It’s another exciting year for vocalist and composer Rebeca Vallejo, as she prepares to celebrate the third edition of The Flame Festival in one of New York City’s most popular venues: Jazz Standard. In collaboration with World Music Boutique Productions and sponsored by the Consulate General of Spain in NY, Vallejo is ready to showcase the fusion of flamenco jazz with an extraordinary line-up of powerful performances.
MY Lifestyle Magazine had an exclusive interview with the NY resident composer, who spoke about her experience on creating a space for artists to share this new blend of jazz and world music sounds. Vallejo’s love for her ancestral Flamenco roots is what represents the greatness of The Flame Festival, allowing an artist to express their passion for the flamenco jazz sound.
The Importance of Representing the Evolution of Jazz
The Flame Festival is the very 1st flamenco jazz festival introduced in the United States, so when asked why this idea of an event was put together, Vallejo laughed and said, “somebody had to!” The Flamenco Jazz Movement has been prevalent for years in Spain, and it was time to represent this new sound in New York City. She began encountering musicians like herself, who also enjoyed mixing jazz with flamenco sounds, and Vallejo realized something was missing. “New York has a lot of space that dedicates it to the pure form of Flamenco, but there was nowhere in NY that focused on this hybrid,” she stated.
The only way to showcase flamenco jazz, was by creating a platform for these artists in NYC. This event allows them to raise awareness for a genre that continues to evolve overtime, and according to Vallejo, “there is no better place in the world than in NYC… to represent this fusion of what happens when jazz and Flamenco talk.” Its primary goal is to show the ever-changing tradition of jazz and the result of that evolvement all around.
Working with the Father of Flamenco Jazz, Chano Domínguez
Being the producer, creator, and funder of The Flame Festival isn’t easy but with hard work comes a rewarding experience, especially when booking one of the most significant artists in the genre! This year, Latin Grammy nominee and the father of flamenco jazz Chano Domínguez, joined Vallejo’s team as the event headliner to bring together a show everyone is sure to enjoy. Having an artist like Domínguez performing is remarkable for this year’s festival.
Jazz pianist and composer Chano Domínguez
Photo provided by: World Music Boutique Productions
“He was actually really excited to know that there was somebody in NY trying to create and solidify his movement and trying to give a voice to this kind of fusion,” expressed Vallejo. Domínguez showed interest from the very beginning, and as soon as he accepted to participate, she couldn’t hold in the emotion of honor she felt when she heard the news. “Having someone who has created the history of flamenco jazz elevates our festival to a whole new level! It’s going to be a real treat,” she stated as she also explained how humble this musical genius really is.
Vallejo Shares Her Thoughts on The Festivals Impact
Her passion for the music that moves her soul is exactly why she enjoys sharing this ever-growing genre. Now with the festivals third edition already set for Wednesday, November 16th, Vallejo is already planning next year’s season! She hopes this event becomes more prominent and believes it is making a huge impact. “We did this festival two years ago at a small venue and it was packed. It shows you that there’s an interest there, and I think that with the right amount of exposure… it will also open up the ears to other kinds of audiences,” she stated.
Vallejo is also set to perform on stage, and will be showcasing songs from her latest album “Azucar Canela” worked on by Grammy award winning producer John Seymour. With all the responsibilities, she oversees, Vallejo explained that working the entire production leaves her exhausted, but in a positive way. “I am honored to be part of this… I am excited and it’s going to be great. I have a great team that also works with us along with fantastic musicians,” expressed Vallejo.
It’s All About What Moves the Audience
As an artist, Vallejo is ready to take on this journey, but what should the audience expect from these powerful performances? Having worked two editions beforehand, Vallejo expressed that a lot of people leave surprised from an event like The Flame Festival when they see what happens as jazz and flamenco are blended together. “There is a communication with the audience that happens, and I talk a lot between my songs. The energy that the whole thing generates becomes something fantastic,” she explained.
Madrid born, NY resident vocalist and composer Rebeca Vallejo
Photo provided by: World Music Boutique Productions
It’s not only about what happens on stage, it’s also about what is happening on the other side of that stage when the audience suddenly feels connected to a rhythm they’ve never heard before. The artist and the audience members feed off each other’s energy, leaving a long-lasting effect that awakens the creative side of an individual. Vallejo is ready to share that experience with her audience. Why should everyone come to The Flame Festival? In Vallejo’s own words, “because it’s going to be an experience that will move you in unexpected ways, and you should never say no to something that is going to move a part of you.”