ARTIST: Vicente Griego, singer PALO: Soleá por Bulería VENUE: El Farol
Soleá por Bulería is Joaquín Encinias’ solo [at El Farol]. Soleá comes from the Spanish word for solitude. It’s not a lonely kind of solitude, though. It means a rich solitude, one you value. Bulería is a little faster. You’ve got your grandmother as la soledad and your funky granddaughter as a Bulería.
“One letra goes, ‘I walk to the open fields at night and even the rocks begin to weep because that is the agony and despair that you make me carry.’ Soleá is heavy; it’s a cry, a testimony of life experience. It can be the breath of life, or the last gasp of death.
“Flamenco can be playful, like smack-talking in hip-hop. It’s a double-edged sword. There are always contradictions. ‘Here comes your mother. She’s the reason our love has to die.’ ”
Griego started his career as a performer in a punk band, but was introduced to flamenco by a well-known cantador whose son was the drummer in his band. “His son said, ‘Hey guys, listen to this.’ He asked his dad to sing and I thought, ‘Hey, I’m one of those.’ ” A trip to the International Flamenco Festival, [which included] performances by some of Spain’s leading flamenco artists and musicians, changed his life. He enrolled at the Institute for Flamenco Arts in Albuquerque and eventually made a pilgrimage to Spain to learn from the masters. “El Veneno, a cantador from Madrid, was my mentor. A mentorship is required.”