Bordeaux, France-based group QAIRO return to Victoria for another captivating and entertaining evening of music and dance, after selling out their 1st appearance in Victoria last year.
Qairo is a fiery and dynamic 7-person music and dance ensemble that combines the emotionally-charged vocals and pulsing rhythms of flamenco with the infectious melodies and ear-popping tonalities of the Mediterranean diaspora. From Spain to Turkey (with stops along the way), Qairo is music for dancing. It’s Turkish micro-tones played on a saxophone, original flamenco verses “sung” by a clarinet, Balkan rhythms punctuated by Andalucian guitar, and flamenco footwork pounded out like improvised jazz. Qairo is guitar, oud, clarinet, saxophone, drums, electric bass, cante (flamenco song) and baile (flamenco dance) acting like they belong on stage together.
The ensemble’s tight-knit and eclectic members hail from France, Spain, Canada and Turkey. Singer Alejandro Mendía (Bordeaux) and dancers Lia Grainger (Toronto) and Deborah “La Caramelita” (Bordeaux) met in Seville in 2012 and toured Canada and Europe for years with their flamenco ensemble Fin de Fiesta Flamenco. In 2019, ready to incorporate new musical and choreographic influences into their work, the three artists joined forces with flamenco guitarist Manuel Vazquez and clarinetist and saxophonist Dorian Zavatta.
While most of the ensemble’s members are conservatory trained, their real inspiration comes from years spent playing and collaborating on the road, in Europe, the Balkans and the Middle East. Alejandro Mendia (Noces Gitanes) travelled across Romania and later Spain in search of the true gitano roots of flamenco singing. Dorian Zavatta (Noces Gitanes, Kalamna) was born into the famous Zavatta circus family and raised under the big top before finding music, travelling across Europe, the Balkans, Turkey and Iran in search of master musician mentors. Manuel Vazquez uprooted his life in France and made his way to Spain to study with the masters of his craft. Together, they have composed an album of entirely original songs that deliver a message of hope, love and longing inspired by folk tradition and infused with an eastern spiciness that will get you on your feet and dancing. They are joined onstage by percussionist Alex Carrasco and drummer Gaetan Diaz.
Accompanying the music are the ensemble’s two fiery dancers, Lia Grainger (Fin de Fiesta) and Deborah “La Caramelita” (Noces Gitanes, Nritya). The two women both trained in traditional flamenco for years in Spain’s Andalucia region, and now draw on a wide-range of creative influences — from pop and house to traditional Indian dance — to express Qairo’s stories in electrifying movement. Expect tight choreography, rapid-fire footwork, and a whole lot of jumpsuits.
YOUTUBE VIDEO LINK:
call 1-888-961-6111 (during regular business hours)