Upcoming: “Fiesta Flamenca: The Music and Dance of Spain”

San Diego based dance troupe Sol Flamenco with Mark Taylor, guitar Grant Ruiz, guitar and Dr. Terry Longshore, percussion

 Press Release Courtesy Of: Colleen Graves, Music Office and Recital Hall Manager

The Department of Performing Arts at Southern Oregon University (SOU) presents Sol Flamenco Dance & Music Troupe on Monday, May 7, 7:30pm, where the passion and fire of Spain hits the stage for one night only. An evening of lightning-fast footwork, haunting guitar rhythms, and soulful singing awaits you.  The concert will take place in the Music Recital Hall on Mountain Ave. at Southern Oregon University.  Admission is $10 general and free for students with I.D.

Featuring a cast of artists that have recently returned from Spain, Oregon welcomes dancers Liz Bortolotto and Joelle Gonçalves, plus flamenco guitarist Mark Taylor. The group has been working together for many years and it shows in the dancers’ precision footwork, vocals, the guitarist’s bold accompaniment, and the company’s strong stage presence. This year’s show also brings the return of special guest artists, percussionist Terry Longshore and guitarist Grant Ruiz.

A performer, teacher, and co-director of dance troupe Sol Flamenco, Joelle Gonçalves has performed throughout the West Coast with a variety of flamenco companies including Aire Flamenco, Los Cuatro Vientos, Flamenco Puro, Flamenco Arts, and was a featured soloist in Yaelisa’s Noche de Amor.  Joelle’s attraction to the art of flamenco began over a decade ago while she was earning her degree in Art History. It was the combination of passionate singing, fiery dancing and haunting guitar rhythms that completely enthralled her and led her to Seville, Spain, where she began her professional dance training with Maestro José Galván. Joelle has studied with such notable flamenco artists as Joaquin Ruiz, Concha Vargas, Angel Muñoz, and Antonio Granjeros. She travels to Spain annually to study with Manuel Betan.

Liz Bortolotto began her life as a flamenco dancer in 1999. Since then, she has danced professionally with Sol Flamenco, Mark Taylor Flamenco, Flamenco Arts, and Los Cuatro Vientos. Liz trained primarily with Jose Galvan of Seville, Spain and local artists Yaelisa (Emmy winning choreographer and dancer), Carola Zertuche, and Elaine Marlow. She has also studied with traveling artists such as Antonio Granjeros, Belen Maya, Pastora Galvan and Joaquin Ruiz. She recently returned from Spain where she studied with world famous Flamenco dance teacher, Manuel Betanzos.

Classical and Flamenco guitarist Mark Taylor is an international recording artist and performer. His combined experience in classical and flamenco music make him a strong and dynamic interpreter of the classical repertoire with an approach to flamenco that is rhythmically vibrant, passionate and true to the essence of the many styles he performs.

Mark was already a professional classical guitarist when he first began traveling to Spain in 1987. He studied flamenco guitar in Granada, Sevilla, Jerez de la Frontera, and Madrid. He returned to the United States to form the Aire Flamenco Dance Company & The Mark Taylor Flamenco Quartet. He has performed as a soloist in Spain and the United States and appears regularly as featured artist with the Sol Flamenco Dance Company and The San Francisco Bay area’s Potaje ensemble, directed by Chus Alonso. He has also collaborated with Francisco Gaona’s stage productions of Romanceros Gitanos, Cante Jondo and Cantares by Federico García Lorca.

Radio and television credits include interviews by Jose Maria Velasquez on Spanish National Radio in Madrid and Michael Krazny’s Forum on KQED Public Radio in San Francisco. Mark’s music is featured on television on the Discovery Channel program Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, “Spain” and “Morocco” episodes.  Pierce Carson in The Napa Valley Register called Mark Taylor “The Bay Area’s Best flamenco guitarist…Taylor has a feel for the music’s innate sensuality.”

If you would like more information or to schedule a phone interview with Joelle Gonçalves, Artistic Director, or Mark Taylor, please call Joelle Gonçalves at (707) 573-8450 or e-mail Joelle at solflamenco@gmail.com. Visit www.SolFlamenco.com for more information, or to hear the music of Mark Taylor, visit www.marktaylorflamenco.com.

Tickets for this performance are $10 for general admission and free for students.  Tickets may be purchased by calling 541-552-6101 or at the Music Box Office prior to the performance.  The SOU Music Recital Hall is located at 405 S. Mountain Ave. in Ashland.  For more information, please visit SOU’s Music website at http://www.sou.edu/music

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