SEDA w/ Pepe Raphael (Latin - Flamenco - Rumba)
June 3rd 8pm-10pm
Mehdi Farjami (guitar), Brenna McDonald (guitar, vocals), Pepe Raphael (vocals), and Nick Hutch bring a delightful mix of latin and flamenco rumba music to Corkscrew wine bar Saturday June 3rd.
Mehdi Farjami was born in Shiraz, Iran, in 1968 and began studying guitar at age 15. For years, he was inspired by such Progressive Rock and guitar giants as Steve Vai, Randy Rhoads, and Eddie Van Halen. But when he discovered the sounds of flamenco guitar, a new window to guitar playing opened up. In 2003, Mehdi traveled to Spain and fell in love with the rhythms and culture of flamenco. He discovered the flamenco guitar greats Paco De Lucia, Vicente Amigo, Tomatito, Gerardo Nuñez and Moraito, and he was lucky to find a great mentor in Dale Fine, who had studied flamenco in Spain and was a purist in terms of playing the music. After years of intense study with Dale, Mehdi formed his group, Toque Libre, a quartet whose sound was rooted in Afro-Cuban and South American music to which Mehdi also added flamenco rhumbas. Toque Libre recorded three albums and eventually expanded to an eight-piece band. After the group broke up, Mehdi turned his attention back to the more authentic flamenco sound. He has joined forces with the accomplished flamenco guitarist and dancer Brenna McDonald, and together they have formed the group Seda.
Brenna McDonald began studying flamenco in 1997 with Martita Santiago (baile) and Jaime Woods (guitar) in Eugene, Oregon. Since then she has devoted her life to the study of flamenco, moving to Spain in 2003-2004 to study with Chiqui de Jerez and Jose Luis Balao and in 2008-2009 to study under Juan and Saray de los Reyes. Brenna started performing in 2004 with Solo Flamenco while pursuing her B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Reed College ('06). Brenna has performed and collaborated with Flamenco Callejero, El Cuadro Gallo, Madjaleo, Assa Flamenco, Tablao de Rosas. She is a founding member of La Peña Flamenca de Portland and Espacio Flamenco where she teaches flamenco dance and guitar at Espacio Flamenco Portland and co-organizes the Espacio Flamenco performance company.
Pepe Raphael's piquant pulsations have taken him from Madrid, Spain (where he was born) to New York City (where he performed) to Portland (where he now lives). Born in Madrid, Spain, Pepe began his dance career with the National Ballet of Spain. He then worked with Ballet Liceo of Barcelona and upon moving to the United States, danced with Ballet Hispanico of New York, Princeton Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet and, most recently, Oregon Ballet Theatre. Pepe has performed locally with the Portland Opera Company, Music Theater of Oregon, The Musical Theater Company and most recently with The Oregon Symphony. Former front man and leading male vocalist with Pink Martini. He continues to rely heavily on the Bottle Blondes to continue the tradition also known as Pepe & The Bottle Blondes. Along with his ballet, opera and musical theater experience, Pepe has also appeared in several made for TV movies and has been a featured stand-up comedian at Harvey's comedy club for the last five years.