City of Huelva Flamenco Festival

The City of Huelva Flamenco Festival brings together every year in the capital of Huelva during the month of June the best artists of the genre, as well as the quarry of the Peñas Flamencas of the city.

More than 20 artists of the stature of Fosforito, Diego Carrasco, Estrella Morente or Sara Baras, among others, form the cast that each year participates in the Flamenco Festival on 4 different stages located in very attractive enclaves of the capital, and for more than a week for the entire city of Huelva and its visitors to enjoy a unique flamenco show.

In addition to the performances, the Festival includes a series of parallel activities such as exhibitions, workshops, lectures…

For more information and the program of the Festival, click here.

in Huelva

In Andalusia, each region has its own fandango, which is inspired by its landscape or the most deeply rooted customs of the environment. In this respect, Huelva has always stood out for the diversity of styles that, all of them born from the same thematic source, offer differences in melody and tone, but each one preserving its special seal.

Flamenco in Huelva

In Andalusia, each region has its own fandango, which is inspired by its landscape or the most deeply rooted customs of the environment. In this respect, Huelva has always stood out for the diversity of styles that, all of them born from the same thematic source, offer differences in melody and tone, but each one preserving its special seal.

Although in the world of flamenco, to say Huelva is to say fandango, it is an exaggeration to say that each town has its own style of fandango. Although it is also true that few provinces can offer such a variety of nuances in the performance of this song. José Gómez Hiraldo dedicates the following words to the fandango of Huelva: “There is a strange enigma, not yet unraveled by anyone, which leaves the fandango of Huelva, like so many flamenco songs, hanging in the interpretative doubt of its origin, without knowing where is the matrix that gave birth to this beautiful and representative cante. Uncertain origins are attributed to it and it lives as a spurious son of flamenco that is belittled and discredited by the work and grace of the mystification and distortion of which it has been the object of those who, without knowing it, have interpreted it as they please, making it known as a little piece to the sound of charanga and murga that anyone could sing”.

However, in Gómez Hiraldo’s opinion, nowadays, and mainly due to the work of the flamenco clubs of that area, the fandangos of Huelva have recovered their most significant aspects, which is translated in the renewed attention given to the fandango of Huelva. Consequently, the presence of Huelva is noticeable in the main flamenco manifestations that are currently offered.

The towns in the province that have their own fandango are located in two characteristic regions: Andévalo and Sierra de Huelva. The former includes the towns of Alosno, El Cerro de Andévalo, Cabezas Rubias, Santa Bárbara de Casa, Calañas, Zalamea la Real, Minas de Riotinto and Valverde del Camino. The sierra area has the towns of Encinasola and Almonaster la Real.

According to R. Molina and A. Mairena “The world of these fandangos is threefold: It is inspired by three main themes: the sea, the countryside and the towns. The sea with its ships, the countryside with its work, its hunting and its horses; the village with its popular characters, its stories and local anecdotes…. Everything, even love, is felt in terms of geography and projected on the intimate familiar scenery of the small homeland”.

Following the geographical delimitation of the fandango of Huelva within the province, the region of Andévalo stands out powerfully, which includes the towns listed above and of which it is interesting to highlight the characteristics of the songs of each one of them.

In the first place, and on its own merits, stands the town of Alosno, which has been said to have a style of fandango full of deep knowledge, virile and cheerful, tough and tender. Manuel Romero Jara, author of a documented work on the fandangos of Huelva, devotes a large part of it to the style of this town, which he calls “the blessed Alosno”. In the first place, and according to him, in Alosno there is not only one fandango, but several styles are sung: the so-called popular styles, the personal styles and the “estilos perdíos”, the latter are fanfangos without a specific name or known author.

Onofre López Gonzalez, in his paper to the XV National Congress of Flamenco Activities (Benalmádena, 1987), on the theme “The Fandango of Huelva and its province”, states the following: “With the airs of Alosno sixteen different ways of doing the fandango are recorded. Most of them born from the popular and others framed with names and surnames of sons of the land” (Candil nº 53. October, 1987).

Such is the profusion and development that the fandango has reached in this town that at the entrance of the village there is a sign that announces: ALOSNO, CUNA DEL FANDANGO. In the village it is said that the fandango was born there, and they say it by singing:

“Fandango, ¿where were you born?

that everybody knows you?

I was born in a little corner of the village

that Alosno has by name,

where they give it the “dejillo”.

Referring to this fandango, and specifically to its ending, Ricardo Molina tells us: “The copla that we have quoted gives us, under an innocent appearance, a profound notion of cante when it alludes to the “dejillo” that in Alosno is given to the fandango. What should we understand by “dejillo”? In our opinion, the “dejillo” is what many flamencos call the “air” of the cante. Each cante, when acclimatized to a place and even more so when it is born, if that is the case, acquires a very special way of being, almost imperceptible, which is the “aire” or “dejillo”. If a cante is stripped of its air, it is deprived of its flavor and authenticity. Even when a great cantaor alters the native “aire” the cante suffers an invisible mythification”.

The fandango of Alosno has been heard in the farthest corners, because the Alosneros spread throughout the Spanish geography as collectors of the Excise Tax, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. There is no doubt that the alosnero preferred not to leave his land, and so he expressed it by singing:

“Of the baddest little things

that I did in this world

was to leave my shotgun

and to go away to the consumptions”.

The popular fandangos have no known author. Two styles stand out among them that, according to Romero Jara, are the hallmark of Alosno’s singing: the fandango cané and the fandango valiente. The first is a collective cante; it is performed in a group, while the fandango valiente is individual, showing power and strength from the beginning of the cante. This style was very much interpreted by the Toronjo brothers.

As for the personal fandangos, they are creations attributed to specific people and that take the name of their creator. The following are cited as characters that gave their name to this style: Tio Nicolás, el de las patillas; la Conejilla; Manuel Pérez; Juan María Blanco; Bartolo el de la Tomasa; Manolillo el Acalmao; D. Marcos Jimenez; Antonio Abad; Juan Rebollo and Juana María. The Toronjo brothers, in the sixties and seventies, took the fandango to all corners of the world.

Encinasola is a town near Extremadura and Portugal where the fandango dance has been performed since the 18th century. The dance is performed by the women and the men sing and play the accompanying instruments (guitar, bandurria, lute and accordion); the woman plays the castanets while she dances. The four lyrics that are interpreted when singing the fandango are always the same and are performed in the same order. They are the only ones which are sung.

Flamenco clubs:

Peña Flamenca El Higueral

Calle Sanlúcar de Guadiana, 6. CP: 21007

Tlf. 959 270 440

Peña Flamenca Femenina

Avda. Pablo Ruiz Picasso, 11. CP: 21007

Tlf. 959 232 389

Peña Flamenca de Huelva

Avda. de Andalucía s/n CP: 21006

Tlf. 959 270 505

Peña Flamenca de la Flamenca La Orden

Avda. Diego Morón s/n CP: 21005

Tlf. 959 151 619

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