Flamenco Festival London: Gerardo Núñez with Carmen Cortés at Sadler’s Wells
Spaniard Gerardo Núñez is well-known in the world of flamenco: the 53-year-old guitarist from Cadiz is a legend in his genre. A pioneer of flamenco nuevo, known for merging the traditional Spanish folk music with other styles, his combination of flamenco and jazz has gained great popularity. In the past, Núñez has collaborated with musicians like Julio Iglesias and Plácido Domingo.
The setting for the performance is simple: a guitar, cajon, contrabass, a singer and a dancer. Núñez comes on stage without much fuss and starts playing straight away. Most pieces are purely instrumental and he works with a dancer only for a few numbers – after all, the stars of the show are Gerardo Núñez and his guitar.
Although rare, the dance performances of Núñez’s wife, Carmen Cortés, are highlights. Her arms move in gracious circles through the air and turn into an angry push a moment later. Her feet move fast, alternating between gracious movements and angry, restless stomping.
Compared to music of other genres, flamenco conveys more passion, but other emotions are not explicit. The singer’s voice is loud and angry, making the performance challenging for the inexperienced listener to understand at times.
The interaction with the audience is reduced to a bare minimum by a seemingly shy Núñez, who only speaks Spanish. The contrabassist tries to relax the atmosphere with a few jokes in English. The audience does not seem to mind the lack of interaction, accompanying the performance with enthusiastic applause. Flamenco music seems to have a passionate fan-base in London, but listeners who are new to the genre are not necessarily swept along.
Gerardo Núñez with Carmen Cortés was a one-off show at Sadler’s Wells on 22nd February 2015. The Flamenco Festival London is on at Sadler’s Wells until 1st March 2015, for further information or to book visit here.