Vicente Gelo: A Shining Star

I’ve spent the last two weeks on a flamenco trail in southern Spain and am so thoroughly overwhelmed by what I’ve seen and heard. Why is it that flamenco is always so much more powerful in Andalucía than anywhere else on earth?

The force of cante delivered by Vicente Gelo is still in the air… This is one truly unforgettable singer, no doubt the very BEST flamenco singer that I have ever heard live in my life. Why is he not better known? Gelo is currently performing every night at the the theatre in the gardens of the Generalife (Alhambra) as part of the company of Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía’s rendition of Lorca’s Poema del Cante Jondo (more on this shortly!), directed by Cristina Hoyos. His delivery of a saeta as part this show is nothing short of haunting. We have here a HUGELY talented singer, and by this I mean that  his cante is strong, but also nuanced, modulated and sensitive, to the extent that he promises to join the ranks of the lions of cante, Camarón and Morente. I am aware as I say this that I am trespassing on hallowed ground, but I really do think that Gelo is a singer with a glorious talent and hopefully a wonderful future ahead.

Sadly for us virtual flamencophiles, I see he has yet to bring out a CD and has a limited web presence. The short video above does nothing to frame his talent — this is either a poor video or else his cante has developed tremendously since when this was made. Right now, Gelo is also working with the Orquesta Chekara from Tetuan, in northern Morocco, on Andalusi music, that harks back to Medieval Spain. My hope is that he will also begin to occupy centre stage as a singer in his own right, and not solely in accompaniment.

A wonderful singer with a wonderful manner on stage… Vicente Gelo is a shining star on my flamenco horizon.

August 2, 2010 Post Under General - Read More

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