Text: Sara Arguijo
Photos: Adam Newby
The world of flamenco pays tribute to Curro Fernández for the 50th year of his career, at the Fibes (Seville)
New lesson from Curro Fernández at his tribute
Without a doubt, most of the audience in attendance Wednesday evening at the Fibes for Seville's tribute to Curro Fernández were there thanks to the category of artists that made up the program, with no knowledge of the singer who is now celebrating his 50-year career. And for that reason alone, to situate the work of an old-timer in the history of singing for dance, it was worthwhile.
Curro Fernández, “a singer from the old school, and patriarch of singing for flamenco dance” as his son Paco pointed out at the beginning of the show. He didn't need to be in the first line in order to make a name for himself among peers and flamenco fans. Because his position as patriarch of one of the most respected families in Triana, accompanying the best dancers of several generations, such as Pilar López, Manuela Vargas, Manuela Carrasco and Farruquito, made him the star of one of the most heart-warming tributes seen in the capital of Andalusia.
But it was more than that…from the shadows, it was like Curro's one last lesson on stage to turn his own tribute into a tribute to flamenco itself. The kind that flowers in flamenco families and is always there when needed.
From the moment his daughter Esperanza Fernández, organizer of the tribute, came on stage singing the Nana del Galapaguito, we were treated to an elegant, simple show, brilliantly directed by José Antonio Ruiz, in which all the performers were eager to humbly provide special moments. Some, such as José Valencia, Arcángel and Segundo Falcón sang siguiriyas for Eva Yerbabuena. There was also alegrías by Marina Heredia for Antonio Canales, Farru's tangos, Pastora Galván's marianas, the soleá of Manuela Carrasco with Juan José Amador, Valencia and Falcón and a spectacular petenera sung by Esperanza for dancer Ana Morales with the guitar of Miguel Ángel Cortés reminiscent of that which Esperanza's father used to sing for Manuela Vargas stirring emotion throughout the audience as in the last Bienal.
In this context, what started out as a cold auditorium, gradually became a warm place of encounter for audience and artists. To wrap it up, there was a fiesta finale in which Curro exclaimed “I can't believe this is happening to me”, and the voice of his “friend and brother”, Manuel Molina, carried him along with bulerías. The curtain came down and there was resounding applause from a city that knows how to honor a deserving artist. Congratulations Curro!
Cante: Marina Heredia, Esperanza Fernández, La Tremendita, Arcángel, Juan José Amador, José Valencia, Manuel Molina, Segundo Falcón, La Fabi, Cristián Guerrero, Jesús Corbacho and El Zambullo.
Dance: Manuela Carrasco, Eva Yerbabuena, Antonio Canales, Pastora Galván, El Farru, Ana Morales and José Fernández
Guitar: Miguel Ángel Cortés, Dani de Morón, Paco Jarana, Salvador Gutiérrez, Eduardo Trasierra, Jesús Guerrero, José Quevedo ‘El Bolita’, Paco Fernández, Ramón Amador and Pedro Sánchez.
Percussion: José Carrasco, Jorge El Cubano, Antonio Coronel, Paco Vega, Miguel Junior and Polito.
Palmas: Los Mellis, Dani Bonilla and Manuel Valencia
Artistic director: José Antonio Ruiz