Session 5 – Spain/Canarias

Friday 2 September – 14.45-16.00 (Blue Note)
Chair: Eva Moreda

Carlos Duque – Flamenco Jazz versus Jazz Flamenco: The Phrygian Metamorphoses

Spain has a strong musical identity, and Flamenco-Jazz or Jazz-Flamenco is an ingredient of this singular conception. Since Franco’s period, Jazz and Flamenco have been searching for a National Identity, aiming for a distinctive sound via fusion. The development of Jazz and Flamenco, have many common points in the evolution of their histories. However, both styles, Jazz and Flamenco are very different in terms of scales, harmony and rhythm, and their advance has been complex but with clear stages. The approach to Flamenco-Fusion, depends on whether the musicians background is Jazz or Flamenco.

This paper will explore the different influences of flamenco in jazz and the influence of jazz in flamenco. Stemming from very different milieu, it has been easier for jazzmen to use flamenco in their music (harmonies and scales generally). Flamenco players have been more focused in keeping the roots of the ‘real’ flamenco than in integrating resources from jazz. In fact some flamenco purists claim that it is a big mistake to lose the identity with the fusion of diverse styles. In the evolution of Flamenco-Jazz (or Flamenco-fusion), we find three periods:

– Pioneers (1950-1970): Tete Montoliú, Pedro Iturralde,
– Evolution (1970-2000): Manolo Sanlucar, Paco de Lucía,
– New Voices (2000-Present): Jorge Pardo, Carles Benavent, Chano Domínguez.

The New Voices period, has a wide variety of styles, which comes from the evolution period, combined with classical music (contemporary and from the Renaissance) as well as Progressive Rock. In this paper I will explore the evolution of Flamenco-Fusion, from the pioneers until the New Voices. I will analyze the different approaches to the Phrygian metamorphoses in the most representative musicians (from Spain), and will explain how National identity applied to Jazz, changed since the 1950s.

Iván Iglesias – Glocalizing Spanish Jazz: Politics and Poetics of Jazz-Flamenco during the 1960s

After the well-known experiments of Charles Mingus, Gil Evans, Miles Davis and John Coltrane in 1957-1961, the hybridization of jazz and flamenco was restarted in 1967-1968 by the Spanish saxophonist Pedro Iturralde. His three albums, two recorded in Madrid for the Hispavox label and one registered in Berlin for SABA, have become a basic reference, positive or negative, for Spanish jazzmen. They have been placed by critics and musicians in an evolutionary, formal and unitary plot of the jazz-flamenco hybridization.

This paper analyzes this musical crossover connecting it with its political, cultural and aesthetic context: fascist Spain, Cold War Europe, and avant-garde and glocal jazz. German producer Joachim E. Berendt invited Iturralde to play his version of jazz-flamenco in the 1967 Berliner Jazztage, a festival that served as a showcase for the Western-bloc culture during the Cold War. Iturralde’s performance and recording in West Berlin, aimed at an international audience, followed his American models.

In Spain, on the contrary, his hybridization combined jazz and ‘gitanismo’ or ‘mairenismo’, a particular flamenco aesthetics and ideology at that time identified with the political opposition to General Franco’s dictatorship. But these recordings were also a projection of the national in the global, and they were well received by the official music critics of the Franco regime, who were trying to show Spain as a modern but different country.

Mark Lomanno – Improvising the Arrorró: Strategies of Transcultural Fusion among Canarian Jazz Musicians

Though politically tied to Spain since the 15th century, its geographic interstitiality and history of migration situates the inhabitants of the Canary Islands among many different cultures — those of other islands in the archipelago, the region of Macaronesia, mainland Spain, the Caribbean, Morocco and North Africa, the Mediterranean and the Middle East. These varied cultural affiliations are mirrored in musical practices, where jazz musicians improvise from among these cultures in order to express affinity with a population, and also to establish an economically-viable, aesthetically-satisfying and creative musical identity. Liminal positionality of the Canarian jazz musicians — within institutionalized local cultural spheres and among regional and global jazz scenes — further incites these musicians to seek out emergent alliances that reflect articulations of multiple histories and aesthetics. These alliances — formed through stylistic fusion, collaborative performance and media technologies — continually inscribe new discursive meanings on the cultures and musical genres which they invoke.

I will be examining the ways in which these cultural and musical fusions are realized through arrangements of one particular Canarian song form — the canción de cuna, or lullaby, called arrorró. As a song form integral to the maintenance of Canarian traditional culture, the arrorró is suffused in the Canarian consciousness, most clearly demonstrated by its recent adoption as the archipelago’s official anthem. This paper explores the ways in which Canarian jazz musicians tactically perform against notions of ‘authentic’ cultures and ‘traditional’ musics through their arrangements of the arrorró. I will conclude the paper by extending its arguments to the canons of jazz music and jazz studies scholarship, asserting that, as Canarian jazz musicians serve as a model for the constant inscription of new meanings on culture and musical genres, research on jazz must attune itself to the highly articulated, fluid movement of sounds and people across cultural and geographic fields.

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