Jaén en Julio wakes up surrounded by the best of sevillian medley | Revista independiente de música

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Jaén en Julio wakes up surrounded by the best of sevillian medley

Jaén en Julio opens up a cycle of music festivals in the province, with a joint show of miscegenation, flamenco and other interventions from the best sevillians musicians like O'funkillo, the bassist Pepe Bao, Pájaro, Tomasito, Juanito Makandé and some others.


The five most important festivals from the Jaen province stick together around 'Jaén en Julio', an effort from  the Diputación Provincial, Consejería de Turismo de Jaén and Junta de Andalucía institutions, artistic directors and other professionals to group tourism, leisure, and the regional natural wonders for a common cause: the passion for music, the more varied, the better. Cazorla Blues (days 2nd, 3rd and 4th) lands celebrating  21 year of blues in Spain, with names like Wilko Johnson (heavyweight of rock and six-strings, founder of rhythm and blues band Dr. Felgood), Los Lobos, John Hyatt (example of transboundary-arizonic american blues'n rock) and the Imelda May and Nikki Hill female voices. Awaiting for more blues-like conffirmations, we turn to the colorful territory, musically black, of ImaginaFunk (10th and 11th), another veteran box of surprises wich usually bring the best of the genre. The poster of this year blunts with the aparitions of Fred Wesley and their trombone at the first line, Greenwhales, The Pimp's of Joytime coming from New Orleans, and a sum of other incorporations. Vértigo Festival (31st of July and 1st of August) adds the more varied list of artists: the prosistic interventions of Chencho Fernández, rock american inspirations from Los Sentíos, the shining and summertime pop of The Ships, electronic from Montgomery, the indefinite blues-alike with instrumentistic cousine personified in Crudo Pimiendo or the rock and power-pop by Redd Kross. Three days (17th, 18th and19th) of Etnosur are still waiting for the confirmation of more upcoming bands that belong to the world music scene (percussions, sitars or reggae mixtures) as well as the multidisciplinary author festival, Un Mar de Canciones. Up to now, the presence of galician national-folk of Davide Salvado is fully confirmed. From novice to consolidated groups, a huge menu that in words from tourism delegate Rafael Valdivieso, who wanted to 'thanks to all the directors for their hard work' and highlited that these initiatives 'shows that there are institutions that are committed to culture', althought 'these are bad times for lyrics'.


Coming or not, while waiting for the unknowns to be cleared out and while the atmosphere gets warmed up,  the great hall of Teatro Quintero has been getting prepared to gather the bountiful influx awaiting at the door. Masses of young people, attracted by the southern ways and the garrapatero point of view of Juanito Makandé, but also attracted by the long shadow of the neck of Pepe Bao's bass. He was the first to enter, cap backwards and a relaxed pose, ocuppying his position as the Wicked Warlock of the test (of the stage) and reciving a standing ovation. He deserves to be considered the best (possibly) bassist from the Spanish territory. As his rhythmic intro eventually joins, like emerging from the shadows, the other wheel in the axis, Andrés Herrera aka Pájaro -known by everyone of his best friends, specially those who met him giving his  first steps in the unknown with such renowned artists as Kiko Venero, Raimundo Amador, Silvio and others. As he made his six-strings sound to a shaky pace of tremolo-picking, Pájaro conjoins bass and drums with a bold riffs sample, lethargic in an eyeblick and fast in other moments. Suddenly, Pepe Bao breaks with these instrumental  pause to give everything he could, good instrumental passages in a mixture of jazz fusion and rocker juggling.


After a rap fanfare, it is time to Juanito Makandé and their compadres to take to he stage, carrying style with a flamenco guitar as protagonist and winds of reggae, rough voice and lyrics asking for freedom. Yo no soy un crío (I'm not a child) opens up the tour of Makandé, revitalized in 2014 with the LP Las canciones que escribí mientras volaba (The song i wrote while flying). As Fran Cortés accompanies him as a twin guitar, Calores follows, a very appropiate song for an disconcerting, atypical and scorching month of May.

If we were few, now twice. Tomasito never leaves indifferent, whether by its mix of lyrical singing and flamenco taps or by a charisma that fills rooms; with many gesticulations and jokes but a great skill in dancing. “Anarchy and love”, it would be a good title for a performance in which there was no shortage of  “galactic operettas” like De marte a miércole (From mars (thuesdays) to wednesdays) and a mainlined sevillana where the shirt of Tomasito had flown quite some time ago.


The end, performed on a stage brimming with artists, and spiced with the presence of a drum and bass (in a similar “We will rock you” pace), was staged by Diego Carrasco, old flamenco singer, singing with a distinctive torn voice and a stale beard. Playing several flamenco styles, with the support of a group of hip-hop, Carrasco gives the coup de grâce with it's timeless anthem “yo siempre seré hippie, gitano-hippie” (“I'll always be hippie, gypsy hippie”) or “Hippytano”. With the doors already open and as a final coda, we could enjoy a wild jam where we could see Pepe Bay playing his bass as a flamenco-stylized guitar, (amazing feat though not up to the level of his famous playing style with a shot glass); Pájaro adding spontaneous guitar solos. A cocktail difficult to be appreciated on any given night which has to certify that those sevillian flamenco-rock roots are more alive than ever.