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Wednesday, November 21, 2012


(Linda Vargas)

Join Linda Vargas and her Flamenco Dance Company with flamenco guitarist, Demi Fernandez, for an evening of pulsating rhythms and exhilarating flamenco jazz music and dance as they perform with Neil Gonsalves on keyboards. Special guest will be the internationally renowned percussionist, Efrain Toro,

Efrain Toro began his musical career in his native Puerto Rico starting on the drum kit. He very soon began to work with a wide variety of other instruments leading him to be known as one of the most versatile drummer / percussionists in the world. He has played on countless films and TV scores and has also worked with a variety of great artists that include George Benson, Los Lobos, Chicago, Placido Domingo and many others. He has authored five books for musicians and artists and lectures extensively around the world.

Neil Gonzales has a Masters’ degree in Jazz Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal where he currently lectures and co-ordinates the various jazz programmes. He has performed in various national music festivals with numerous South Africa jazz and Afro-beat luminaries as well as his own band, Tonk. He has also toured internationally, including a four-year stint as part of Johnny Clegg’s band. He has released a solo album North Facing which represents a blend of modern South African and Nordic Jazz.

Demi Fernandez was born in Brazil of Spanish parents and spent many years living and performing in Flamenco Tablaos in Spain. He has also appeared as leading flamenco guitarist with all the top Spanish dance companies in South Africa and became resident guitarist for the Linda Vargas Flamenco Dance Company in 1986. He has composed musical scores for several SABC TV productions and also appeared in numerous productions including Guitars for Africa in Durban and at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival. He also currently lectures in the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Jazz programme.

The Linda Vargas Flamenco Dance Company is an integral part of the Durban theatre scene, enjoying sell out performances for their numerous productions over many years. The most recent of these was Familia Flamenco at the Catalina Theatre in 2010 and 2011. The company performs both nationally and internationally and will present a re-imagining of Familia Flamenco when they join forces with Flamenco Del Sur in Cape Town this December. An Evening of Flamenco Jazz is their first time fusion of flamenco and jazz music and dance and promises to offer audiences a treat to remember!

An Evening of Flamenco Jazz runs from November 21 to 25 at the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music on the UKZN’s Howard College campus with performances nightly at 19h00 (Sunday at 15h00). Entrance fee R100 (R80 students / pensioners) with bookings through Thulile on 031 260 3385 (during working hours) or email Tickets are limited for each performance so advanced booking is advised to avoid disappointment.

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