"Convivencia" was nominated for "Best World/Global Fusion Album of 2017" by One World Music Awards.
Convivencia is the Spanish word for "coexistence." The term refers to the time between the 8th and 15th centuries in Andalusia, the birthplace of Flamenco in the south of Spain. During this time, Muslims, Sephardic Jews, and Christians lived in harmony and flourished under the rule of the Moors, the Muslim people of northern Africa.
The end of the Convivencia was marked by the Reconquista ("reconquering" by the Catholic rulers) and the Spanish Inquisition, which became the crucible for Flamenco through the suffering of the persecuted Muslims, Jews, and Romani people, also known as Gypsies.
There is much we can learn today from the shining example of the Convivencia. Flamenco Pacifico continues the spirit of the Convivencia by incorporating elements of other musics, such as Brazilian samba and American jazz, with Spanish Flamenco.
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Flamenco Pacifico is:
Berto Boyd - guitar
Grant Ruiz - guitar, vocals
Terry Longshore - percussion
With special guest artists:
Randy Tico - fretless bass
Cristina Villalobos - palmas, jaleos
Leigh Ann Starcevich - vocals
All music composed by Berto Boyd except for Arrincónamela (Emilio Caracafe and Ramón Quilate), with additional arrangements by Grant Ruiz on Convivencia, Lorca por Soleá (based on Zorongo Gitano by Federico García Lorca), and Colores del Sur (traditional).
Sound engineering by Sean McCoy at Oregon Sound Recording (OregonSound.com) and Kai Narezo (KaiNarezo.com), and Ben Woodman.
Recorded at BrokenWorks Productions (Ashland, OR), Oregon Sound Recording (Central Point, OR), Universal Exports Studio (Hollywood, CA), and Corvallis, OR.
Berto and Grant both played guitars made by Oregon luthiers Shelton-Farretta (www.shelton-farretta.org).
Cover art and layout by Spanish artist Julian Lorenzo (JulianLorenzo.com).
Based in the majestic state of Oregon, Flamenco Pacifico is a dynamic, professional performance group dedicated to bringing the art of flamenco music and dance to audiences in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Led by virtuoso flamenco guitarist and composer, Berto Boyd, the group’s guitar-driven performances feature original modern flamenco compositions rooted in the time-honored forms of traditional flamenco. With inspired dancing by Elena Villa and Melissa Cruz, the passionate vocals and guitar artistry of guitarist/singer Grant Ruiz, and driving rhythms by dynamic percussionist Terry Longshore, Flamenco Pacifico takes audiences on an unforgettable journey into the fascinating world of flamenco.
Berto Boyd began his musical training on the piano at age 5 and has been playing guitar for over 30 years. A rigorous musician and a careful researcher, Berto has studied in Spain and performed throughout the United States with some of the world’s finest Flamenco, Classical and Jazz artists. Born into a family of artists, which includes famed lead singer, Brandon Boyd of the multi-platinum band Incubus, he is one of the rare and few Americans who has dedicated his musical dreams to mastering the art of the Spanish guitar and composing original Flamenco music. He currently resides in the great Pacific Northwest where he is now the Artistic Director of the Corvallis Guitar Society, the Musical Director of the newly formed group Flamenco Pacifico, and the owner of the international guitar instruction series, Flamenco Guitar Class. His first original solo publication “ 12 Flamenco Etudes” was recently released in February 2018. Berto has artist endorsements by Hannabach Strings, MiniFlex Mics, and Shelton-Farretta guitars.
Berto Boyd is recognized as one of the top professionals in the music industry. As a former music broker/owner of BertoFlamenco Productions in Santa Barbara, CA, he regularly employed over 35 of SoCal’s finest Classical, Jazz and Flamenco musicians for many high-end private events, corporate events, and for many well-known celebrities.
Berto’s debut album “Esmeralda” was released in 2003 featuring all original Flamenco compositions. In 2017, he released the debut album “ Convivencia” with his group Flamenco Pacifico. Additionally in 2017, he performed in the finale concert of Chintimini Chamber Music Festival Classical works by Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Boccherini with a string quartet. In 2015, he was commissioned to transcribe the monumental guitar score for Avalon – Suite for Flamenco guitar and Chamber Orchestra by Jose Luis de la Paz, which he performed during its’ debut at the Miami Dade Auditorium.
Other performance credits highlights include: Opening for the Gypsy Kings at Britt Fest with Flamenco Pacifico in 2015 as well as performances at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Oregon Country Fair 2015 and 2016, “Flamenco Guitar – Past * Present * and Future” with Ben Woods at the Jewelbox Theater in Seattle, WA 2014, “An Evening of Guitar” with Berto Flamenco y Ritmo Gitano at PCPA Theaterfest in Santa Maria, CA 2008, Co-Musical Director/Guitarist for “Calle Flamenca” with Bailes Ferrer in Miami 2006, Musical Director/Guitarist for “Flamenco en Concierto” and “Tarde Flamenca” at the Fountain Theater in Hollywood, CA 2006, and Musical Director for “Arte y Pasion” with award winning Flamenco dancer Timo Nuñez at the Center Stage Theater Santa Barbara, CA 2004.
EDUCATION AND MENTORS
In 1999, Berto traveled to Sanlucar, Spain to study with the famed Flamenco guitarist/composer/recording artist Gerardo Nuñez. In 2003, Berto met his life-long friend and mentor – virtuoso guitarist & composer, from Huelva, Spain, Jose Luis de la Paz (former musical director for the “Ballet of Cristina Hoyos” for 10 years) in Mendocino, CA. In the United States, Berto has attended and participated in master classes with Grammy award winner David Russell, Christopher Parkening, Pepe Romero, Gerardo Nunez, Manuel Barrueco, Juan Manuel Cañizares, Paco Jarana (musical director for Eva La Yerbabuena), Gaspar Rodriguez (musical director for the National Ballet of Spain), and Rafael Montilla (guitarist with the company of Paco Peña). He has also studied Music Theory and Analysis formally at Ventura College with Dr. Burns Taft, Composition with Grammy nominated composer Miguel de Aguila, Robert Lawson, Luis Muñoz, and Adam del Monte. Classical Guitar studies with Carlos Gonzales, Matthew Grief of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Tavi Jinariu, and James Bishop Edwards. Brazilian Jazz studies with Chris Judge (Gille Apap & The Transylvanian Mountain Boys), and Jazz Guitar with John Payne.
The son of a bebop saxophonist, Grant Ruiz has played classical guitar since he was 10 years old. After studying flamenco in Spain and with several renowned artists in the U.S., he became an active performer and teacher in Southern Oregon. Aside from classical music and flamenco, Grant has been influenced by jazz and rock music and Native American flute, which he studied with R. Carlos Nakai.
Grant has performed in several productions at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, including the 2003 world premiere of Lorca in a Green Dress by Nilo Cruz where he acted as composer, arranger, pianist and guitarist. Other engagements with the festival included the 2008 production of Othello and eight seasons of the festival's outdoor Green Show.
He has been a member of several ensembles, including Amor Flamenco, Alba Flamenca, the Dark Rose Trio with classical guitarists Joseph Thompson and Steve Berman, Dúo Flamenco with percussionist Terry Longshore, Djamenco with jazz guitarist Dan Fellman, and currently Flamenco Pacifico.
Grant's recording credits include the 2001 release of "Grant Ruiz on Guitar," the 2007 release of the self-titled CD "Dark Rose Trio," the 2009 release of "12 Prayers" by James Twyman, and the 2011 release of "Verde" with Dúo Flamenco.
He is a founding member of the Jefferson Classical Guitar Society based in Ashland, Oregon, having served alternatively as president, secretary, and treasurer, and is also on the Board of Directors. He is currently an adjunct professor of guitar at Southern Oregon University.
Terry Longshore is a percussionist based in Ashland, Oregon whose genre-crossing work balances the artistry of the concert stage with the spontaneity of jazz and the energy of a rock club.
Whether collaborating with multi-media artists, composing live music for dance and theatre, or premiering works by today’s most ground-breaking composers, Terry Longshore brings a dynamic voice to every musical encounter. From concert venues in the Americas, Europe, and Australia to flash mobs in Amsterdam, he has concertized and performed throughout the world.He is the founder and artistic director of percussion group Left Edge, and performs with flute and percussion duo Caballito Negro and flamenco ensemble Dúo Flamenco. He has performed extensively with ensembles Skin & Bones, red fish blue fish, Conundrum, and Sonoluminescence, among others. He has performed at numerous festivals including the Bang on a Can Marathon in New York City, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Green Umbrella Series, the Transplanted Roots International Percussion Symposium, the Cabrillo Music Festival, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Festival of New American Music, the Britt Festivals, and has been featured six times at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC). His compositions for percussion have been performed at festivals and competitions internationally.
He can be heard on numerous CD and motion picture recordings and has premiered many compositions for solo percussion, chamber ensemble, and symphony orchestra. His recordings include the percussion music of Iannis Xenakis for Mode Recordings, music of percussion maverick William Kraft on Albany, and multiple CDs for Stanford University composer Mark Applebaum on the Innova and Tzadik labels. Terry Longshore is a Yamaha Performing Artist and an artist endorser for Zildjian Cymbals, Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets, Remo Drumheads, and Gon Bops Percussion, and is a member of the Black Swamp Percussion Education Network.
Terry Longshore holds bachelor's degrees from the California State University at Fresno (Business Administration - Computer Applications and Systems) and Sacramento (Music - Percussion Performance) and earned the master's and doctoral degrees in Contemporary Music Performance from the University of California, San Diego. His education includes significant study of Spanish flamenco and the classical music of India, including study at the Ali Akbar College of Music. His teachers include Steven Schick, Daniel Kennedy, Swapan Chaudhuri, Ronald Holloway, David Glyde, Chuck Flores, and Kartik Seshadri. He holds the position of Professor of Music at the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University where he directs the Southern Oregon University Percussion Ensembles and teaches courses in Percussion, Music Business, and Contemporary Art & Music.
Elena Villa is an award-winning dancer whose passion for improvising to live music began with her first public belly dance performance as a young girl in the late 1970s. After being inspired by flamenco shows while traveling in France and Spain as a student, Elena began her flamenco training in Santa Cruz, CA in 1991. She later returned to Spain to study in Sevilla, one of the centers of flamenco. In her lifelong dedication to flamenco and Middle Eastern dance, Elena has pursued both cultural research and regular intensive study with master teachers from Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and North America.
Since 1996, she has taught weekly dance classes and frequent workshops in flamenco, classic belly dance, and Spanish Arabic fusion. Elena holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and has taught literature, film and cultural studies at the university level. She has also given lectures on flamenco and belly dance at UO, OSU, and SOU and has presented papers on these topics at academic conferences.
An active performing artist and arts advocate in her adopted state of Oregon, Elena is the current Performance Coordinator (since 2007) and a principal dancer for the acclaimed Gypsy Caravan Stage at the Oregon Country Fair, one of the West Coast's legendary belly dance venues. She also serves on the board of directors for La Peña Flamenca de Portland and appears in their productions as a featured soloist. Her recent work includes performances at the World Beat Festival (Salem) and The Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Green Show (Ashland) in collaboration with Dúo Flamenco (Ashland), Shabava (Portland), Berto Boyd and Flamenco Pacifico.
Melissa Cruz is a Bay Area-based flamenco professional and has been a full-time flamenco artist and instructor for the past 14 years. After being exposed to flamenco while studying Spanish at UC Berkeley, she began dancing with Rosa Montoya and soon thereafter, joined Ms. Montoya’s professional company. Apart from frequently performing in theatrical presentations, she teaches a full weekly schedule of flamenco dance classes and presents consistently in the local flamenco cabaret circuit. Melissa is also the dancer and percussionist for the band, LoCura, with who she performs and tours. Recently, she served as Adjunct Dance Faculty at The University of San Francisco, as a guest instructor at the world dance youth program, Danceversity, and currently presents her own apprentice dance repertory group. Melissa has performed as a soloist in the San Francisco International Arts Festival in 2012 and 2016 and has presented in eight San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festivals; in 2010 and 2011, as a featured soloist. She was commissioned to present a solo representing the genre of flamenco in the 2013 San Francisco Isadora Duncan Awards Ceremony and was a featured artist in the 2014 Tucson Flamenco Festival. Currently, she is principal dancer and choreographer for the San Francisco Flamenco Dance Company which debuted the show, “Mares” in September 2016. As described by Rachel Howard of the SF Chronicle: “Any dancer could make pained faces. But Cruz is clearly possessed by the duende — the spirit that drives this deeply introspective art.” Official Website
Born and raised in Santa Barbara, Randy Tico took to music early, learning bass and studying classical piano. Out of school, he honed his wares in numerous local club bands, learning jazz, latin and rock techniques that he would later draw upon as the bassist for the internationally acclaimed jazz group Matrix. Tico’s involvement with Matrix began in 1978, and included touring and three albums–“Wizard” and “Tale of the Whale” for Warner Brothers and “Harvest” for Pablo. Tico’s distinctive, melodic bass style, incorporating unusual techniques with harmonics, was a cornerstone of the Matrix sound.
In 1981, Tico’s connection and affinity with Brazilian music took a step forward when he began working with Flora Purim and Airto. He has toured the globe and recorded many albums with the famous Brazilian couple. Tico’s involvement with the music of Brazil has continued to grow with artists such as Ivan Lins, Kleber Jorge (singer w/ Sergio Mendes), Dori Caymmi, Cesar Camargo Mariano and Teka. In addition, he has recorded and toured with the Grammy award winning, world music group “Strunz and Farah” and appeared with them on the PBS television show “Sound Festival”. He is currently touring with Jeff Bridges.
"I love this album! It grooves so hard, is intense and artful.. flamenco with a jazz improv vibe combined with inventive arrangements..and the playing is stunning. I dig the vocals too. I don't understand a word but I love the dark vocal vibe..this cool rasp that is so heartfelt and urgent...rad! Super cool! Thanks for getting it to me! I hope it's a smash hit and you guys tour the world!”
- Page Hamilton, lead guitarist of Helmut
"A fresh yet vintage album from Berto Boyd and Grant Ruiz, full of lively energy and sparkle. I particularly enjoyed the last 4 cuts. The Sevillanas are vibrant yet have weight and some lovely two part harmonies. The last three pieces are deep and soulful. Congratulations on a debut CD!" - Adam Del Monte - Flamenco Composer/Adjunct Assistant Professor USC School of Music / www.adamdelmonte.com
"I'm an immediate fan. This is one of the best new things in flamenco I've heard. The album has attractive variety and cites the various flamenco types involved. The guitar playing is crystal clear, with authentic Flamenco flare and virtuosity. Several of the songs evolve into some really interesting flamenco harmonies. This is going places and I'm sure many people already can hear that..." Webster Young - Former opinion writer on music for Newsday and the National Catholic Register / www.websteryounglinks.com
"Flamenco Pacifico's superb album "Convivencia" not only passionately and convincingly explores the long-standing and soulful traditions of flamenco music, but also deftly and creatively includes expressive elements of Brazilian samba and American jazz. The result is a highly infectious, ever-interesting, entertaining, deeply rhythmic, and hypnotically captivating amalgam of music that defines and explores the thematic possibilities of the well-chosen title of the album: "Convivencia" ... "coexistence." Steeped in experienced and excellent musicianship, this album comes highly recommended." - Michael "Hawkeye" Herman / www.HawkeyeHerman.com
"Flamenco Pacifico sparkles with passion, energy, and virtuosic excellence. Grant Ruiz and Berto Boyd are masters of their instrument, and the fretless bass from Randy Tico adds a beautiful, rounded texture to the mix. The compositions take you into serene and moving musical landscapes you'll want to visit again and again! This is flamenco music at its best." - Kathy Zavada, singer/songwriter/recording artist / http://www.kathyzavada.com/
"Fiery rhythmical magic, a must see!" - Scott Topper (Fox News)
"The Ballsiest style of guitar I've ever seen." - Pink (AKA Alicia Moore)
"The most beautiful music I've ever heard" - Diane Lane (actress)
"[Berto's] fiery and expressive music transports listeners to Andalusia, Spain." - Tinta Latina Magazine
"From a venue standpoint, working with Berto and Flamenco Pacifico has been a dream. They promote harder and better than any act we work with and when it comes to technical details and producing the performance they are flexible and know exactly what they need well before we need to have that information. With regards to their immense talent, our venue received nothing but compliments and requests for additional performance after our most recent show with them. I can't recommend working with them enough" - Jimbo Ivy - Manager of Majestic Theater
"Flamenco Pacifico brings the rich and luscious sounds of Flamenco music to life with original and traditional compositions. The dramatic conversation between the players and the dancers is riveting and will leave the audience wanting more. A beautiful and mesmerizing experience for all who are lucky enough to witness." - Cassie Fetty (Assistant Producer of the Green Show, Oregon Shakespeare Festival)
"A fresh yet vintage album from Berto Boyd and Grant Ruiz, full of lively energy and sparkle. I particularly enjoyed the last 4 cuts. The Sevillanas is vibrant yet has weight and some lovely two part harmonies. The last three pieces are deep and soulful." Congratulations on a debut CD!
- Adam Del Monte - Flamenco Composer/Adjunct Assistant Professor USC School of Music
"Their show is a real gem of the flamenco art form with a wonderful combination of musical virtuosity, visual elegance, and a roller coaster of emotions that left me with both tears and a huge smile on my face." - Jon Sharp, President of the Corvallis Guitar Society
One might not expect the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. to be fertile ground for flamenco—or classical guitar, for that matter—but it is, on both counts! Flemenco Pacifico is an Oregon-based ensemble consisting of guitarists Berto Boyd and Grant Ruiz (who also sings) and percussionist Terry Longshore, and on this album (and apparently in some live performances), aided by various musical friends on some tracks—fretless bassist Randy Tico adds a strong, Jaco-esque jazz vibe to the several pieces on which he appears. Most of these are instrumentals, deeply infused with flamenco flavors (Spanish progressions, rasgueado strumming, rhythmic palmas, some Moorish vibe in places), and a few also feature effective lead vocals from Grant Ruiz. This group is not afraid to take some chances, as they show on the two longest pieces: Convivencia, which is bathed in Middle Eastern flavors, and the mutli-textured Que Yo No Soy. Yet they can convincingly play more traditionally structured pieces, like the pretty Colores del Sur, too, without sounding overly clichéd. I also really enjoyed the expansive, lone solo guitar piece, Buenaventura, and tip my hat to the imaginative percussion work by Longshore, particularly on what sounds like a ringing, clay pot udu (perhaps?). All in all a solid and entertaining album.
All pieces by Boyd except where indicated: Arrincónamela (Caracafe, Quilate); Choco; Convivencia; Escapando del calor; Malecón; Que yo no soy; Colores del sur (traditional) ; Sueño del minero; Buenaventura; Lorca por soleá (based on Zorongo Gitano by Lorca)
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