Bayou Theater celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with classical, flamenco guitar performance

August 25, 2022 | UHCL Staff

Gulf Coast Guitar Association
The Gulf Coast Guitar Association will showcase the passion and energy of Latin American and Spanish flamenco music in the Bayou Theater. 

As part of University of Houston-Clear Lake’s Hispanic Heritage Month activities, the Bayou Theater is presenting a performance by the Gulf Coast Guitar Association, formed five years ago to promote classical guitar in Houston. The group will take the stage Saturday, Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m.

The GCGA produces the Houston Classical Guitar Festival and Competition annually, bringing internationally acclaimed guitarists from throughout the world to perform, teach and compete in Houston. 

Artistic Director and classical guitarist Jay Kacherski and flamenco guitarist and Associate Artistic Director Jeremy García are joined by Brazilian pianist Lina Morita and Cuban-born vocalist Irma LaPaloma. The quartet will present music reflecting the cultures of Spain and the Americas. 

Associate Artistic Director and flamenco guitarist Jeremy Garcia said the evening would be special because it marked the first occasion in which all four players, who also have separate solo and duo careers, would perform together on one stage. 

“There will be Latin American solo guitar pieces, piano solos, guitar and piano duets, Latin and Spanish performances, and flamenco guitar solos, with Jeremy and Irma La Paloma singing,” Garcia said. “But I think the highlight of the night will be the finale.”

The finale, he explained, is a world premiere of Garcia’s new arrangement of Manual de Falla’s “Suite del El Amor Brujo,” or, “Love, the Sorcerer.”

The piece tells the story of a woman whose unfaithful husband dies, then haunts her. “His ghost dances with her, but she’s fallen in love with another man,” he said. “She wants to be rid of her husband’s ghost, so she makes a plan with a sorcerer to summon the ghost and bring it together with the woman with whom he was unfaithful to attach them to each other so she can be rid of them both.”

“The story is partly sung and partly instrumental,” he explained. “I’ve taken out the main five movements for this performance, and it tells almost the entire story. It’s all four of us coming together to play, it’s never been arranged for guitar, and this will be the highlight of the evening.”

He said the performance featured an interesting and dynamic range of mostly current music by Hispanic composers like Jose Luis Merlin, Maurizio Colonna and Federico Garcia Lorca.

“It’s intended to be an immersive experience for the audience. It’s a crescendo,” he said. “We want to transport people out of Houston and take them on a tour of Latin America and Spain. We do encourage the occasional olé!”

UH-Clear Lake is a designated Hispanic-Serving Institution. For more information about upcoming events at the Bayou Theater, or to purchase tickets, go online.