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Where are Mairena’s thinking heads?

Will the Cultural Week of the ‘Festival de Cante Jondo Antonio Mairena’ not celebrate the 50th anniversary of the dead of Antonio Mairena’s greatest teacher, which also coincides with the 50th anniversary of the release of a record by this master, 'Honores a la Niña de los Peines'?

Reading the program of the Festival de Cante Jondo Antonio Mairena, the section about the Cultural Week organized as a lead-in, I ask myself: ”Won’t they celebrate the 50th anniversary of the dead of Antonio Mairena’s greatest teacher, which also coincides with the 50th anniversary of the release of a record by this master, Honores a la Niña de los Peines? Apparently, no, according to the program. They preferred to organize a round table about the Fundación Cristina Heeren, and a master class by Esperanza Fernández.

«Doesn’t a festival with such long tradition deserve a director who thinks about those things?»

Antonio Mairena had three or four teachers, artists he sought to emulate, and Pastora Pavón was essential in his career, more so than her brother Tomás, the little brother of that cantaora from Seville, because Mairena never sang in the style of Tomás, always having a different performing approach. Antonio was greatly influenced by the Pavón siblings, which he considered to be Seville’s great family of cantaores. He even referred to Arturo, the eldest sibling, as a “genius”, even as they never got along.

Mairena del Alcor could have dedicated this year’s Festival de Cante Jondo to the memory of Pastora in the 50th anniversary of her death and focused the Cultural Week in the relationship between Mairena and the Pavón family. Then they get annoyed when we say that this festival has gone astray for years. Doesn’t a festival with such long tradition deserve a director who thinks about those things? Instead of hiring an extra cantaor, they could use that money to hire someone with a thinking head

 

Translated by P. Young

 

 

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Crítico de flamenco, periodista y escritor. 40 años de investigación flamenca en El Correo de Andalucía. Autor de biografías de la Niña de los Peines, Carbonerillo, Manuel Escacena, Tomás Pavón, Fernando el de Triana, Manuel Gerena, Canario de Álora...

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