They are certainly not the new kids on the block. Their flamenco experience spans decades. Their work, firmly based in the essence of traditional flamenco, reflects a contemporary approach to the art. They are the producers of Gráfico, a made-for-TV video production, released in 2000 and their first CD, Nuestra Sangre Flamenca, was released in 1998. Nuestra Sangre Flamenca is also available at cdbaby.com
Lucia & Valdemar have performed at major international festivals, at college campuses, schools, and arts events throughout Texas, where they are based. Their work has also taken them to Alabama, Louisiana, Kansas, Missouri, New York, the New England States, Canada, and Washington. They have toured through the Texas Commission on the Arts and performed under the sponsorship of Young Audiences. They are also on the touring roster of the Mid America Arts Alliance.
Ritmo Aul is contemporary, “without being Jazzmenco” as noted guitar luthier Richard Bruné told Lucia and Val.
Ritmo Azul is a heavy CD from a flamenco point of view. No rumbas or fusiony nouveau stuff here. The tracks feature Don Boiso, a solea por buleria in the style of the Romance, like Maestro Antonio Mairena used to sing. Two of the tracks, Abandono and A Silverio are in the rhythms of Petenera and Siguiriya respectively. They were originally performed together as part of a dance that Lucia was commissioned to create. The original dance was called Ritmo Azul, and this title was chosen for this album. The Danza Arabe is a Zambra, and this type of traditional Mediterranean music was made famous by the legendary flamenco guitar maestro Sabicas. This version however, goes both back to the original and into the future at the same time, orchestrating the themes with guitar, and additional flute, voice, and percussion, traditional instruments in Middle Eastern music. La Tarara is a folksong that was originally transcribed by the Spanish poet Lorca. However, Lucia and Valdemar perform it in a totally original arrangement in the rhythm of Buleria. Although a Buleria, this interpretation is still quite heavy. Valdemar's guitar solo Espacio, is an original Soleares, evoking space, as in "outer space." The lightest piece on the album, rhythmically speaking, is a Tango, but with the name Mi Pena (My Pain) it retains a sense of the tragic under the soniquete (swing) of the Tangos rhythm.
Lucia and Val are joined on this album by percussionist Lisa de la Garza, a long-time member of their performing group as a flamenco dancer. Garrett King, a maestro of world music and jazz, adds his flute to the mix, adding a virtuosic accent to the music.
“Val and Lucia are the "real thing" in Flamenco music" says Matt Gilmour, Chair of the Department of Music at Missouri Western State College.
"The Gitanerias Ensemble has recorded another solid set of their signature Flamenco... There is always a disarming directness about their music, a straightforward lack of pretension that makes it hard not to like." (Flamenco Connection - Virginia)
"Superb in every way... uniquely personal and in many ways traditional, yet deeply experimental in subtle and daring ways. This is very hard to do, and you've pulled it off completely." (Anthony Weller, Classical/Jazz Guitarist - Massachusetts)