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Acclaimed guitarist accompanies local flamenco artist in Ajijic venue

“The true power and beauty of flamenco comes from the way the music and dance combine -- they are one entity,” says internationally acclaimed flamenco guitarist Daniel Ward. The California musician will demonstrate the combination of those art forms during a dinner performance of the Spanish art on Thursday, January 29 at 6:30 p.m. at El Jardin de Ninette restaurant at Javier Mina 7 in Ajijic.  

Ward has toured the world playing flamenco guitar with Ottmar Liebert and Luna Negra (1997-2000) and performing with the flamenco dance ensembles of Maria Benitez, Dance Espana, Jesus Munoz and Yjastros. Following the local event’s three course dinner, guests will see Ward as he performs with classically trained local flamenco artist Leonor Certuche.

Certuche began dancing at age three in Guadalajara. A move to Monterrey allowed her to study with some of Mexico’s finest instructors. Then she went to Spain, to explore her passion for flamenco and contemporary dance in Madrid and Seville. Following her return to Monterrey in 2007 she has obtained a masters degree and is now working on a doctorate in contemporary dance.

Ward explained that it is easier than it might seem for him to readily accompany a Mexican dancer he has just met. “Most people don’t realize that the flamenco dancer is not dancing to the music I play. I am putting music to the steps, and she is actually in control of the form. Through the dance she tells me when to stop, change melodies, change speed…all of it. 

“Flamenco is an art that is crafted in real time, by the artists in the room at that moment, much like jazz music.”

Ward is an accomplished musician, composer and educator, who has become one of the country’s top clinicians and performers on the ‘ukulele circuit.’ Known for his command of Latin styles, Ward adapts his unique style, right hand techniques and his knowledge of the classical and flamenco guitar into fresh skills for ukulele players. 

As a commissioned classical composer the multi-talented Ward has penned two string quartets for the Del Sol ensemble of San Francisco, and a four-hands piano piece. He has scored music for film, television and video. His CD “After the Storm” is an award-winning virtuosic performance of original compositions masterfully played on electric and flamenco guitar.

Dining and entertainment for the star-studded flamenco night is 350 pesos. There will be a cash bar. Space at the restaurant is limited, and there will be just one show. To make reservations, call El Jardin de Ninette’s at (376) 766-4905.


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