Text and Photos: Estela Zatania
Diego Carrasco “No M'arrecojo. 50 años en familia”
Saturday, November 11th. 8:30pm. Teatro Villamarta, Jerez de la Frontera
Voice and guitar: Diego Carrasco. Guest artists: Silvia Pérez Cruz, Arcángel, Diego del Morao, Javier Ruibal, Tío Pedro Peña, José Valencia and family from Lebrija, Chirigota of Selu, Gipsy Rappers, Maloko, Juan de la Morena, Fernando Carrasco, Joselete. Guitar: Pedro Ma. Peña, Curro Carrasco. Violin: Faiçal Kourrich. Rhythm and chorus: Ané Carrasco, Juan Martínez, Amparo Lagares, Carmen Amaya. Acoustic and electric guitar: Jorge Gómez Vidal. Bass: Ignacio Cintado. Music and artistic director: Pedro Ma. Peña.
I think I’m irreversibly becoming a Jerez local. But what the hey, that’s not a bad thing. Last night at the Villamarta theater I had a fine time watching an apparently improvised show, that in fact had most certainly been crafted right down to the smallest detail. Because that’s the gift, one of many, this self-invented man possesses; he finds the perfect equilibrium between rehearsal and improvisation, between the old and the contemporary, he abstracts the abstract making the art he has soaked up throughout his life appear to be a fleeting inspiration, as fresh as a housewife’s bulerías dance in a communal Andalusian patio. That which is simple, ascends to greatness in the hands and minds of great artists.
While being thoroughly a product of Jerez, Diego Carrasco is of his own creation. It’s not that he has his own stamp; it’s more like an entire post-office. It reminds me of what they always say about Lola Flores, that she couldn’t sing or dance, but be sure to see her. After the boom of Paco de Lucía and Camarón, you either imitated those outsized artists, or came up with something original of your own. Last night Diego, who is “officially” a guitarist, sang his Louis Armstrong flamenco, and it was good, and with four movements in rhythm, he was the best dancer in Jerez.
The pretext for the show was the celebration of Diego’s 50-year career along with his people, and the presentation of a new record to this effect, but the immediacy of flamenco overtook the promotional intent. Guest artists and surprises: her majesty Remedios Amaya, and to give a sweet touch, singer Silvia Pérez, Diego del Morao “the first-born of my brother Morao” as Carrasco pointed out, remembering the much-missed Moraíto again and again. Childhood nostalgia, José Monge Cruz, present and accounted for, Diego’s light-hearted syllabic songs, machaca machaca and alajea…(let me catch my breath for a second)…Arcángel with his spectacular recreation of Camarón’s “Dicen de mí”, and the brilliant contrast of Lebrija’s best who came on as a single module, and left the same way, facing up to the Jerez urgency with their sublime tranquility and peculiar rhythm, for goodness sake, that Pedro Peña, it’s not possible to say more with less.
All that and much more, even the raucous carnival group of Selu de Cádiz, and energy to repeat the entire happening in Madrid on November 29th.