“Memento”. Voice: Mayte Martín. Guitar: Alejandro Hurtado. Series: Jueves Flamencos de Cajasol. Thursday, September 12th, 2019. Full house.
Photos: Remedios Malvarez
Followers of Mayte Martín, who are many, diverse and very faithful, know that to hear her in a classic flamenco recital with all the intimacy and complicity of the Jueves de Cajasol venue is a privilege. Which is why tickets were quickly scooped up to see her do what she’s been doing all her life, and they applauded her with the same enthusiasm as if it were the first time. Probably because beauty cannot be immunized, and emotions, when they’re authentic, always feel new.
In fact, it’s precisely in this area where Mayte Martín has no competition. Because her unadorned, cerebral, transparent singing opens the doors to those deep feelings that the rest of us try to hide out of shyness or mere survival instincts. Inviting us to let go in each and every pause, helping us to calm our pain like the healing “remediaora” of Chacón’s petenera with which the interpreter began to take us apart. Chewing each syllable with the precision of a master jeweler, as she did with the granaína that opened her performance.
And in fact, it wasn’t her best recital, nor was all the repertoire equally lucid, but above all else, we are grateful to Mayte Martín for her sincerity, and the exquisite knowledge that imbues each song. Because in addition this singer, one of the most influential voices of current flamenco, has managed to reconcile sweetness and sobriety in an absolutely natural way. The defense of a flamenco concept that equally defines the classic approach of Chacón, Marchena, Valderrama, Pastora Pavón and José de la Tomasa, to name just a few, and the freedom to delve into other musical areas and find her own way of saying things. Something which in another interpreter would seem paradoxical, but which in this singer is beyond question. Because the timeless quality of the singing she champions, does not go out of style.
She was especially brilliant in the “ida y vuelta” forms (milonga, colombiana and guajira) which she interpreted with just the right sweetness and melancholy. “Jewels”, as someone shouted from the audience.
Without a doubt, the great discovery was guitarist Alejandro Hurtado, who had magical moments with his sensitive, poetic, inspiring, self-assured playing. An accomplice who knew just how to match the singer’s aesthetic and enrich her interpretations with a sound that was both old and new. He too received an ovation of course.