music. Happy Flamenco Day!