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Reviews Miguel Poveda at the Martí Theater. Photo: Meily Tellez. Miguel Poveda at the Martí Theater. Photo: Meily Tellez.

The universe is discovered and there is Miguel Poveda

It's 7:21 pm and I've been in this seat for more than half an hour, full of expectations. The concert hasn't started yet. They are late, I think, hopefully the wait is worth it. 

My hands are sweaty. 

Miguel Poveda, flamenco singer of international stature that I met in 2017 when he co-coach by Manuel Carrasco in the fifth season of The Voice Spain, will sing live, for me, at the Martí Theater. I do not think so. What INSANE.  

Everything is set up on stage. There are three very Flemish chairs in the center, red, solid, made of shiny wood. There is a Cuban percussion set behind, and, next to the chairs, another flamenco. There is still a theater to fill. It bothers me. Artists like Miguel Poveda, who will also be accompanied by Alain Pérez and La Orquesta, deserve full auditoriums, full capacity. 

At 7:38, time stops. 

With what elegance Andy García (piano) and Alain Pérez enter the scene. There is so much respect between them and the music that everything flows. Andy is a young talent with a subtle intelligence for backing vocals. He knows very well what Alain needs, hence the energy that passes through them. Sounds I can not be happy, a song by Adolfo Guzmán, popularized first by Bola de Nieve and later by Beatriz Márquez; They embrace us with music, that's how it feels. Then the Orchestra enters. I recognize new faces in her, in the choirs and in the brass, all young and talented; some friends starting here a new school of music and life experience. Pride of my generation.

Alain Pérez at the Martí Theater. Photo: Raúl Rivas.

Alain Pérez at the Martí Theater. Photo: Raúl Rivas.

sounds the intro of my fleeting love and I prepare myself from my seat to sing. Alain marks with his hands and the stick the 4/4; As always, they fall in tempo. What a striker!, as they say among musicians. He never gets rid of that song. They are a little nervous, but little by little they are warming up. I don't remember hearing La Orquesta play at the Teatro Martí, it's a new experience for them and I know they feel very happy to accompany a great artist like Poveda. 

with the echoes of There is no one left no, there is no one left… closes the first part of the concert.

Alain welcomes Poveda. I know about the relationship that unites these two geniuses, so musical and simple. They have been working together for a long time and only released the song last year. Triana, Puente and Havana

“I vibrate in every second, in every cante, in every look with him”, says Alain and the musicians begin to come out, all renowned and of a quality that I enjoyed every minute. Miguel is accompanied on piano by Joan Albert Amargós, also a clarinettist, composer and conductor. On the right side of the stage, guitarist Daniel Casares, whom I've begun to follow and listen to tirelessly, because he has his own music and the guitar sounds outrageous to him; and Paquito González —who has played with Paco de Lucía, among others— in the percussion set, with flamenco box drum and miscellaneous. Also added to this first Spanish song are some musicians from La Orquesta. 

Alain Pérez and Miguel Poveda at the Martí Theater. Photo Raul Rivas.

Alain Pérez and Miguel Poveda at the Martí Theater. Photo Raul Rivas.

The universe is discovered and there is Miguel. How good it feels to be on stage, with his flamenco style, his shiny black shoes, and his dark blazer full of glitter. He looks happy, at ease, as he himself would say. He slows down time even more with his singing. His voice is lament and strength, rage and feeling. It has its essence well armed. He has already sung four songs. He finishes, thanks, and tells us where he comes from: a Catalan who sings flamenco. He is not Andalusian, but he is already an adopted son of that land. It is evident that he studies his voice a lot, that he works to safeguard the intangible heritage that is flamenco in Spain and its mixtures with other cultures of the world, including the Cuban, in those comings and goings that have historically marked both countries. 

Now he welcomes the theme with his voice Father (Pare), by Joan Manuel Serrat, a song to the land, to nature, to the evils that man brings with him and to the freedom of the world. Its beautiful. Meanwhile, Alain prepares to sing the bolero by his side I hate you and I love you, that the cantaor recorded with Omara Portuondo not long ago. They improvise, they dance, they enjoy; me with them All with them. 

They play couplets, among them the zambra Blindly —composed by Quintero, León and Quiroga, one of the greatest of flamenco lyrics, which was performed by Poveda for the film's soundtrack Broken Embraces by Pedro Almodóvar, premiered in 2009. I know that one, so I sing with them. 

The concert reaches a climax at the moment when Miguel leaves his musicians alone on stage so that they can perform some flamenco styles. 

Daniel Casares is a beast. My feet don't stop marking the time at their pleasure and my hands make polyrhythms, they mark that rhythmic figuration in 12/8 that only true flamencos, like them, know. I'm not, but something got into my body.

I make a note on my phone: Spectacular, spectacular.

Miguel Poveda at the Martí Theater. Photo: Meily Tellez.

Miguel Poveda at the Martí Theater. Photo: Meily Tellez.

Poveda returns. The cantes come and go, others from the most primitive flamenco, bulería, soleá, passing through the rumba, Cuban music. Then he goes to the Catalan rumba of his homeland, those imaginaries with which he lived as a child in Badalona and that have left such a mark on him. Quite a musical hodgepodge, he would say.

He has invited his sister, Sonia Poveda, a flamenco dancer, to accompany him. She, in her dress, invites him to dance. I'm dazzled by its flights, its rhythmic heel tapping —how difficult it must be to dance that, I think while I smile with satisfaction. Flamenco is pure art, a way of life, of being and being. The “Ole” begin to sound much louder in the audience, and one comes out. 

"How great is freedom," says Poveda in one of the most beautiful phrases of the entire night. He sits on his solid red chair, at his side Alain accompanies him on the bass and on the choirs. He likes to keep time while he sings, he knows the codes of style very well and reminds me of the lessons he gave us about the genre. Alain, on the Isa, at his Starting Point. Then I count, inside, in that ternary tempo that drives us musicians crazy in solfeggio classes: one two, one two three, four five six, seven eight nine ten. I mark it like that for a while, not sure if it's correct.

A night of Phrygian turns everywhere, the famous Spanish cadence that defines them so much and that with the Cuban key, is an explosive mix. All very Spanish and Cuban at the same time. We are very similar in our differences, and it shows. 

It's already two hours of pure enjoyment, when the closing arrives: with Catalan rumba and almost all the musicians on stage. The crossing between Cuba and Spain, perfect photo of the night. 

They all leave, finally, to the rhythm of the conga, unloading, as the flamencos also do. They go like this, dragging their feet, to the dressing room, where the party continues, which the public, with healthy envy, continues to listen to from the theater stalls as they head towards the exit. They —and us— possessed by music, like crazy. 

Her husband in the threshing floor and I with the friar, her husband in the threshing floor and I with the friar...

A back and forth party. A full-fledged timba flamencura. 

Avatar photo Meily Tellez Always running around Havana. A nervous one who falls asleep watching series. Her time is for music and her family. She dreams of producing and singing on many stages. A musicologist with roles wanting to be many things... More posts

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  1. Aymee says:

    Excellent article, you made me feel like I was in one of the lunettes of the Martí theater, feeling the clapping, the heel-clapping and the voice of Miguel Poveda and what to say of Alain Pérez, the piano of Andy García. I imagined the ovation of the audience at each song and at the end of the show, wanting more.thank you for sharing your emotions.👏👏👏👏❤️❤️❤️❤️

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