Bay Area Flamenco
Representing the area’s vibrant Flamenco community, Bay Area Flamenco is a grassroots arts organization dedicated to fostering the flamenco arts, creating and presenting quality flamenco to audiences throughout Northern California. Founded in 2004 by Artistic Director Nina Menéndez, BAF has produced numerous flamenco performances, providing a forum for the rich pool of outstanding local flamenco artists and facilitating numerous cultural exchange opportunities with world-class visiting artists from Spain.
Fiscally sponsored by Berkeley’s La Peña Cultural Center, BAF has hosted a dynamic and highly successful flamenco series there including the “Flamenco at the Crossroads” series which was funded by the NEA in 2010-11.
BAF also presents flamenco workshops throughout the year taught by world-class visiting artists from Spain including Manuela Carrasco, Juana Amaya, Diego del Morao, Concha Vargas, Juan del Gastor, members of the Farruco Family including La Farruca, El Carpeta, Farru and Faraona, and others
Some of the highlights of our presenting history include performances in 2011 by Spanish superstar Diego el Cigala as well as dancer Jose Maya and in 2010 by some of the most important figures in the history of flamenco such as Manuela Carrasco, Angelita Vargas and Manuel Agujetas (who we brought back for a 4-city tour in 2012). We also presented a gala performance by Los Farruco, first family of Gypsy flamenco dance in 2009, and in Feb/March of 2008 the BAF celebrated the Diego del Gastor Centennial Tribute with special concerts featuring BBC World Music Award winners Son de la Frontera and guest artist Juan del Gastor.
Other past events presented between 2004 and 2012 include performances by revered Gypsy singer, Ines Bacan; icon of Gypsy flamenco dance, Concha Vargas; guitarist David Serva; Juan del Gastor with Luis Peña & El Pola, the legendary Miguel Funi with Antonio Moya, Lakshmi “La Chimi” with Kina Méndez & José Gálvez from Jerez de la Frontera, the acclaimed dancers La Tania with Juanaire and Carola Zertuche; Gypsy guitar legend Chuscales; Roberto Zamora y su Arte Flamenco; Ben Wood’s cutting-edge flamenco rock band Flametal with dancers Fanny Ara and Melissa Cruz; Gypsy singer Antonio de Jerez from el Barrio de La Plazuela; Cristo Cortes and Los Gitanos de Marseilles; Zambomba, a Flamenco Holiday celebration in the tradition of the Andalusian Gypsies, featuring Angelita Agujetas; and Mari Pena with Antonio Moya. The Bay Area Flamenco Festival was launched in 2005 with events including performances by Andrés Marín and Company and a Bay Area Flamenco All-Star Gala Showcase Benefit for Hurricane Katrina Relief. In 2010 and 11 we presented Zahara Al Andaluz directed by San Francisco-based dancer Kerensa DeMars and featuring a collaboration with the Moroccan musicians of El Hamedeen. In 2011 we presented the original work by Fanny Ara “Garlochí” and In 2012 Kina Mendez presented a tribute to her aunt the legendary Paquera de Jerez.
“San Francisco is a very flamenco city. There is a very strong flamenco community here.” -Diego el Cigala