Flamenco Jondo / Deep Blues.jpg


The similarities between flamenco and the blues are striking, not so much in the structure of the music but with regard to the people who produced it and still interpret it --the Spanish gypsies and the African-Americans. Both musics were created in the south of their respective countries, and the subject matter is often identical. Flamenco and the blues sprang from suffering and discrimination, from the people. When trying to define "the real thing" in both musics, the words used are "deep" and "jondo" -- which have the same meaning.

These similarities can provide the basis for a documentary film and several television programs of great audiovisual impact, a truly unique musical and cultural document. Each program would consist of interviews with and performances by a well-known blues artist and a flamenco artist of the same caliber. Stock footage and photographs of old blues and flamenco performers, as well as exterior footage from southern United States and the south of Spain, will also be incorporated to establish similarities between the two areas and the cultural background in which the music flowered.

There would be one Spanish interviewer/conductor and one American throughout the programs, not necessarily well known "faces" but both with profound knowledge of the music. In addition to narration, the interviewer will touch many subjects --childhood, poverty, racial discrimination, love and religion-- to establish the effect these experiences have had on the music. We are trying to get into the human aspects, as well as the musical, of the blues and flamenco. The artists (Spanish and American) will be present on the set simultaneously: We see how Taj Mahal and Agujetas respond to each other's music, how B.B. King and El Lebrijano have certain experiences in common.

During the interview in English, Spanish subtitles will be used and vice/versa, thereby reaching the largest possible audience and at the same time respecting the two languages and their idioms. The actual music performances should be, when possible, an almost spontaneous part of the interviews, creating a feeling of authenticity and intimacy many times lost in a straight stand-up performance. There will also be interviews with experts in the music and with performers who know the principal artists.

There are also interesting commercial possibilities: the DVD can be marketed for home viewing, the music can be sold on compact discs and a book could be published on the subject.

In summary, the series seeks to be a bridge between two marginal worlds of great beauty and power. If the subject is treated with love and respect, avoiding sentimentality and clichés, it is possible to create a film and programs that are romantic, moving and almost magic.