Barcelona is, after Andalusia and Madrid, the third great flamenco capital in Spain and a city at the forefront of exciting artistic movements like Catalan rumba and nuevo flamenco. Also, it’s home to the band Aurora – a major discovery at TD Sunfest’18, which is returning to London for a January 31/20 date at Aeolian Hall.
With a name that refers to “the rosy light that immediately precedes the sunrise,” Aurora assembles a talented circle of young Spanish artists (ages 27 to 32) who studied at the Higher Education School of Taller de Músics: flamenco star Pere Martínez – a singer known for his audience-pleasing intensity and attitude – along with pianist Max Villavecchia, drummer Joan Carles Marí, bassist Javi Garrabella and dancer Jose Manuel Álvarez. As collaborators, the five have been pursuing an innovative aesthetic adventure: transposing into the associated fields of jazz, rock and flamenco some of the most popular works by iconic twentieth century Spanish composer Manuel de Falla and his contemporaries Isaac Albéniz (music), Felipe Pedrell (music) and Federico García Lorca (poetry). The group’s stagings are so exemplary that they have already become part of the curriculum for students in Canada and South Korea.
While still new on the arts scene, Aurora was entrusted with opening the 25th (2018) edition of Barcelona’s Ciutat Flamenco, one of the most important festivals of its kind. Coincident with this occasion, they released their debut album on Taller de Músics’ own label. Writing in Vanity Fair, Silvia Cruz Lapeña praised the ensemble as “the flamenco that makes you cry and recite Dante.” Pilar Sampietro of Mediterráneo Radio 3 said, “Long live Aurora. Go see them. They will soon be highly required.”