By Diana Hovhannisyan
November 17 is going to be very hot in Armenia’s capital. Of course, we are not forecasting the weather, but speaking about the concert of French-Armenian flamenco artist Lori Bagdassarian, known as Lori La Armenia, and the band of Spanish musicians.
Lori Bagdassarian has a unique style of flamenco. It is the mixture of Armenian, Spanish, French and Gypsy cultures, which gives birth to her own and unrivalled flamenco. She is arriving to Armenia with great musicians Melchior Campos, Bastian de Jerez, Daniel Barba Moreno, Rafael Pradal and Daniel Torres, who inspire each other during every performance, making their concerts spectacular and unforgettable. Their gypsy songs and passionate dances warm the audience soul, like red wine warms the body.
NEWS.am STYLE has get in touch with Lori La Armenia to find out who has invited the talented artists to perform in Armenia, and what we can expect on Saturday evening.
1. Who has invited you to perform in Armenia?
First of all, Air France's Armenian branch contacted me to perform on November 17th at their annual private celebration of “Beaujolais nouveau” international day. So I immediately contacted Raffi Niziblian from Deem Communications to catch the opportunity to work together. We had met a few years ago at a show in Yerevan and we've always wanted to share our "savoir faire". And there it is, on November 19th we are invited by DEEM to perform on the occasion of their 10TH Anniversary!!!! The event will take place at Aram Khatchatrian concert Hall at 7pm. We are looking forward to play for this great occasion, straightening the links between Armenia and its Diaspora!
2. What program will Lori La Armenia present in Armenia? Will you be in your own dancing style (deeply gypsy influenced with a natural Armenian touch) or we can expect something new?
The Program we will present is a journey through Deep Flamenco gipsy Traditional music, embracing the main styles of flamenco in their genres but also in their regional differences of Andalucia, motherland of Flamenco.
Soleares de Triana, Siguiriyas, Tarantos de Levante and Solea por Bulerias de Jerez are the most traditional deep, strong and nostalgic styles of flamenco. They are called “Los cantes grandes”, which means the great singings, the most original and sacred ones.
Bulerias, Alegrias de Cadiz, Tangos de Granada and many other songs are called “The cantes chicos y festeros”, which are lighter, energetic, and mainly more improvised styles. We will offer the public a very large and complete perspective of these traditional genres to leave in Yerevan a sip of deep and genuine traditional Flamenco.
As an Armenian, I will certainly be influenced by my origins always trying to stay to most loyal to Traditional Flamenco.
Every time I go on stage I think of the sorrow but also the bravery our ancestors lived to survive or not, through Genocide. Flamenco is an Ancestral Art that is my true breathing air, it is more than music, it is a way to be and live life, it is a way to sublime life, is a musical alchimia.... I guess it is the perfect resumé of Armenian emotional identity...
Let me remind you that Gipsies settled in Armenia during medieval time. Anthropological and historical researches prove that it is the placed they preferred to live, the only heritage flamenco brings from that time is a very deep song named "A la sierra de Armenia".
3. I know that you will perform with 5 Spanish musicians. Is this your first collaboration with them?
All the musicians of the band are amazing artists that I have dealt with through my life and career (I met them all in Andalucía, where I learned almost everything). As flamenco has its laws and traditions into which improvisations, mood and understanding are fundamental, you have to play with people that you get along more than well, it is a matter of deep understanding.
Melchior Campos and Bastian de Jerez are the singers, whose voices and styles are genuine and unique. They both come from renowned gipsy musician families from South of Spain.
Daniel Barba Moreno is the best guitarist I have ever crossed in my professional life, he has the ability to play not only as a soloist but also accompanying singing and dancing with both strength and delicacy!
Rafael Pradal is a prodigy of Piano Flamenco playing, he is a great musician and has a very special way to transform all flamenco's souls on a piano staying traditional and extremely personal at the same time.
Daniel Torres, the percussionist is the captain of the songs. Rhythm is the base of flamenco music. It has innumerous rhythms repertoire, and Daniel Torres is the one who harmonizes and enhances our pieces.
All of us go along very well: this is the most important thing for a band. We nourish and inspire one another, and that makes us more expressive I guess.
4. What will you tell the audience waiting for you in Armenia?
I have a message from all of us: “VAMOS CON MUCHAS GANAS DE COMPARTIR UN CACHITO DE NUESTRO ARTE FLAMENCO CON ESTA TIERRA PROFOUND QUE ES ARMENIA: NOS VEMOS EL 19 DE NOVIEMBRE EN LA FILARMONICA!”
We are very excited to get to Yerevan and share with you and your amazing country, our deeply beloved traditional FLAMENCO MUSIC: See you ON NOVEMBER 19th at Filarmonica! OLEEEE!
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