Submitted by Susan Scotti
This year’s Mediterranean Music Institute (MMI) concert at the Berklee Performance Center on April 8 will be a unique and memorable event. The MMI, in collaboration with Berklee Latino and the Observatory of the Spanish Language and Hispanic Cultures in the United States, a center of the Cervantes Institute at Harvard University, will honor the late Paco de Lucía, one of the world’s greatest guitarists, whose musical legacy has influenced generations of musicians all over the world.
The MMI has joined forces with Spanish newspaper El País and Universal Music Spain on a Paco de Lucía tribute album titled Entre 20 Aguas, produced by MMI’s artistic director Javier Limón. The album features Abraham Laboriel Sr., Chick Corea, Chucho Valdés, Ivan Lins, Antonio Serrano, Jorge Pardo, Michel Camilo, José Mercé, Alejandro Sanz and many more, and comes out on April 19.
The concert will feature the first official presentation of the de Lucia tribute, Entre 20 Aguas. Under the musical direction of Matthew Nicholl and Javier Limón, guest artist Antonio Serrano will perform selections from the album with the MMI consort—a group composed of more than 20 Berklee students from Mediterranean countries. Serrano was a member of de Lucía’s band for 10 years. The MMI consort will also perform their original Mediterranean-rooted compositions and arrangements.
During the concert, the MMI will present Serrano with the Mediterranean Music Award in Jazz Flamenco for his outstanding contribution to flamenco. Serrano is known for introducing the harmonica to flamenco music and melding jazz with flamenco in his music.
“I have always been careful that it doesn’t lose the essence and the roots and the tradition of what is flamenco.”
Since the late 60s, Paco de Lucía’s flamenco recordings and later on, his flamenco infused with jazz and other styles had a revolutionary impact bringing flamenco to the worlds’ audience. “My flamenco is not a fusion,” he said in 2004. “I have always been careful that it doesn’t lose the essence and the roots and the tradition of what is flamenco. I have incorporated other things, but things that have not altered the philosophy of the music. I have as my only interest in all this to grow as a musician who plays flamenco, and not to bring things that some way or another change the identity of this music.”
The concert is one of many projects the MMI is planning to commemorate de Lucia and his musical legacy throughout the year.
Details: Wednesday, April 8, 8:00 p.m., at the Berklee Performance Center. Tickets are available for $8/$12 at the BPC box office or online. The venue is wheelchair accessible.