“Kings of This Music”: From Camarón de la Isla to Pedrito Martínez

When Pedrito Martínez sings for Yemayá—as he did at the beginning of his show in Boston last week—the crossroads open: oceanic crossroads, lived crossroads, crossroads of transformation, crossroads rooted in Cayo Hueso, Havana, where Pedrito grew up, Elegguá’s crossroads where choices are made, destinies are reversed, and intention translates into meaning. A man seated in the back of Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, feeling the space change with the music, Continue reading ““Kings of This Music”: From Camarón de la Isla to Pedrito Martínez”

Los Cuentos del Sirocco

Este cuento es dedicado a los granadinos y linguistas que, hace poco en su conferencia,  discutieron el artículo que escribí sobre el mensaje urgente de Flamenco en un momento de tanta transición e inestabilidad, un momento que nos recuerda de épocas del facismo.

This is dedicated to a recent conversation at a Linguistics conference in Granada, Spain. The article, Flamenco for the Future, helped catalyze discussions and that really is the point of SiroccoBlue. 

Los Cuentos del Sirocco

“Cuenta los cuentos del Sirocco,” me dicen, “del viento que es invisible, que nos trae la lluvia y los aguaceros de nuestra memoria.”

Escucho al aire y empiezo a transcribir:

Continue reading “Los Cuentos del Sirocco”

Stories of the Scirocco

On a recent trip to New Haven, watching so many Sicilian and Neapolitan families gather to celebrate birthdays at a local restaurant, I felt inspired to re-visit the work of Mario Trimarchi and started to re-write an earlier article on this great artist. You may recognize the photographs from before, but the writing takes on a new directions.  “Products,” and by this Trimarchi means his jewelry and drawings, “mainly tell stories. They are not just shapes.” This brief article explores pieces of those stories—stories and aspects of storytelling that Flamenco also engages, embodies, and transmits.

Continue reading “Stories of the Scirocco”

Flamenco for the Future | Stories & the Arts in Troubled Times

Flamenco is a music and dance of resiliency and protest. It has been, at times, an urgent call to gather and unify in the face of systematic oppression and genocide. At the height of its expression and expressivity, Flamenco endured (and continues to endure) the same rise of fascism that the world is currently moving towards.

Continue reading “Flamenco for the Future | Stories & the Arts in Troubled Times”

Tomatito: Legend of Time | Concert Review

Led by legendary Flamenco guitarist, José Fernández Torres (known around the world as “Tomatito”), and accompanied by his son (José Fernández “Tomatito Hijo”), a royal Roma lineage tore through Boston’s Berklee Performace Center on Sunday night.

Continue reading “Tomatito: Legend of Time | Concert Review”

Frankie Ruíz a Buscabulla | Traduções Rítmicas e Líricas

O grande cantante Boricua de New Jersey que morou também uma parte da sua vida na ilha de Porto Rico, Frankie Ruíz (“o Tártaro”) teve um chorinho na voz, um eco do gigante Hector Lavoe e até um grito andaluz do flamenco de raiz. Era, e é, uma combinação única. Continue reading “Frankie Ruíz a Buscabulla | Traduções Rítmicas e Líricas”

Following Gatlif’s Sirocco: Ancestral Winds & Cycles in “Vengo” (2000) | Series, Part 1

Moving between North Africa, Andalusia (the southern region of Spain), and the history of Gitano family feuds that joins the living and dead, Tony Gatlif’s film, Vengo (2000), is a narrative of multiple crossroads. In this story, water, wind, and the cyclical nature of these natural forces are guiding metaphors that illuminate Andalusia as the land where Roma (“gitano” or “gypsy”), West African, Greco-Roman, Berber, Gnawa, Catholic, Sufi, and Sephardic religious systems and cultures meet. Continue reading “Following Gatlif’s Sirocco: Ancestral Winds & Cycles in “Vengo” (2000) | Series, Part 1″

Mario Trimarchi | Artist of the Sirocco

After the Sirocco Micronation discovery—if the Federal Commonwealth of Sirocco and Siroccan language exists, if it matters if it exists, if it can exist in the digital world alone and still be a Micronation—an incredibly beautiful jewelry collection by the Sicilian designer, Mario Trimarchi, was brought to my attention by a SiroccoBlue honorary reader. In fact, she is our first reader and commenter but I haven’t asked permission to use names so I’ll wait on that! Continue reading “Mario Trimarchi | Artist of the Sirocco”

A Sirocco Micronation?

Before the “Vengo” series begins, now theorized via wind, I found something that may be of interest to the growing community of SiroccoBlue readers…

When thinking of ways to describe SiroccoBlue and the translative lens that informs the writing, I was very close to calling the Sirocco a Trans-Nation: a nation of translation and also a wind system that moves across multiple nations. Yet, established on November 4th 2010, “Sirocco” actually appears to be a “Micronation”! Continue reading “A Sirocco Micronation?”