Ricardo Garcia doesn't introduce himself when he walks on stage: he's not here to show off, he's here to guide you through Scotland's history and folklore with flamenco rhythms. His modest introduction engrosses you and before you know it the venue doors have closed and you're walking in the glens and mountains of the North. This isn't stylised background Spanish restaurant music strumming away as you tuck into your tapas; this is a personal and comfortable get-together that you've been warmly welcomed to watch. Relax, enjoy and listen to the rhythm.
Each song brings with it a story or memory from Garcia, where his time in Scotland has inspired his music. He explains his Scottish-inspired songs are 'like speaking with an accent': he can never lose his flamenco lilt.
Joining Garcia are two young Scottish musicians – Cameron Bradley on bass and Rebecca Anderson on kahun. Garcia really is the most supportive man to these young Scots; when he's not expressing his utter absorption in flamenco, he's smiling and nodding in approval and encouragement at the talent around him. It's humbling to watch them all work together and create this beautiful atmosphere. When Bradley has a solo, he loses any hint of stage fright – the music has taken over.
Then on comes the flamenco dancer . . .
The Haar's cotton-like melody, inspired by Auld Reekie, brings with it Japanese flamenco dancer Nanako Aramaki. She walks into the light and captures the stage, swirling the melodies into the air before clicking and striding back out off the stage. Appearing and dispersing as we know the haar is apt to do to our own city. The mutual respect shared between musicians and dancer entwines the Scottish melodies and the exotic flamenco rhythms.
Each song brings with it a story or memory from Garcia, where his time in Scotland has inspired his music. He explains his Scottish-inspired songs are 'like speaking with an accent': he can never lose his flamenco lilt. Flamenco will always be part of him and it marbles his passion for Scotland and its history. His Scottish wife inspired Black Mcrae and we should be grateful this Scot has brought Garcia to us. He first visited Scotland from the south of Spain in 1995, and his passion and love for its nature and culture still shines on.
If you need a reminder of why Scotland is inspirational and want to experience a true musician loving music, then go and see Flamenco Escocia. He's called Ricardo Garcia; he doesn't need to introduce himself.