New Orleans born Flamenco guitarist Gerardo Alcala is one of the few foreigners to be respected as a full-fledged Flamenco artist by the gypsy Flamencos of Andalucia, among whom he lived the authentic Flamenco lifestyle for many years. He learned his art from the masters: Rafael el Aguila, Parrilla de Jerez, Niño Jero, Rafael Alarcón, Eduardo de la Malena, and Pedro Bacan. In the intimate closed-door sessions, or Juergas, where the pure sould of Flamenco, el Duende, can surge forth in all its savage beauty, he has spent countless hours accompanying great gypsy singers such as Agujetas, Gitano de Bronce, El Garbanzo, El Monea, Salmonete, Chato de la Isla, Dolores, Antonio, Luis, Diego, El Gordo, and Paco Agujetas, and many others.
He has performed professionally in major theatres on three continents, including Carnegie Hall, as well as for television, radio and film. In the U.S. he toured extensively with the Spanish dance companies of Jose Molina and Teo Morca and did many recitals with the legendary Anzonini del Puerto. In Spain he performed with the all-gypsy company of Fernanda Romero and has had particularly long and close relationship with the Agujetas family, including Manuel Agujetas, who has preserved the deepest and purest singing in Spain. With them, he was featured as sole accompanist in the prestigious Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid and the Dutch film “Duende”.
In 1990 he was honoured to become the first North American ever to be contracted to perform as a soloist in the Bienal de Sevilla, Spain’s most important Flamenco Festival. In 1998 he accompanied Luis Agujetas on his CD “Entre tu Tierra Y La Mia”. In 2000, he appeared accompanying Luis, Diego, and Paco Aguetas in the film “El Turista Soy Yo”. In 2002 he was first guitarist at Mexico’s most important tablao “gitanerias” and did a tour of Spain and France accompanying the singer, Dolores Agujetas.
Gerardo performs both as a solo guitarist and with his group, Flamenco Alcala, (a singer and one or two dancers). He is based in Vancouver, BC.
Luis de La Tota
Luis is a beloved world renown song writer and maestro flamenco rhythms. Born in one of the oldest Gypsy neighborhoods of Jerez de La Frontera, El Barrio de Santiago, Luis de la Tota began his career as a percussionist at the age of 8. He takes his artistic name from his grandmother ‘La Tota’, who has been an inspiration to him since his infancy. As a percussionist and palmero, Luis tours with flamenco’s top artists such as Antonio Del Pipa,Maria Del Mar Moreno, Fernando de La Morena, El Capullo, Moraito, Diego Carrasco and Angelita Vargas and toured the USA several times with critically accalimed company ‘Sonidos Gitanos’ (Gypsy Sounds), led by dancer Maria “Chacha” Bermudez. As a Flamenco lyricist, his verses (letras) have been recorded widely and his work can be heard via the voices of legendary artists such as Diego Carrasco, La Chiqui de Jerez, Antonio de La Malena, Remedios Amaya, and many more.
Estefanía La Ishi
Estefanía attended Solo Flamenco Arts Academy (Portland,OR) in 2003-2008 studying with dance and voice with Laurena Marrone, and Maria ‘Cha Cha’ Bermudez. Then in the late
summer of 2009, Estefanía decided to plunge deep into the Gypsy culture of Andalusia,
taking on La Chiqui de Jerez (cantaora) as her coach not only of voice but of Spanish
language and culture. This is what Estefanía calls her ‘point of no return’, studying with
La Chiqui exclusively and intensely for 3 straight years before slipping on her dance
shoes again to apply to the dance, what she had learned from the cante (song of
Flamenco). She continues to study dance, cante (singing), and rhythm. Sharing a home with husband Luis de La Tota in Boise and in the place of his birth, Jerez de La Frontera, Spain, Estefanía returns frequently to connect exclusively with world renown dancers such as Maria del Mar Moreno, Maria Bermudez, and Antonio El Pipa.Estefanía has built a strong foundation
of technique and knowledge to share with students of dance at Escuela de Ritmo,
Boise. A native of Boise, Idaho, Estefanía is the lead singer and principal dancer for her
Flamenco Rumba group Shimi Tree. Although she enjoys sharing her talent on stages in
the US and Europe, Estefanía also enjoys bringing together flamenco artists of Spain at to perform around the globe at prestigious events such as the Obwalden Cultural Festival, (Switzerland, 2013, 2015)