Female quartet Las Migas showcased 90 minutes of passionate contemporary flamenco at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre in Sam Sharpe Square on Saturday, November 5.
The filled to capacity audience — including local government officials, board members of The Spanish-Jamaica Foundation, Spaniards, friends of Spain, and Jamaicans entranced by Spanish culture — enjoyed a cool evening transported to the Mediterranean.
As part of activities to mark 50 years of diplomatic relations between Spain and Jamaica, and the 10th Anniversary of The Spanish-Jamaican Foundation, the Embassy of Spain, in collaboration with The Spanish-Jamaican Foundation invited the four women to present Spanish traditional music and culture.
And the ladies, guitarists Marta Robles and Alicia Grillo, vocalist/dancer Alba Carmona, and violinist Roser Loscos, did so beautifully, language barrier aside.Stirring strings combined with four raspy, controlled voices began the presentation with Vente Conmigo — which is also the title track on their new album to be release on November 11 — followed by Déjalos Que Digan.
While giving greetings to the appreciative audience, vocalist Alba Carmona declared it was “a very big pleasure to share our music in this part of the world”. The quartet readily included Jamaica as a stop of its five-week tour of the US and Canada at the request of the Chargée d’Affaires at the Embassy of Spain, Carmen Rives Ruiz-Tapiador.
La Guitarrina and Catalonian language La Plaça del Diamant (with the same name as the novel written by exiled Catalan writer Mercè Rodoreda) were to follow.
Roser then performed a violin solo to provide a smooth transition into the traditional flamenco percussion (of the feet and hands) with Peregrinitos.
Carmona’s sweeping arms, driving hips, and powerful steps framed Peregrinitos dance, which took her into the clapping, cheering audience, then returned to the stage to fill the venue with her rich, enchanting voice.
Guitarists, founding member Robles and newest recruit Grillo, then delivered the lyric-less Guajira Para Julio.
Calma, the first single off their third studio album Vente Conmigo, was dedicated to Carmen Rives Ruiz-Tapiador, Chargée d’Affaires at the Embassy of Spain, who convinced the group to join the diplomatic celebrations before ending its tour in Havana, Cuba.
The quartet sang the ironic Con Lo Bien Que Yo Estaba Sola (I Was So Happy To Be Alone) before celebrating the love of the abuela (grandmother) with Carmela.
The ladies ended the night with Rumba de Barcelona, which had the audience up on its feet, clapping to its infectious rhythms. They delight the Jamaican residents by changing the lyrics to say “Jamaica has power!”
Ready to finish the show on this high, Las Migas was requested to perform one more number after shouts of otra stopped their departure.
Attendees then enjoyed the Spanish folk dance and rhythm entitled Sevillanas, to which two couples were invited to the stage to perform, to the delight of fellow audience members.
Las Migas in Montego Bay was brought to the public, free of cost by kind sponsorship from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain, The Spanish-Jamaican Foundation, Humiclima, LASCO Affiliated Companies, Round Hill Hotel, and the Montego Bay Cultural Centre.