A fiesta Flamenco Extravaganza

It’s rare to attend a show so entertaining and exquisitely executed that you know it will stand out as a concert to remember for many years to come.

It’s probably one of the reasons the seven musicians at last Saturday night’s Flamenco Extravaganza garnered a hearty standing ovation from the almost full house at the Harquail Theatre.

The up-beat concert, which was also staged on the Friday, bought a slice of Spanish culture to Cayman’s stage. Flamenco guitarists Nathan Barnett Herrera and Omar Miguel, bass player Samuel Rose, violinist Joshua Dampier, singer Rebekah Jefferson, percussionist Ian Goodman and professional flamenco dancer Jason Martinez combined their talents to showcase the two-hour extravaganza.

The concert highlighted different interpretations of palos, or rhythms, from the musician’s own perspective.

The result? An amazing flamenco-fiesta of a concert.

This reviewer knew it would be a show worth attending, having enjoyed a concert featuring Caymanians Nathan Barnett Herrera and Rebekah Jefferson last year at the First Baptist Church. Once again the two musicians didn’t disappoint. Nathan showcasing his exceptional skills on guitar, Rebekah voice.

Although all deserve a special mention, it was undoubtedly Jason Martinez who stole the show, dancing up a flamenco storm on the newly restored Harquail stage.

His breathtaking dancing left none in doubt of his talent, the sounds of his quick, precise steps, filling the theatre. It was almost spine-tingling thrilling at times.

When not centre stage Jason Martinez doubled up as Cajon player, simply leaving his instrument to dance for short bursts at a time.

During the concert, the musicians also bought a little bit of humour – in the form of a quick game of dominoes.

Nathan Barnett Herrera and Omar Miguel kicked off the game half way through the second half. Before long they were tapping a beat with the dominoes, which was picked up by the other five musicians. It was a fun and creative way to start a new song.

What was so refreshing though about this particular event was the concert’s simplicity. There were no frills to distract from the music. Indeed, the concert didn’t need any. Musicians came on stage dressed smartly in black, picked up their instruments and simply started to play.

The focus on delivering beautiful music – majority of which was penned by Nathan Barnett Herrera – and dance left the audience feeling as if they were experiencing a personal concert, where the musicians had come together naturally, instinctively knowing what to play.

The result was a very natural, relaxed and enjoyable event.

Somehow two hours just didn’t feel enough. I left wanting more.

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