Genes-trilogía. Voice: José de la Tomasa, Gabriel el de la Tomasa and Manuel el de la Tomasa. Guitar: Paco Cortés y David del Arahal. Rhythm: El Pirulo and Marcos Carpio. Teatro Central. Tuesday, February 12th. Flamenco Viene del Sur. Attendance: Nearly full.
At the end of the recital, in the incredible round of tonás that triggered the audience’s ovation, the overhead spotlight that shone upon José de la Tomasa cast a shadow of irregular forms on the stage appearing at times, when the singer spread out his arms, to be giant soaring birds. A free-form basic play of light and shadow that summarized the represented songs.
Thus, as guide, mentor and maestro of a kind of flamenco that is timeless, sincere and eternal, the grandfather who has also had an illustrious grandfather and uncle with names that have been chiseled in the history of this art-form, applied his clean, eternal voice to transmit the serene truth of his lineage. And at the same time, he passed the baton of his passion to the heirs of his art, the three men composing a unique image, the kind of family singing tradition we see less and less nowadays.
In other words, technical questions aside, the excessive length of the show (two hours, as opposed to 60 minutes as announced on the program), an inexplicable halt in the proceedings and an unnecessary lowering of the curtain at one point, this “Genes-trilogía” was an intimate, moving recital where the absolute center of attention was flamenco singing itself, and what it communicated.
In this way, the depth and resonance of José, who gave a master-class with his siguiriya, “the national anthem of the Tomasa family” as he said, made way for the substance and ease of delivery of his son Gabriel who offered his excellent malagueñas, and the personality and charisma of his grandson Manuel, who came off as an artist who manages each form with tremendous character. And there were non-stop cheers for the family nickname: “ole los Tomasa!”.
Without a doubt, that’s what they were all defending. Song by song. Paused and genuinely heart-felt. Prudently, with elegance and good taste. With respect and wisdom. Aware of who they are and where they come from.
Photo gallery by Vereas negras