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I Love Fusion

I have a confession to make, and blogs seem to be the fashionable place to confess these days: I am not a purist. I love fusion - flamenco fusion, that is. And why not? I know there is a movement pushing to preserve the heart and soul of traditional flamenco, and that's fine by me. There's nothing wrong with hanging on to Andalucian traditions, saving and preserving them for posterity. But what's wrong with innovation? What's wrong with change, with mixing in new trends, sounds, ideas? That's evolution. This morning on the radio I listened to a hip new station called Radio Chanquete that serves up flamenco mixed with everything from heavy metal to disco to rap - sometimes just one song uses flamenco to string together a wide range of styles and sounds. These days you can mix flamenco with tangos, rumbas, blues, jazz, american country... There is flamenco ballet in the dance department. Some of the best names in flamenco have even joined with orchestras. There is really no limit. If you'd like to experience some very tasty fusion, try something by the late Manzanita or a bit of Tomatito. Ketama is also excellent. And let's not leave out the female contingent with the likes of Chambao, Papa Levante and Los Ketchup. The list is as endless as the mixes they make. Stop by your nearest music outlet and ask someone to point you towards the racks of flamenco fusion, or tune into one of the trendy, young stations that mix and match without shame. Canal Fiesta is a good one (at many points on your dial depending where you are in Andalucia) and this new Radio Chanquete, 95.2 F.M., might be worth a try - but look out - it's what I'd call "anti-aging radio" - for the youngest, and the young at heart.
Blog published on 18 February 2008