This show explores the very special relationship between Leonard Cohen and Flamenco. The idea came from Flamenco guitarist Jheinsen Montalvo, who went to the person who was best fit for the job : Alvaro Echanove, a professional Flamenco singer with significant experience in Rock and Folk music, and a dedicated admirer of Leonard Cohen’s life and work. The French-Spanish musician started exploring the many musical opportunities that sprung from this idea, searching for the « most flamenco » songs — or the ones that could handle a « flamenco twist » — in Cohen’s work. These ideas were turned into musical arrangements with the help of Jheinsen, and the project was shown onstage for the first time at famous Montreal jazz club Dièse Onze on August 12th, 2019. It was an instant success.
The show sheds a new light on Cohen’s already well-known work, in order to give fans a chance to rediscover it. It is also a way to introduce this poet's emotionally charged and lyrically rich universe to Flamenco aficionados.
Carefully built and refined over a period of two years with dancer Aurélie Brunelle and guitarist Dominique Soulard, this show is minimalistic in staff and equipment but extremely ambitious artistically. It is modern and surprising while still anchored in the strictest tradition of Flamenco.
"Transiciones" is an ode to passages as well as a search for meaning in these transitory moments, those moments "between". These fleeting moments when everything becomes clear and luminous, as sometimes everything becomes dark and cloudy. What if these transitions were opportunities to live intensely?
A tablao is a wooden stage on which Flamenco is danced. The word also refers to the restaurants that host these shows, in Spain - and now all around the world. In a fashion similar to the way some jazz groups are formed to play and improvise together as "one-nighters" , Flamenco performers gather in tablaos to make the magic happen, improvising structure and defying each other in devilish rhythmic games. If they are experienced enough, they need very little group rehearsal in order to put on a breathtaking show.
Flamenco seems to have been purposefully designed to be spontaneous. If you have never been to a tablao, we recommend the experience wholeheartedly.
Alvaro has always been working hard to preserve his independence and self-reliance. That is why he continues to cultivate an extensive solo repertoire of original songs, blues and jazz standards, Flamenco traditionals and covers of popular songs in three languages.
He has performed in this free, mobile, minstrel-like manner in innumerable contexts : the Paris metro, the streets of London, the cafés of Montréal, the nightclubs of Madrid...
This is a video of Alvaro playing a popular French song, with a little flamenco twist on the guitar.
"Works of art are humanity's secret diary."
Alain de Botton