Thursday, September 17, 2009


The Jerez-Seville axis is an important region in Andalucía for contributing to the development of flamenco. Indeed, Seville considers itself the heart of flamenco. Yet Jerez’s Judería, the maze of back streets in the gypsy quarter where flamenco grew, was completely quiet. I couldn’t find any flamenco at all.

In Seville I could have gone to any of several flamenco shows put on for tourists—many of which charge €30-€50—but I was looking for something authentic. When I was last in Seville, I went to a little bar called El Tamboril hidden in the corner of the quiet Plaza de Santa Cruz, where I found one of the locals with a guitar and another singing. It was deep, genuine, impromptu flamenco. I headed back again this time but found it closed on Thursday night. I returned on Friday and again on Saturday, and the door never opened. It must have shut down; a real shame.

I tried another place recommended by my Rough Guide to Andalucía, an excellent resource on flamenco, but I found instead a small group playing chamber music. In any case, the place was so hot and stuffy with the hundreds of bodies crammed in there that I wouldn’t have been able to last.

So, in the end, I travelled to the other side of the world to the heartland of my favourite genre of music and was unable to see any.

(Cue Shizuka’s howl of disappointment.)


Unknown said...

Flamenco is your favourite genre of music? I did not know that.

G. Wayne Meaney said...

Since I discovered Paco Peña when I was sixteen. One might say I have eclectic tastes.

Unknown said...

It really was disappointing to hear, Wayne... I was so shocked that I had to stop following your blog for a while, see? Oh well, I suppose it's better than me travelling half the world, going to these tablaos based on your suggestion just to find them closed or changed. So, I guess I should be grateful...! Sorry to bring this sour memory back 2 months later...