Flamenco music has proven to be a very popular genre at the Harrison Festival over the years, and on Sept. 23 the festival society will once again showcase Spain’s most famous performing arts genre at the Memorial Hall, featuring Vancouver based quartet Toque Flamenco.
Toque Flamenco was born early in 2014, and consists of singer Mario Sota, guitarist Peter Mole, and dancers Marilú Vallejo and Karito Espi. Mario, Marilú and Karito have both Mexican and Spanish heritage, while Peter Mole was born in Montreal and attended McGill University where he studied classical guitar. Each of the artists has been privileged enough to train with some of the best Flamenco artists from Spain.
“Toque Flamenco is very accessible and put on a fun show. Along with traditional flamenco, they throw in some recognizable songs as well, such as gypsy king rumbas,” says artistic director Andy Hillhouse. “They have a way of engaging the audience with their strong singing, skilled guitar playing, and gorgeous dancing. It should be a party.”
Toque Flamenco performs regularly around Vancouver. Peter Mole has been holding successful tri-weekly Flamenco nights at the Kino Café for over 20 years. For the past three years, Toque Flamenco has been the main featured band at the The Kino.
Originating in Andalusia, Spain, in the 1700s, flamenco combines a variety of performance disciplines. These are cante (singing), toque (guitar playing), baile (dance), jaleo (vocalizations), palmas (handclapping) and pitos (finger snapping). Dancing is characterized by expressive use of the arms and rhythmic tapping of the feet, and by the large, colourful skirts worn by dancers. Flamenco’s popularity worldwide has grown in recent decades, making it a truly global artform.
Toque Flamenco performs Saturday, Sept. 23 at 8 p.m. in the Harrison Memorial Hall.
Tickets for Toque Flamenco are $25 and can be purchased online at www.harrisonfestival.com, by phone at 604-796-3664 or in person at the Ranger Station Art Gallery in Harrison and Agassiz Shoppers Drug Mart on Pioneer Avenue. Kids 12 and under are free.