The Flamenco Society of San José hosts an informal gathering this Saturday of flamenco musicians, singers and dancers.

Known as a juerga, the event at Hoover Theatre encourages improvisation as well as audience participation, not unlike a jazz jam session.

Flamenco, for those unfamiliar with this genre of music, has been described as “The Gypsy Blues” or the “European Blues” because of its traditional roots and improvisatory nature. It is the culmination of several hundred years of Moorish and Western European influences before solidifying during what ethnomusicologists often refer to as the “Golden Age” of flamenco, between 1869 and 1910. During this time, flamenco’s popularity soared and eventually became the music that we more or less recognize as flamenco today.

Since its inception, flamenco has been performed in a variety of forms, from casual gatherings to small theatres to large concert halls. By hosting a juerga, the Flamenco Society of San José is continuing on one of the oldest and most celebrated traditions in flamenco music.

Headlining this event is Rubina Valenzuela, who has been dancing flamenco for more than 30 years and received training from some of the most well-known flamenco instructors in Spain. Valenzuela has also established herself as a talented flamenco singer, as well as an in-demand instructor.

Also joining in the festivities are special guests, Carolina Lugo and Carolé Acuña, founders of the Ballet Flamenco company. Ballet Flamenco has been recognized as one of the top Flamenco and Spanish dance companies in North America, and Carolina Lugo and Carolé Acuña will be bringing their award-winning talents to the stage. Students of the Flamenco Society of San José will also be performing, along with other local flamenco artists.

The performance will be held at the Historic Hoover Theatre in San Jose on Saturday, August 27. The show starts 7 p.m., doors open at 6:30 p.m.

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