Without a doubt the answer is “yes”, although not about everything, and with some reservations. And the opinion, with regard to flamenco? or that which surrounds flamenco? Everything counts.
I’ve always believed the important thing is flamenco as an art-form, and basically to communicate regarding flamenco, not so much the business that surrounds it, or the marginal hangers-on, and there are many. Our typical readers, aside from occasional visitors, make up an important part of the readership (more than 30%), people who visit the web on a daily basis. Among the regular readers, are those who form part of the business sector of flamenco, those who passionately live flamenco (and everything that surrounds it), day-by-day: the interpreters themselves (who form the basis for everything else), managers, cultural representatives, activists, professionals of the sector, tablaos, concert halls, guitar-makers, editors, record companies, peers (professional and amateur journalists, both regular and occasional), bloggers, promoters, members of flamenco associations and also die-hard purists.
For this reason, I’ve decided, after 16 years running deflamenco.com, to make room for a column of opinion, and speak out. The column is called “Backstage Jondo”, although it could also be called “Letters to the Editor”, where I’ll write about the world surrounding flamenco, and the day-to-day business end we’re also a part of.
All along I’ve always wanted to explain to readers why we go to one festival, and not another, or what criteria we apply to review certain shows, but not others. Sometimes we’ve had artists, promoters, managers, etc., become annoyed with us, or they look askance if we don’t devote what they consider enough attention to their activities, since we’re a specialized medium, and they consider that we have to be at their event, to give the support and coverage their projects deserve. And they are so right, we only wish we had the means to be everywhere there’s something to report on.
This article is a declaration of intent. Topics susceptible to opinion related to flamenco come up every day, I’ll try to select those which I feel will be of most interest, and will in some way stimulate the active participation of readers.