Concert in Villa de Nerja Cultural Centre
Rondalla Sierra Almijara
27th December 2015

This talented ensemble of musician and singers are all from the region of the Almijara Mountains above the Eastern Costa del Sol in Spain. Staged at the excellent theatre in the Cultural Centre in the resort town of Nerja in Southern Spain

The group playing tonight  was composed of nine virtuosi on mandolins, guitars, drums or rather percussion (beat box,bongos and so forth) and two male and one female singers although from what I understand these musicians are just part of a far larger group to judge by their CD cover.

With wit, intelligence and sheer talent they charmed and entertained a full house at this large, interesting theatre venue. Singing in Spanish and Italian they brought Spanish rhythms to the whole programme.

The encores went on and on as the audience was reluctant to let them go and as they had sung for nearly 2 hours without a break they must have been exhausted.
My limited Spanish meant I concentrated on the music which washed over me like a warm wind bringing beauty and passion to the songs. I was completely entranced with their new and charming interpretations of song I knew in English as 'The heart of a man can be broken' and 'My Way' I do not know if these are originally Spanish songs but whatever they are the interpretation was wonderful.

Unfortunately no details of the performers were given so I cannot pass on that information about individuals but the 3 singers were excellent and all coped well with microphones playing up and having to be quickly swopped about all through the concert without any of them missing a beat

The Rondalla Sierra Almijara deserve international recognition and acclaim. I first heard them about 4 years ago and they have just got better and better. What a great night we all had.

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Aires de Navidad con Rocio Bazan
Nerja Spain

A beautifully lyrical guitar solo opened this wonderful evening of Christmas Flamenco at the Cultural Centre of Nerja on the Costa Del Sol in Southern Spain.
There was a charged atmosphere with a Christmas themed backdrop in a crowded theatre, with excellent and pleasant staff making seating quick and easy. Aires de Navidad is a show of traditional Spanish Carols in a pure Andalucian expression. It included typical and popular music styles including tangoes and bulerias interpreted through dance and song. This is a world away from the flamenco shows in the tourist hotels. This was of the people and for the people, not sanitised for foreign consumption

The six artist troupe was made up of two female singers and one female dancer and three men. One a percussion player, another a guitarist and a finally a male dancer. Each of them at the top of their game and collectively presented an explosive and captivating mix, that gave us a thrilling performance. A single dancer stood in front of the musicians and singers, with her arms like snakes mesmerising the audience. After her solo dance she was joined by the male dancer and the air crackled with sexuality in their pas de deux,. Their footwork was amazing, full of passion and torment, and we were swept up in their moment, dazzled by their movements and the singing and percussive music.

Another hauntingly beautiful guitar solo interspersed the quartet of singers and jazz elements were sprinkle through the music, giving a contemporary twist to the flamenco rhythms. The sound was full of joy and spontaneity.
Then the female dancer came on with fans, The fans like butterflies flittered and flew with astonishing speed and dexterity. The male dancer was beauty with strength. His amazing rhythms and his talking feet drummed their own songs with passion and precision.

What has stuck in my mind was the amazing voice and power of the female lead singer. Her haunting voice never tired and the purity of her flamenco singing, full of clarity and passion, just blew my breath away. The evening passed all to quickly and we walked back to our hotel in the cool Spanish night with the music echoing in our heads. It was a Christmas evening never to forget