FIRST FRIDAY Music Series @ Galeria West - Flamenco Music with PEDRO CORTES & OSCAR VALERO
Since the inaugural concert in the summer of 2009 hundreds of music lovers have enjoyed the new FIRST FRIDAY Music Series, presented by TEATRO Si at the intimate Galeria West Art Gallery in downtown Westfield, NJ. This once a month live concert event continues to bring to the area a unique opportunity to enjoy a diversity of music genres as performed by a select series of renowned artists.
The FIRST FRIDAY events continue on Friday, October 1, 2010 at 7pm with a passionate evening of Flamenco music from Spain with the acclaimed Spanish guitarist Pedro Cortes and singer and percussionist Oscar Valero.
Pedro Cortes comes from a family of Spanish Gypsy guitarists and began his studies with his father and esteemed Flamenco guitarist Sabicas. Having toured professionally since the age of 17, Pedro has gained international recognition as a soloist and composer. He has toured with Jose Greco and Maria Benitez, and has performed with such artists as Farrucita, La Tati, Merche Esmeralda, Manolete and the late Lola Flores. He has been a guest artist with the St. Louis Opera and the New York Grand Opera, and has been commissioned by and performed as musical director with the Guthrie Theater in the Garcia Lorcas BODAS DE SANGRE. Mr. Cortes is artistic director of his own Flamenco Fusion group, Amanecer Flamenco De Hoy. As a third generation Flamenco guitarist he uses the experience passed down to him by his family to maintain the purity of Flamenco while creating new horizons.
The multitalented and versatile flamenco dancer, choreographer, singer and percussionist Óscar Valero currently divides his time and artistry equally between the United States and his native Spain. Recently his New York City-based Óscar Valero Dance Company presented Valero's original creation Fuerza to sold-out audiences at the renowned Baryshnikov Arts Center, the JCC Arts Center as well as The Connelly Theater in NYC.
Growing up in Valencia, Spain, Óscar began studying flamenco and classical Spanish dance as a child. By the age of seventeen, he was already dancing professionally with the dance company Ballet Español de Martín Vargas and was selected to be a principal dancer for the 1 1⁄2 year production of Flamenco Fantasy in the Parque España, Japan.
Back in Spain he became a principal dancer for the Ballet Flamenco del Benidorm Palace, headed by Emilio Hernández. Relocating later to Madrid, he had the opportunity to study with some of Spain's preeminent artists, such as Antonio Canales, La China, Manuel Soler, Domingo Ortega, Belén Fernández, Manuel Reyes, Manolo Marín, María Pagés, Manolete, and Alejandro Granados.
Óscar has been featured by the most prestigious flamenco festivals in the world. In Spain he has appeared at the venerated Festival de Jerez, Festival de Cantes de las Minas (La Union), and La Bienal de Sevilla. With Antonio Canales he performed in the international festivals of Lyon (France), Bogotá (Colombia), Tel Aviv (Israel), Spoleto (Italia), and Tokyo (Japan). He accompanied María Pagés in the festivals of Boston and New York City, which featured such artists as Farruquito, Carmen Linares, and Manolo Sanlúcar. In 2006 Óscar inaugurated the Flamenco Festival in Valencia with stellar performers such as Tomatito and Eva La Yerba Buena.
Another dimension of Óscar's work includes TV and movies. He appeared in a TV film about the life of the great flamenca Cristina Hoyos entitled Despacito y a Compás.
He was also filmed for Spanish television with Sara Baras and José Mercé by TVE1's Los Premios de la Música, which is Spain's version of MTV. Most recently Óscar danced flamenco in the Sony Pictures production of Pink Panther 2 with Steve Martin.
In 2004 Óscar found his way to the United States when he was invited to New York to perform as a soloist with Andrea del Conte's Danza España for its twenty-fifth anniversary production at the Thalia Theater. In 2005 and 2007, he participated by special invitation in the Flamenco Festival of Chicago. Last summer he was a soloist in the opera Carmen in Chautauqua as well as a dancer in New York's Metropolitan Opera's production of this classic. Oscar also recently performed with acclaimed dancer Omayra Amaya and company in the Westfield Symphony Orchestra concert production of Carmen in association with TEATRO Sí.
We hope you will join us often during the year to celebrate the arts in a unique setting. We recommend that you consider enjoying a fine meal before or after the concert at one of the fine eateries in quaint downtown Westfield and the surrounding area. Most are located within a short walk from the gallery. Proceeds from each event benefit theatrical programming efforts at TEATRO Si, a 501(c)3 New Jersey non-profit corporation.
111 Quimby Street
Westfield, NJ 07090
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|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|