Lara Wong Trio with special guest Karen Lugo
This event is on July 20, 2022 at 7:00 pm
This performance features Lara Wong on flute, Melón Jiménez on guitar, Bandolero on percussions and guest dancer, Karen Lugo. The dynamite encounter of these four extraordinary artists results in a treasure chest of musical gems that have their origins in flamenco and are embellished with Indian and jazz influences. On this occasion we will be presenting Lara’s first album “Rosa de los Vientos” which came out on Feb. 25th. Mystical melodies on bamboo bansuri flute and exploratory improvisations on traverse flute are accompanied by dazzling flamenco guitar riffs and sophisticated rhythms on percussion. With Karen Lugo’s spectacularly unique choreographies and fiery improvisations the exciting spontaneity of flamenco electrifies the stage.
Born and raised in Canada, award-winning musician Lara Wong now makes her home in Madrid, Spain. In 2021 she became the first woman to win the prestigious “Filon” award for best flamenco instrumentalist at the Festival Cante de las Minas, Spain’s most important flamenco competition. She was also the first foreigner to win in any category in the festival’s 60 year history.
Lara’s musical journey began in the classical realm. She earned her Bachelor of Music in classical and jazz flute at McGill University in Montreal. It was during these years that she began to dedicate herself to flamenco. In 2012, Lara travelled to Seville to study flamenco flute and singing at the Fundación Cristina Heeren, where she learned from flamenco legends like Pedro Sierra, Maria Jose Perez, and Calixto Sanchez.
Today, Lara is an up-and-coming flautist in Spain’s flamenco scene, performing alongside internationally acclaimed Spanish artists such as Tino di Geraldo, Pepe Rivero, Tomasito, and Juan Andres Maya.
Lara has played in numerous festivals in North America and Europe including Festival Arte Flamenco Mont-de-Marsan, Vancouver International Flamenco Festival, and Festival du Monde Arabe. She has also toured many countries, including France, Japan, Armenia, and Canada.
Melón Jiménez is one of the most notable guitarists in the current flamenco and world music scene in Spain today. Having grown up between Madrid and Jerez de la Frontera (the cradle of flamenco in Andalucia), Melón began to play the guitar at age 3, following in the footsteps of his father Miguel Jiménez. Melón’s professional career started very early on. At the young age of 15, he became flamenco pop star Niña Pastori’s official guitarist. This was only the beginning of his first years touring great stages all over the world. In 2009 he accompanied the legendary singer Enrique Morente in his last concerts. In 2011 he embarked on an international tour with famed sitarist and Grammy award winner Anoushka Shankar, daughter of the great sitar master Ravi Shankar. Melón’s collaborations continued with renowned musicians are countless and include artists including Ketama, Richard Bona, Estrella Morente, Jorge Pardo, among others.
Jose Ruiz “Bandolero” started his musical carrer accompanying flamenco dancers such as Antonio Canales, Joaquín Cortés, Joaquín Grilo, Javier Barón, Manuela Vargas, Merche Esmeralda, Sara Baras. He has been part of Joaquín Cortés’ dance company for many years giving shows worldwide (Radio City Music Hall New York, Royall Albert Hall Londres, Opera House Sídney etc).
Later on he started accompanying flamenco musicians such as Tomatito, Vicente Amigo, Pepe Habichuela, Enrique de Melchor, Enrique Morente, Estrella Morente, Diego El Cigala, etc. Jose Ruiz “Bandolero” is co-founder of the percussion group “Echegaray” and with Ramón Porrinas they released on 2002 their album “Calle Echegaray”.
He has also worked with jazz flamenco musicians such as Chano Dominguez, Jorge Pardo, Tino di Giraldo, Javier Colina, Carles Benavent, Rubén Dantas, Pepe Habichuela & Dave Holand, Enrique Morente & Pat Metheney, La Barbería del Sur, Ketama, Niña Pastori, Estopa, Concha Buika, etc.
He has also worked as a session musician with Potito, Remedios Amaya, Carmen Paris, Rosario y Lolita Flores, Guadiana, Montse Cortes, Ñiño Josele, Complices, Clara Montes, Pau Dones, Jose Merce, RG Royal Sound Orchestra, etc.
Mexican Bailaora Karen Lugo was awarded the First Prize for Flamenco Dance at the International Festival of Almería, First Prize for Choreography at the Contemporary Flamenco Festival of Finland and Third Prize for Choreography at the XVII Spanish Dance and Flamenco Competition of Madrid.
She was in the film ” Flamenco Flamenco ” by Carlos Saura under the direction of Javier Latorre and acted as first dancer of Latorre’s show ” El Duende y el Reloj ”
Invited by Juan Carlos Lérida, she participated in the research and artistic creation residence of the Flamenc Empiric Festival at the Mercat de Les Flors in Barcelona.
Along with Israel Varela she created the Duo Made in Mexico dedicated to collaborate with musicians of different styles and nationalities with which they have toured in Indonesia, the Middle East, Italy, USA, Spain and Mexico.
She also collaborated with Alicia Carrasco and José Manuel León in her work Mujer_Klórica , a project that talks about socio-cultural problems linked to the female figure, which has had an excellent response from the public and the press.
In collaboration with the foundation of Flamenco Casa Patas, it has premiered three shows; ” Flamencura “, ” Flamenco Territorio DeMente ” and ” Flamenco Frequencies ” with tour in the Middle East and the United States.
Together with José Maldonado and Nino de los Reyes, she created ” AMORENTE ” a tribute to the genius Enrique Morente with a premiere at the Flamenco Festival in Madrid.
She premiered his last show ” SerSiente ” at the Alarife Theater in Guadalajara, with which she toured in Russia and Germany.
As part of the company of “Kaari and Roni Martin” she played the role of Carmen in her show ” Kill Carmen” .
Under the direction of Javier Latorre, she performed as a dancer, soloist and choreographer of the Company ” FLAMENCONAUTAS” at the Jerez Festival 2018.
Currently she acts as a choreographer and performer of the show Cant Espiritual by Carles Denia.