Two Brazilian superstars and two Flamenco giants will tour the U.S. soon. Here is the scoop:
1. Caetano Veloso & Gilberto Gil: Sunday, April 10, 2016, Microsoft Theater, LA Live, 777 Chick Hearn Court, Los Angeles, CA 90018
Two of Brazil’s biggest stars are performing in this large (7,000 seats) venue. Both started in the late 1960’s, were part of the Tropicalia Movement in 1968, and were both exiled by the dictatorship. Their music embraced freedom of expression and that was considered dangerous to law and order. They have emerged over the past forty years as two of the most beloved and admired Brazilian musicians in the world, with numerous Grammies, top awards and honors in Europe, Japan, and beyond. As far as I know, this is their first U.S. tour performing together, and it is guaranteed to be a blockbuster. You can find information on their 2016 world tour here.
2. Vicente Amigo: Friday, March 18, 2016, Wilshire Ebell Theatre, 4401 West 8th St., Los Angeles, CA 90005
With the passing of Paco de Lucia, Vicente Amigo has emerged, along with Tomatito, as one of the greatest flamenco musicians performing today. Along with Tomatito, he has been making great records for over two decades, but because he doesn’t tour the U.S. as much as Paco did, he isn’t as well known as the late great maestro. It didn’t help a few years ago when he was booked into the Wilshire Ebell Theatre by an offshore agent; promotion and turnout was poor, making some presenters think he wasn’t a good draw.
I saw him at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center in 2012; it was a wonderful show and was packed by flamenco aficionados. Let’s hope that the upcoming Wilshire Ebell Theater show will bring the aficionados back as much as the 2012 show. And here are the other shows on Amigo’s 2016 tour.
Farruquito comes from a dynasty of great flamenco dancers; his father and his grandfather Farruco were hailed as the greatest dancers of their generations. Farruquito inherited the mantle, but his career was derailed because of a hit-and-run manslaughter conviction in 2003, for which he spent several years in prison.
This may be his first tour in over a decade; and flamenco dance shows like his are relatively rare in the U.S. San Francisco, Boston, and Miami, you are lucky to be on the tour. Los Angeles is not on it.
There are some great videos on youtube of these artists. Here are a few I like:
Caetano & Gil in 2015 in Paris at the Palais de Congrès:
Vicente Amigo in 2011:
And an informal fiery performance by Farruquito (wearing the red shoes):