Cante flamenco, or traditional flamenco songs, evolved from the wailing cries of persecuted Moors, gypsies, and Jews excommunicated from España after the Spanish Inquisition. Their suffering spawned a passionate music and dance tradition unique to Spain. This Friday and Saturday, as part of the sixth annual Flamenco Festival Miami, hear the sad, beautiful wails at Café Cantante at Arsht Centers Carnival Studio Theater. The nights performers include Siempre Flamenco dance companys Paco Fonta, an accomplished singer and guitarist, and his wife Celia, a dancer. They will join forces with Spanish talents Luis Vargas, Macarena de Jerez, and Gabriel de la Tomasa to produce a show that represents diverse styles of flamenco song and dance. Vargas, an octogenarian originally from Algeciras, a port city in the south of Spain, is one of the last remaining flamenco singers of his generation. De Jerez is a young talent who dances and sings in the fast-paced buleríasstyle. And de la Tomasa, son of famed flamenco singer Jose de la Tomasa, is gaining recognition for his passionate interpretations of cante jondo, the most difficult of the flamenco styles.
Feb. 18-19, 8 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 20, 3 p.m., 2011