Spanish Dance and Moroccan Music in the Bronx

Jose Fernandez on vocals, left, applauds alongside Roberto Castellon who plays the guitar (right) while Nelida Tirado dances flamenco, right. (Photo by Elena Martinez, courtesy of Bronx Music Heritage Center

Jose Fernandez on vocals (left) applauds alongside Roberto Castellon who plays the guitar (right) while Nelida Tirado dances flamenco, right. (Photo by Elena Martinez, courtesy of Bronx Music Heritage Center)

In a bid to appeal to Bronx Latinos looking to identify with the Spanish side of their heritage, the Bronx Music Heritage Center recently sponsored an event that combined the music of Morocco with the flamenco dancing of Spain, reports Erica Jackson in The Hunts Point Express. The local audience was given “a rare glimpse of the two intertwined cultures,” write Jackson.

The flamenco dancer Nelida Tirado, and the Moroccan band, Innov Gnawa, performed together at “Castanet Connections,” the latest in the Bronx Rising! series at the Bronx Heritage Center in Soundview.

For many in the audience, this was their first glimpse of Gnawa, which combines Arabic poetry with traditional North African music and dancing. “We want them to experience our music and to see what instruments we have,” said band member, Samir Langus.

“We have drums. We have sintirs (a three-stringed instrument). We want to show the people what kind of music we have. It’s very old music. And I’m sure they are going to go in trance. They are going to dance.”

Go to The Hunts Point Express to learn what some members of the audience had to say about the performance.

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