Flamenco Insanity 2017: Madrid

That’s what I’m calling my first-ever attempt at a workshop/intensive/all-out/no-holds-barred shared flamenco experience—and it was in my favorite locale: Madrid. From February 8th till the 18th it took place, and I believe it was very successful.

With a minimum of 3 hours daily of classes, shows every evening, fine food and great wine (don’t forget practice time!), I was delighted to introduce a few aficionados to the Madrid I know and love. Maestro David Serva taught a funky and swinging tangos. He is a master teacher and world-class flamenco guitarist. He often dined with us, sharing stories gleaned from 60 years of flamenco life.

We went out to Canyarroto, to Aquilino Gimenez’ academy for intensive technical work. El Entri, as is his artistic name, is, simply put, the very best at training aspiring guitarists. He is an amazing guitarist and his students are dedicated and serious. I leased space during the day at the wonderful Cafe Ziryab (Paseo de la Esperanza 17) and El Entri also taught here, as did David Serva. Dancer la Cintia taught a workshop in how to accompany the Solea’. David brought in the fine singer Jose Gimenez del Pueblo for a workshop in accompanying the cante.

We saw dancer Rocio Molina in concert—she has to be seen to be believed. We saw Pepe Torres in a concert of pure Moron funky genius. We saw lots of smaller, more intimate shows. There were even a few (very few!) hours left over for shopping and site-seeing. I did the Spanish speaking/translating as well as helping to break down and absorb the immense amount of material that was presented. I am truly proud of everyone’s hard work, focus, and great attitude. With lively, fun, and dedicated participants a time such as this is pure escapist luxury!