By Regina Winkle-Bryan
It starts out slow. First the guitar player comes on stage. He sits down and casually starts strumming. Then he is followed by a singer, who is dressed in a silvery blue suit and gold chains, his hair thick and styled. They begin, the flamenco singer belting out songs which, depending on your taste, sound like passion or like fingernails on a chalkboard.
A couple songs later, another handsome man and a young woman take the stage, standing in the corner behind the guitarist. They clap a bit, accompanying the rhythm. She is dressed in a tight flowered number that accentuates her curves (and she’s curvy) and shows off her calves and patten leather tap shoes.
Out of no where she begins to dance. Bam! She stamps her foot against the wooden floorboards. Smack! Her feet come down in a wave of tapping. Watching flamenco is a real thrill. The dancer, usually a woman, leads the group and the musicians’ eyes follow her as she moves. The four of them are deeply connected. Or so it seems to me, the awe-struck audience member in this tablao.
We went the other night to see flamenco at JazzSi, a low key ‘locals’ sort of club which has live music every night of the week. It’s my kind of place. For under €10.00 you get a two-hour show and a drink of your choice: beer or wine. They also serve fat olives and thick slices of Spanish tortilla (potato omelet) with bread if you get hungry. Flamenco is not common in Barcelona and for this reason if I see an ad for a flamenco show I usually avoid it because I assume it will be a touristy thing. This is not the case at JazzSi, which draws a very diverse crowd and is off the tourist trail (meaning it can also be hard to find). If you go be prepared for the total experience and flow with it.
JazzSi – C/ Requesens, 2 – (El Raval) Barcelona