The delegation of the Cante de las Minas Foundation is already in Japan’s capital, Tokyo, where for the first time, the contests of the Festival for Japanese flamenco artists will be held starting tomorrow, Friday, August 22, and through Sunday the 24th.
The International Festival del Cante de las Minas de La Unión is already in Japan. By way of the «Las Minas Flamenco Tour», the delegation of the Cante de las Minas Foundation has landed in Tokyo, the country’s capital, which will host the celebration of the dance, guitar and singing contests for the first time ever outside the borders of Spain.
The expedition is made up of the Coordinator of the Cante de las Minas Foundation, Manuel José Navarro Jiménez, and his technical advisor, Juan Carlos Albaladejo Montoro, in addition to the writer, journalist, winner of the National Prize of Flamencology and regular contributor to the Festival, Juan Vergillos together with Mariko Ogura, Japanese journalist and Hispanic musical producer, specializing in the field of flamenco music. All are part of a mixed jury, together with outstanding Japanese experts provided by the Nippon Association of Flamenco (ANIF), the institution that organized this selection process of the Cante de las Minas. ANIF was created in 1990, and today has become Japan’s leading institution dedicated to the study, teaching and dissemination of the art of flamenco.
The event will be held at the Tokyo Nakano Zero Theater Hall the days of August 22nd, 23rd and 24th of August, from Friday morning until Sunday. On Saturday is the official presentation of the Festival del Cante de las Minas in Japan, in a ceremony that will feature the special performance of the Spanish guest artist, guitarist, musician and composer, Cañizares, the winner of prestigious awards in our country, such as the «National Guitar Award 1982» and the «Music Award 2008».
Along with Cañizares, two previous winners of the contest organized by ANIF in Japan every year will also perform at the official gala presentation: singer Taka Ishizuka, and dancer Shiro Ijuin, two professional flamenco performers in «the Land of the Rising Sun «.
The expectation generated by the celebration of this Spanish event has led to the enrolment of over a hundred of Japanese artists. The main attraction for them lies, in addition to obtaining the corresponding trophies that the winners of the Japanese edition will receive, the winners will automatically pass to the final phase of the next edition of the Festival del Cante de las Minas in Spain, to be held in August of 2015 in the town of La Unión in the province of Murcia.
The Executive Chairman of the Cante de las Minas Foundation, and Mayor of La Unión, Francisco Bernabé, sent a message of support to the panel of judges, and stressed that «with this initiative one of the major objectives that came into being with the internationalization project has been fulfilled, the Las Minas Flamenco Tour, to bring La Unión’s event to Japan, third largest economy in the world and without a doubt the country, after Spain, that most appreciates our most representative music.
Barnabé also explicitly thanked the strong support of all the sponsors, both in Japan and in our nation, for making it possible for this event to take place, especially highlighting the role played in this regard by Turespaña and Las Minas Flamenco Tour, the real architects of this initiative.
Lastly, the mayor of La Unión emphasized the important tourist projection this represents for his town, for the Region of Murcia, for Spain and for the development of this Festival, and for which the most important Japanese media have already have already applied for press credentials, as they are truly concerned about the fact that the Festival del Cante de las Minas will select their most outstanding flamenco talents next year to compete against the best in La Unión.