Cafe Cantante Rodrigo & Lorca 2019
(L/R) Alex Kalamarides, Hsin-Jung Tsai, Shawn Renzoh Head.   Photography by Pin Lim – Forest Photography.

The Flamenco Poets Society has celebrated their Café Cantante Series for the last 15 years. This annual event is in memory of our beloved poet, dramatist & muse, Federico Garcia Lorca.

Café Cantante Series

Rodrigo and Lorca. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of Joaquin Rodrigo’s death, the society produced a special program with music and poetry at the Match – Midtown Arts Center.

Ms.Hsin-Jung Tsai, artist in residence, performed Joaquin’s famous composition “Aranjuez, Ma Pensé” – Tema del Adagio for solo piano. Mr. Shawn Renzoh Head, Shakuhachi (Japanese flute) performed his own arrangement of Aranjuez, Mon Amour with piano accompaniment by Ms. Tsai and Three Short Songs for Solo Shakuhachi (2019) by Hsin-Jung Tsai. Alex Kalamarides read the poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca.

The Flamenco Poets Society is indebted and grateful to the Joaquin Rodrigo Foundation and Ms. Cecilia Rodrigo for their support.

The Tree of Life: Storytelling, Flamenco guitar and Cante. Reyes Ramirez presented an original story based on his own experiences “Another Life, Another Time” co-sponsored by Poets & Writers. Randy Cordero, Flamenco guitar & Paco Garrigues, cante, interpreting traditional flamenco rhythms: Tangos, Siguiriyas, Tarantas, Solea & Bulerias.

José Luis de la Paz Flamenco Ensemble – Houston premier at the MATCH – Midtown Arts Center featuring José Luis de la Paz, guitar; Adolfo Herrera, percussion; Kenneth Jimenez, bassist; Niurca Márquez, baile.  Co-sponsored with Lucia & Valdemar Flamenco and Guitar Houston.

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz – Love Poems.  Special collaboration with original compositions by pianist Hsin-Jung Tsai and Thomas Helton, bass.  Poetry reading by Lorena B. Fernandez.

Flamenco Rhythms – Traditional Flamenco format at Casa de Lucia.  Randy Cordero, flamenco guitar with Paco Garrigues on cante and baile, Laura Garrigues.

Manuel de Falla & Federico Garcia Lorca – Music & Poetry – Featuring Brinton Averil Smith, cello & Evelyn Chen, piano with Siete Canciones Españolas, Danza Española from La Vida Breve & Danza Ritual del Fuego de “El Amor Brujo” Ben Lind, Poetry Reading. The program commemorated Lorca & Falla’s historic collaboration during the Festival of Cante Jondo in Granada 1922.

Pablo Neruda: Love Poems for Matilde Urrutia – Featuring Randy Cordero on flamenco guitar, Paco Garrigues, cante and Ben Lind reading the poetry of Pablo Neruda.

Lorca – Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Mejias. The Society celebrated our muse, Federico Garcia Lorca with Ritmos Flamencos (Flamenco Rhythms) with Randy Cordero, flamenco guitar, and Ben Lind, poetry reading at the Brazilian Arts Foundation.

Lorca – Poema del Cante Jondo- Poetry, Music & Dance. This special collaboration was based on “Poem of the Deep Song” included artists: Randy Cordero and Luisma Ramos, flamenco guitarists; Paco Garrigues, cante; Alexandra Simmons & Laura Garrigues (dancers); Ben Lind poetry reading.

Thomas HeltonThomas Helton
Bassist and Composer

Thomas Helton is a composer and bassist who writes and performs music in both solo and ensemble settings. As a composer Mr. Helton was awarded a Houston Arts Alliance Individual Artist Fellowship Grant in 2007 for the commission and premiere of a new work for fifteen-piece ensemble, the Torture Chamber Ensemble. He was awarded an artist residency for the commission and premiere of Pride from DiverseWorks ArtSpace in Houston in October 2004, a work for ten-piece ensemble and video projection created in collaboration with video artist Maria del Carmen Montoya. As a bassist, Thomas Helton performs with his own ensemble, The Core Trio, as well as with many celebrated jazz and free improvisation artists including Tim Hagans, Milt Jackson, Daniel Carter, Monty Alexander, Frank Gratowski and Ernie Watts, William Parker, Weasel Walter and Steve Swell. Thomas has released three CD’s: Doublebass; Experimentations in Minimalism; and Saga. He recently released a new solo, DVD collaboration with videographer Jonathan Jindra. The film was featured at the International Society of Improvised Music Conference during a recent east coast. Thomas Helton has collaborated it with the Flamenco Poets for Sor Juana Poems with original music and Cesar Vallejo poems.