Thursday 18th January 2024
Location: Hotel Kilkenny, Kilkenny
The Worlds most celebrated flamenco guitarist, the legendary Paco Pena and his dance company return to Ireland in 2024. Paco Peña has a long history of performing in Ireland where he has always found warm appreciation for his solo concerts and for shows he has presented with his Flamenco Company over many years.
The present concert is arranged in two parts, the first half consisting of guitar pieces by Paco Peña joined also by Rafael Montilla for duets and other musical repertoire. In the second part they are joined by talented artists to present flamenco in its complete ensemble of guitar, song and dance in a display of improvisation and virtuoso technique.
Growing up in Córdoba all those years ago as a keen aficionado of the guitar and of flamenco, the greatest interest of my life was to dig as deep as I could into the art I loved and retrieve from it the best qualities and levels of expression; to really understand the meaning and message of the music and to attempt to reproduce it as well as the great artists of the time I so admired. Myself and all the other young aspiring flamencos willfully exposed ourselves to as much musical and emotional information as could possibly reach us. All aspects of the art, whether good or possibly less good or even mediocre, made big impressions on us. The most essential qualities of flamenco were of course the most influential, the most life-changing in our ambitious journey – or maybe just our idealistic dream of becoming as good as our peers. Indeed, speaking personally, those are the qualities that have always remained guiding principles in my own commitment with the music; the ones that shape any characteristics that myself, or anyone else for that matter, might hopefully bring to the art. Although the roots of flamenco are deeply embedded in the soil and the culture of Andalucía, in Southern Spain, it nevertheless deals with emotional ingredients that are universal and timeless and therefore felt and understood by all human beings. Today flamenco excites an ever growing international audience, many of whom know little of its complex traditions or of the intense pain it expresses, yet who can identify with its ancient canon of oppression, anguish and suffering. There is here a pride of spirit, a nobility of bearing, a vitality of passion and a lust for life which is truly universal. The flamenco art form has always found, and continues to find, mysterious paths into people’s sensitivities all over the world.