Madrid Wrap

April 19, 2016

I’m on the final leg of my return to Minnesota, maybe 2 hours out. Some reflections on my recent weeks in Madrid.

SHOWS: Marelu with Paco Cortes’ and (top festeros!) Tony Maya and Enrique Pantoja. Her voice is pretty much gone but none of her funky, Extremenyo magic. She danced, too. I left feeling so euphoric.

Rancapino Hijo w/ Antonio Higuera. Just a fabulous evening sounding very like his famous father, who was in attendance, too. Great Flamenco Flamenco!

Antonio Puerto: not well known, muy cateto, super pure and real cante gitano. Guitarist Rafael Romero was tasty and simpatico.

Marcus Miller: bassist of Miles Davis’ fame did not disappoint! Excellent. Excellent. His band, his guest artists (Josemi Carmona, Amir, Pepe Bau), his presentation, his INSANE groove. XCLNT!

Montse Cortes’: very disappointing. Loved her with Canales, loved her with Paco de Lucia. Not tonight.

Saw several cuadro flamenco shows, featuring friends, that were of interest and of a high level. Went to a few penyas and jam sessions. Stayed busy, out late every night.

Madrid’s food and wine scene is exciting. I can’t remember either ever being so TOP NOTCH. I made a list of 10 favorite restaurants, new and old. Every meal was a delight and I drank very nice wine always. Antisan vermouth, too.

Madrid is clean, beautiful, vibrant, buzzingly lively, safe, multi-ethnic. It has changed so much over the past 30 years and mostly for the good. Still my favorite city on earth.