Swan Lake Guest Artist: The Black Dog String Quartet

Introducing Swan Lake Guest Artist and today’s musician spotlight:

Black Dog String Quartet!

Ruffles, feathers, violins, a viola and a cello are coming together in Karen Flamenco’s production of Swan Lake to create a magical, flamenco world of enchantment and awe! We are so excited to have one of Vancouver’s most talented musical groups joining us on stage. Get ready to hear Tchaikovsky’s classic and iconic melodies of Swan Lake filling the Vancouver Playhouse in two weeks!

We are thrilled to have the Black Dog String Quartet joining us in this year’s production and can’t wait to hit the stage with them! Here’s a little bit about them:

Formed in 2007, the Black Dog String Quartet is comprised of some of Vancouver’s finest young musicians. The group has appeared on the recordings of artists such as 54-40, Marianas Trench, Bleeding Through, Hedley, Mark Hildreth, Fear Zero, Armchair Cynics, and others, and its members have performed live on stage with some of the world’s top acts including Kanye West, Sting, The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and Video Games Live. Their excellent playing and reputation have landed them in studios with producers like Warne Livesey (Midnight Oil, The Matthew Good Band), Dave Genn (54-40, Hedley), and Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad).

It’s going to be a fantastic show! You don’t want to miss it! Contact the studio today for your tickets!

The Black Dog String Quartet

(Image via Black Dog String Quartet)


Flamenco 101: Cajón

What is a cajón and where did it come from?

The cajón is a percussion instrument that originated from Peru. Traditional flamenco actually had very little percussion and didn’t extend much beyond the palmas, footwork and any percussive guitar playing (guitar drumming).

Although it came Peru, if you go far back enough in history, the cajón actually originated from the Americas during the Spanish occupation. There are theories that the cajón was a variation of boxlike African instruments and was played by Peruvian slaves using Spanish crates or dresser drawers. Another theory claims that the cajón was simply a box that was played in defiance of the Spanish ban to colonial music in predominantly African areas; these boxes were easily disguised as stools or seats to avoid being labelled as musical instruments.

Most likely, the cajón was born from both of these theories – from African origins and Spanish oppression. It wasn’t until the renowned, and recently passed, Paco de Lucia introduced it to flamenco in 1977 that the popular cajón flamenco was born. What makes the cajón flamenco different from the cajón Peruano is that Paco de Lucia and his friend and Brazilian percussionist, Rubem Dantas, added guitar strings to the interior of the playing surface, creating that snare effect so typical to flamenco music.

To learn more about the history, sounds and playing the cajón flamenco:

Here’s a great video that introduces the cajón flamenco, gives a general overview and examples of how it is used in flamenco music:

Read more at framedrums.net


Karen Flamenco & Tambura Rasa

Tambura Rasa Turns 10!

Don’t miss this exciting Karen Flamenco collaboration with Tambura Rasa this Friday!

This Friday, join the party and celebrate Tambura Rasa’s 10 year anniversary! These talented musicians fill Academie Duello’s rooms with the haunting rhythms and exotic melodies, and Karen Flamenco dancers will be bringing that gitano passion and flair!

When: Friday, March 14. 2014

Where: Academie Duello

Time: 9 pm

Contact the studio for more details!



Workshop: Learn to Play the Cajón!

This Sunday, learn to play the cajón with renowned flamenco musician, Mario Sota!

Have you ever wondered about that magical box some of the flamenco musicians sit on? Yes, that box is more than just a seat on the stage! That box is called a cajón and it’s a percussion instrument that adds a unique rhythm and exotic flair to the sounds of flamenco!

This Sunday, come to the Karen Flamenco studio to learn how you too can create the music for the passion and flair of flamenco!

Mario is a talented musician that recently starred in a leading role in Karen Flamenco’s fall production of Snow Queen! You can also catch him adding rhythm and life regularly in the intimate setting of Kino Cafe.

Come and meet Mario; learn to create the passionate pulse of flamenco, and discover a new and exciting hobby!

See you on Sunday! (Click image to enlarge)