OK, I know I am only writing about visual art here, but the Chihuahua festival brought Concha Buika to Juarez last Friday night, and she left the packed theater enthralled.
Born in Mallorca, her ancestry is from Guinea and she has become over the years an internationally recognized star with an amazing voice. Friday night she was accompanied only by her pianist and a drummer, who was using a type of drum he could sit on and play with his hands. She was dressed in a yellow top and long green african patterned skirt with a bright yellow train. From the first cords og nina de la fuego she mesmerized all of us with her voice. She sang flamenco tinged jazz and african beat mix with carribean sounds. Her unique rendition of the Carlos Gardel favorite Volver as more of a flamenco song was unique and she transformed the ranchera volver, volver into something else entirely.
She also showed how one doesn’t need huge projection screens or special effects-one only needs an extraordinary voice, top rate musicans and a first rate sound system and the audience will go away happy.
I kept thinking how the perfect venue for this particular show would have been a small nightclub or tavern full of dark wood, low lights a couple of tables and a spotlight on a small stage. Of course, most of us wouldn’t have been able to get in, and the sound system was so good that we could hear her pefectly, but the intensity in a smaller room would have just been unimaginable. In any case, this was a concert to be savored for a very long time, and the organizers of the Chihuahua festival should be thanked for consistently bringing such an enormous range and diversity of talent to Juarez-David Sokolec