Australian Flamenco

Rebecca Varidel
11th Jul 2018

Arrebato Ensemble is contemporary flamenco with edge, led by best friends and long-time musical collaborators, the acclaimed flamenco guitarist Greg Alfonzetti and Damian de Boos-Smith (cello, oud fretless bass and guitar).

As they celebrate 15 years as a performing and recording entity, Greg and Damian prepare for the release of their third album Sofia's Dream and a string of dates along the East Coast of Australia with a new line-up that includes Byron Mark (cajon and percussion) and dancer Chachy Peñalver, founder and director of Sydney Flamenco School.

“This new trio musical lineup is very much about playful interaction on stage and in the studio," says Damian.

"Greg and I are best friends and we have a deep musical connection. With the addition of Byron on percussion and piano, we now have a versatile and colourful trio who can partake in a huge scope of musical options. We have a greater component of improvisation incorporated into our performance compared to previous vears, and of course compositions that we strive to make as widely emotive as possible. I am thrilled with this new format."

This new line-up creates passionately moving performances combining incisive ensemble playing, masterful solos and the beauty and power of flamenco dance.

"Our incredible dancer Chachy is touring with us for the live shows," adds Damian.

"Her sensitivity, virtuosity and choreographic detail to our music is extraordinary. While our music is rooted in the soul of flamenco, we are happy to take the music in any direction that deeply reaches the heart. Our main objective is to make people laugh and cry in the same night and be left with a sense of something special.”

The group’s first CD snared them the Best World Music Artist at the MusicOz Awards. And performances at WOMADAdelaide, Sydney Festival, Apollo Bay Music Festival, Sydney Opera House, International Australian Festival of Chamber, followed. The second CD Absolución, was launched at the Sydney Opera House in 2011 to a sell out audience and also enjoyed rave reviews.

"I am excited to be unleashing not only the ensemble’s new wave of original music in a third album but also the leanness and meanness of the new line up," says Greg Alfonzetti.

"The music on Sofia's Dream is beautiful and haunting but also humorous and joyful, connected with the depth of memory and ancient longing. In our unwavering and long standing artistic collaboration over so many years since the genesis of the ensemble, Damian and I have travelled great distances, landing heart and mind in the exotic world of these new creations."

Arrebato Ensemble will be performing in Sydney at City Recital Hall October 16th.