Over 200 activities make up the spectacular “Multicultural” program of the 54th edition of the event, in which there will be no shortage of international ambassadors and artists, great personalities of social and cultural life, literature, cinema, gastronomy, art, education, bullfighting and above all, a lot of flamenco.

This was announced this morning by the CEO of the Foundation Cante de las Minas Foundation and mayor of La Unión, Francisco Bernabé, who presented all the cultural events of the Festival accompanied by the Minister of Education, Culture and Universities, Pedro Antonio Sánchez.

Francisco Bernabé stressed that, once again, the Festival has put together a cultural agenda that will undoubtedly go down in the history of this event as the most spectacular program ever scheduled.

On August 7th, the Ambassador from India, Sunil Lal, will receive in La Unión the “Catedral del Cante” award, which further strengthens institutional ties with the Asian country that last year began collaborating on our internationalization project, the “Las Minas Flamenco Tour “. That same day the Ambassador from Japan in Spain, Satoru Satoh, will present the first edition of the Festival del Cante de las Minas in Japan, which will host our contests of singing, dancing and guitar for Japanese artists on August 22nd, 23rd and 24th in Tokyo. Subsequently, the Chinese Ambassador to our country, Zhu Bangzao, will be at the center of another act in the event’s cultural agenda.

In addition, bullfighting is coming to the Cante de las Minas with an amazing show “Tauromaquia Flamenca” that on August 13th will bring together, in the arena of the La Unión hotel complex “La Cartuja”, matador Javier Conde and singers Estrella Morente and “Arcangel”. Bullfighting will fuse with flamenco singing in a magical evening for social causes, as the proceeds will go to the Spanish Association Against Cancer.

Furthermore, leading figures from the world of bullfighting, literature, journalism, cinema and gastronomy will pass through La Union between August 6th and 16th. Names such as that of writer Arturo Pérez-Reverte, journalist Carlos Herrera, bull-fighter Juan Antonio Ruiz “Espartaco”, film director Fernando Trueba and chef Quique Dacosta, all coming to collect their respective Castilletes de Oro, the highest distinction of the contest, along with singers Estrella Morente and Carmen Linares. In addition, journalism legend Luis del Olmo will be in charge of delivering the opening speech on August 7th.

The presentation of each Castillete will be preceded by a conference, each with suggestive titles such as “Flamenco and Literature” by journalist Juan Ramón Lucas; “Cine flamenco: del enemigo mudo al aliado sonoro” by José Manuel Gamboa; “Flamenco and Bullfighting” by bullfight journalist José Castillo; “Flamenco and Gastronomy” by food critic Sergio Gallego; and “Flamenco and Radio” by journalist Oche Cortés.

Also important will be the Festival’s Cultural Awards, the “Pencho Cros” trophies which will bring to La Unión, among others, the most popular TV chef, José Rodríguez Rey, popularly known as “Pepe, MasterChef” and Cordoban designer Juana Martin.

The Minister of Education, Culture and Universities, Pedro Antonio Sánchez, highlighted the extensive program of this festival, which each year incorporates additional artistic disciplines and becomes more international. ” In its 54 years of existence, the Festival del Cante de las Minas has managed to integrate various cultural manifestations.  From flamenco singing and dancing, the cultural offering has expanded year after year to include visual arts and design, literature, cuisine and even bullfighting with this year’s show “Tauromaquia Flamenca”.

In its 54th year, the cultural agenda of the Festival will also feature its regular exhibits, conferences, flamenco courses and parallel musical activities as well as the gala shows by major artists such as Miguel Poveda, Niño Josele, Carmen Linares, Sara Baras and Estrella Morente.  It is noteworthy that this year along with Niño Josele, the “Ballet Flamenco Cante de las Minas” will debut, a formation that has emerged from the School of Flamenco  Art in La Union.

As for the exhibits, there will be four devoted to photography related to flamenco and the Cante de Las Minas: “Pellizco Flamenco” by Jesus Morcillo; “Las Joyas del Flamenco” by Antonio Merono “Jayam”; “Estrellas Flamencas de un Festival” by Francisco Silvente; and “La Belleza del Flamenco” by Juan Tébar.  A fifth exhibition is dedicated to the world of guitar-making: “Maderas para Escuchar” with guitars by the artisan Juan Antonio Romero Vera.

Five books will be presented within the “Mañanas Literarias Flamencas”: “Flamenco para Flamencos” by Manuel Sánchez Bracho; “Libro Flamenco Minero de La Unión: Siglo XIX” by José Navarro Gelardo; “Contra las Cuerdas. Maestros de la Guitara Flamenca en la Intimidad de la Entrevista”, by Pablo San Nicasio; and “Cante de las Minas” by José Luis Navarro. In addition, the book “110 Letras de Cante Flamenco” by the trovero Angel Cegarra Cruz, “Rabbit III”.

The Festival will also provide a platform, in this case in the unique setting of the Mina Agrupa Vicenta, for the presentation of the album “La voz de la Mina: Antología de los Cantes Mineros de La Unión”, by the winner of the 2013 Lámpara Minera, Jeromo Segura. The singer will debut with interpretations from the CD, accompanied live by guitarist Rosendo Fernandez.  This will be on Thursday, August 14th.

There will also be five courses: two of dance, “Baile por Alegrías” and “Baile por Cañas with the dancer and choreographer Mercedes Ruiz; and “Historia del Flamenco” with journalist Juan Vergillos;  the academic section will also feature a “Seminario Flamenco para Instrumentos Melódicos” by musician and composer Oscar Manuel.

As is the tradition, the festival will feature “Mornings with Flamenco Film”, on this occasion dedicated to the great director Fernando Trueba, allowing us to enjoy a magnificent series in his honor with screenings of “El Baile de la Victoria”, “Chico y Rita” y “La Niña de tus Ojos”, which will be shown August 7th to 9th at the Casa del Piñón..

In the area of tributes, and as is only fitting, there will be very special consideration for the great Paco de Lucia who died suddenly last February.  The Cante de las Minas Festival, where the brilliant guitarist played on several occasions leaving a deep impression, wishes to remember him with several acts in his capacity as the person who introduced the flamenco “cajón”, beginning with an “Educational Concert on Peruvian Cajon” that will be offered by the maestro Rafael Santa Cruz and guitarist Octavio Santa Cruz, on August 14th.

The tribute will continue on the 15th with an “Introduction Course and Advanced Techniques on Cajón”, in this case by the maestro Rafael Santacruz, “El Guille”, Pepe Abellán and David “El Indio”; and most noteworthy, on the 16th, with a “Grand Public Cajon Show” directed by the maestro Santa Cruz, accompanied by Guillermo García “El Guille”, Antonio Enrique Fernández “Wito” and Miguel Angel Orengo, with guitarists by Rosendo Férnandez, Antonio Muñoz, Juan Martínez and Fran Turner, to be staged in front of the Old Public Market the afternoon of the Grand Finale.  The tribute to the late flamenco artist ends the same day, with the unveiling of the “Paco de Lucía Lámpara” on the Avenue of Flamenco in front of the Cathedral of Cante.

Note that each day after the gala shows, the party will continue with two “Trasnoches Flamencos”, afterhours performances in the tents located on the Avenue of Flamenco.  Saturday night, August 9th will be particularly noteworthy with the “White Night of Flamenco” including three performances in a row, after that day’s main show in various venues throughout the city performed by the Escuela de Arte Flamenco of the Cante de las Minas Foundation.

And lastly, the “5th Gastronomic Flamenco Days”, (“V Jornadas Gastronómicas Flamencas”), in which 9 restaurants, wineries, bars and taverns will offer tasting menus at prices ranging from 9.90 to 40 euros, and the “2nd Gastronomic Days of the Corte Inglés and the Cante de las Minas” that will take place each day at noon in the restaurant in this shopping center in Cartagena.

And lastly, it should be mentioned that all the activities of the cultural agenda will be free of charge, except Tauromaquia Flamenca, the performance in the Agrupa Vicenta Mine and training courses, and for obvious reasons, the gastronomic activities.

All the above information, minutely detailed and explained, can be consulted at www.fundacioncantedelasminas.org.

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