by Norman Warwick,
with photographer, Dutton The Button
and two undercover officers,
DCI Detours & Superintendent Sidetracks
The past twelve months have brought so many wonderful live arts events in way that we dared not dream of during the dark days of lockdown a couple of years ago. We have reported on so many diverse art forms recently and already have many exciting events in our calendar for 2023.
But let´s not get ahead of ourselves, because there are two final gigs to report on, both being delivered free of admissions charges furing the straggling last days between Christmas and New Year.
The first was delivered by Teguey, one of the of the most popular folk-lore groups on the island. We love this group and have a cd of theirs and have also seen them in concert a couple of times. They seem to have something of a fluctuating line up, or maybe they employ a rotating squad system such as the big football clubs do.
Tonight, there were eighteen in the line-up that we have once seen play with more than thirty. Nevertheless, these eighteen musicians and vocalists created soaring and lilting sounds on timple, guitar and hand held percussion and their vocals seemed to float across the square. There was a lovely ´local´ feel to the show, with songs of mountains and seas, some of which were of local towns such as Playa Honda, and they sang too about the El Risco cliffs that line the beach at Famara. Slightly beyond the arena´s perimeters scores of diners in open air roadside restaurants were listening in and pedestrians would pause to listen to a song before moving on. Neverthless the calls for an encore from the seated audience were well deserved by Tegeuy and they responded with the song we all wanted to hear.
Gauntanamera was de rigour of course, but was nevertheless well deserved for a group that had fully engaged the audience of around two hundred on what was a rare chilly night here on the island.
Our closing event of the year of 2022, that here on Lanzarote was delivered by a charming performance from The Banda Municipal de Yaiza, in the Casa del Cultura in the centre of the town. There were trombones, trumpets and euphoniums all brightly shining as well as wind instruments and percussion. As the guy in Jaws might have said, we´re gonna need a bigger stage !
This tiny but beautiful and atmospheric venue was also packed to the rafters with not only family and friends of the musicians and local indigents but also with at least four new residents, as we attended with our friends, the undercover detective and The Superintendent . In fact there was a definite international feel to the audience and The Yaiza Band cleverly catered for diverse tastes.
Opening with the Vangelis piece, Conquest Of Paradise, they then delivered the Satchmo classic, What A Wonderful World. There was Bach´s Ariosa and then a piece I was not familiar with, called Remember Me, written by Robert and Kristina Anderson Lopez. That was followed by the traditional piece Nocha de Paz, Silent Night, in a beautiful new arrangement.
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That signalled a huge change of direction, with another sparkling arrangement of Lennon & McCartney´s Let It Be.
Ennio Morricone´s Cinema Paradisio is one of my favourite pieces of music and was followed by another that has haunted me all Christmas. For nearly a fortnight I seemed to hear it whenever I turned the television on as the adverts on screen showed the Coca Cola trucks delivering their cargoes, with that music in the background. The concert was brought to a close with John Higgins Overture Espanol and then a beautiful version of John and Yoko´s Happy Christmas (War is Over) that was lent added poignancy by news of one of Russia´s biggest bombing raids since their evil war against Ukraine began a year ago.
There is a genuine swell of sound that is so often created by The Yaiza Band and it is in these moments that they are most impressive. They are, after all, a town band, not a National Symphony Orchestra and there will be different levels of playing experience and abilities within their ranks. The music of Noche De Paz, Let it Be, Carol Of The Bells and Happy Christmas War Is Over submitted clear evidence of how quickly the band is becoming fully integrated and so ´tellingly raising its performance levels.
We made for the ´beer tent´, staffed by a jolly, friendly family, one of whom kindly took photographs of the four of us, though we have taken the brave decision not to pixelate the faces of our undercover operators. The beers and wines and churros went down very nicely as we chatted about what we had seen recently and where we go next.
With six events from the 39th edition of The Canary Islands International Classical Music Festival still to come, including The Tenerife Symphony Orchestra playing in the many splendoured theatre in the caves of Jameos Del Agua, we hope you will watch this space for more reviews throughout 2023.
Meanwhile we wish A HAPPY NEW YEAR all our readers of these pages on Lanzarote Information.