Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Tag: Flamenco


Joaquin Cortes

Aunque sabe que el retiro es inevitable, el bailaor español se motiva cada vez que sube al escenario. Este fin de semana se presentará en México Con 32 años de carrera artística, Joaquín Cortés acepta que el paso del tiempo es inevitable y que el retiro se acerca, pero mientras ese momento llega el bailaor sigue encontrando motivación para subir al escenario en su pasión por la danza, como lo hará este 8, 9 y 10 de agosto en tres ciudades de la República Mexicana.

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Berklee en Valencia

Durante más de medio siglo, el Berklee College of Music ha sido el líder en la educación de la música contemporánea. Hemos puesto en marcha la carrera de muchos de los profesionales de éxito de hoy en día en la industria de la música. Más de 200 premios Grammy han sido de nuestros antiguos alumnos. Berklee ofrece los más altos estándares en la educación musical, incluyendo las tecnologías de vanguardia, y sostenemos que la mejor manera de preparar a los estudiantes para carreras en la música es a través del estudio y la práctica de la música contemporánea.

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Middle Eastern Festival – A Journey to the Mediterranean Crossroads of Cultures by Ziga Pirnat

Last Monday, the Middle Eastern Festival took place at the BPC, joining artists from the Mediterranean region with students from all over the world performing music from their homelands.Those who attended the concert experienced an audible insight into a world of rich and diverse history, and took part in an incredible meeting of the sound of numerous civilizations that have lived and contributed to the unique cultural heritage of the Mediterranean.

Coming from a country on the Mediterranean, I have always felt a bewitching attraction to the music from the region. Listening to the Berklee Balkan choir and their throat singing pieces made last Monday a special experience, as I heard something that sounded so close to home.

However, I had never paid much attention to the intercultural connections and links between styles and musical traditions from the region that is culturally so colorful. I guess I had always thought that they were just too diverse and with just too many different influences to be compared and combined together. Therefore I was a bit skeptical at first about the Middle Eastern festival exploring connections between Flamenco, Arabic, Mediterranean, and Balkan music, also reflecting the journey Gypsies took from India to the Mediterranean. I couldn’t have been more mistaken.

The artistic director of Berklee in Valencia‘s Mediterranean Music Institute, Javier Limón, and the Middle Eastern Festival founder, Christiane Karam, did a great job. The primarily flamenco-themed festival titled “Flamenco Today: A Journey Through Andalusia” successfully incorporated and combined sounds from all across the Mediterranean into a beautiful and sound whole. It was at this point that I realized how interconnected this music was. After a mesmerizing three-hour ride through Siguiriya, Andalusian Wasla, Balkan Suite, Mediterranean Soundscape, Tango Flamenco, Peroche and Buleria, it became obvious to me how much all these musical styles have in common.

To think about it, it is really not that surprising. The Mediterranean has always been a place where many civilizations met, a place of migrations, wars, prosperity, large empires and – rich trade. The Greeks had colonies all around the Mediterranean; Alexander the Great established an enormous empire, as well as Romans. Since the destruction of the First Temple, Jewish people have been present all around the region and have left an indispensable contribution in its culture. Arabs dominated the Iberian Peninsula for centuries and their cultural influence was only reduced after the Reconquista, but never ceased to exist, which was also the case with the legacy of the Sephardim after their expulsion in 1492. For centuries, the Ottoman Empire stretched far north into the Balkans, bringing its own cultural contribution and also serving as an intermediary of Arab culture. Gypsies brought their own sound from India and by migrating, they dispersed it through the entire area. The Mediterranean was indeed a crossroads of cultures, where many civilizations have lived or travelled through and each left unique tracks behind them.

The unmatched cultural diversity and heritage of this place makes another argument, why it is so important for Berklee to be present in the region. The words of Sissy Castrogiovanni, a current student of Global Studies at the Berklee Valencia campus, illustrate that vividly: “a great place. Beautiful music, beautiful people.” Simply said, but true. (public domain image)

Middle Eastern Music Festival Rehearsal

Christiane Karam, assistant professor of Voice/Ensemble and Songwriting, and founder and co-director of Berklee’s Middle Eastern Music Festival, writes about the upcoming festival, and shares a rehearsal video. Read the official press release here.

Hi everyone! Christiane Karam here: assistant professor of voice/ensemble and songwriting, and Middle Eastern Festival founder and co-director with this year’s esteemed featured guest, multi-Grammy award winning flamenco great, Artistic Director of Berklee in Valencia’s Mediterranean Music Institute and our very own visiting professor, Javier Limon. Collaborating on this project has been an incredible joy and we are both very excited to present you with a rainbow of musical colors from the Middle East, the Balkans and the Mediterranean, with a focus on Spain and Andalusia, of course, in this Flamenco-themed edition of the Annual Middle Eastern festival. All these musical cultures share so much, and it’s fascinating to explore how deep these connections run, from rhythms to modes to instruments–we even share similar food and life experiences! 

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Today’s Featured Student Recital 2

今日紹介するのはMario Carrillo “Improvised Creations + Spain the Lighter”@David Friend Recital Hall!!

スペインはマドリッド出身、ベーシストMario Carrilloのシニアリサイタル(卒業前最後のリサイタル)です。

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