Text: Pablo San Nicasio
When the going gets tough… seek refuge in Mayte Martín
Flamenco singing returned to the “Veranos de la Villa”. The second half of the series of numerous and excellent flamenco recitals that we fans have for these Madrid nights.
Wednesday was special, because it was the first show we would have without Moraíto in this world. Even now it seems impossible. His death was another terrible blow for a genre that can’t get its feet on the ground, and a city, Jerez, which in just over one year has lost two of its greatest human cultural treasures.
And like a gift from heaven, the art of Mayte Martín. Good singing to console our pain, because no one can do it like she does. From a concept that is far removed from that of her fallen colleague, her flamenco again touched a nerve in this return to Madrid after a year without performing here.
It was an incredibly packed audience. Without a doubt the best turnout we’ve had so far. The Catalonian singer is an artist with unquestionable draw, and very accessible for her followers, many of whom remain in permanent contact via social networks. Though not an omnipresent personality in the media, this singer of intimacies and traditional flamenco, is moving from being a standard fixture at festivals, to becoming a headliner. It’s only natural.
She just came from the difficult arena of Morón, and arrived to offer a refined and orthodox recital in which, backed up only by her inseparable Juan Ramón Caro, sweetly painful lyricism reached heights that even the most stoical could not resist. It’s a different concept, no question about it.
She began with granaína, two short verses to warm up, and then the familiar malagueña and abandolao from her record “Querencia”. An interesting bunch of fandangos, and then a moment to dedicate a garrotín to her friend, the singer Argentina who was present in the audience.
From that point on, the singer was even more at home, chatting with the audience to whom she explained her debt to Valderrama via guajiras and her unforgettable vidalita which has become a sort of “greatest hit” over the years.
She remembered the great guitarist Moraíto who had died the day before with “ten minutes of cantiñas instead of a minute of silence…a much happier option”, and reached a crescendo with siguiriyas and cabales. That was the hardcore flamenco moment when you could hear the silence and the rush of emotion in the enthralled listeners.
One of Mayte’s great supporters is the tireless guitarist and creator José Luis Montón, also present. He had the honor of receiving the dedication of the bulerías finale, with a relaxed rhythm supplied on the guitar by Juan Ramón Caro, full of subtlety.
A happy audience, resigned to accept difficult times, for flamenco and everything else, all the easier to take thanks to the work of a blessed Catalonian lady.