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Volver is a celebration of the poetic heart of flamenco: the music of the first cry, the first kiss, a call to prayer, the heart’s lament, the joy of living. The poetry of Leonard Cohen, Federico Garcia Lorca, Rumi and Violeta Parra is put to the soulful song of Flamenco. From Spain, the Middle East and the US, performers interpret the fierce, sensual, heartbreaking and joyful aspects of human experience that unite us all. 

Volver returns to the Moorish roots of flamenco with a first-time collaboration between master musicians Amir-John Haddad and Ali Paris, Syrian percussionist Faisal Zedan, and gypsy flamenco singer José Cortés. These internationally renowned musicians create a stunning score for the San Francisco Flamenco Dance Company’s original choreography.

From Spain, the Middle East and the US, performers interpret the fierce, sensual, heartbreaking and joyful aspects of human experience that unite us all in this new collaboration directed by Kerensa DeMars.

Cast:

Amir-John Haddad - Musical Direction, Guitar, Oud, Buzuki

Ali Paris - Qanun, Vocals

José Cortés - Cante

Faisal Zedan - Percussion

Daniel Fries - Bass

Manuel Gutierrez - Dance, Choreography

Melissa Cruz - Dance, Choreography

Bianca Rodriguez - Dance

Kerensa DeMars - Artistic Direction, Dance, Choreography

artist bios

Amir-John Haddad

Amir-John Haddad (Musical Direction/ Guitar/Buzuki/Oud) is a multi-instrumentalist and composer widely regarded as one of the best flamenco guitarists practicing today. Amir began playing the Arabic oud with his father and by eight years old began studying flamenco guitar. In 1997 at age 22 he relocated to Andalucia, birthplace of flamenco, to further his studies. Soon after, Amir moved to Madrid where he began working with some of the most prominent Spanish flamenco companies. He was a member of legendary group Radio Tarifa with whom he performed and toured for over ten years. Amir has released two solo guitar albums and two albums with his quartet ZooBazaar. He has collaborated on over a dozen more recordings, two of which were nominated for Latin Grammy awards. Amir has performed in major festivals all over the world, most recently he was invited to present a concert with his flamenco sextet at the prestigious Córdoba Guitar Festival in Córdoba, Spain.

Ali Paris

Ali Paris (Qanun/Vocals) captivates audiences worldwide with his unique fusion of Middle Eastern and Western music styles highlighted by both technical virtuosity and emotional expression. Ali’s music education began at the age of 5 in his native countries of Morocco and Palestine, studying Arabic traditional music with master Simon Shaheen. He quickly became known as a child prodigy, performing great concert halls by age 9 and touring internationally by the age of 11. Since then he has received multiple international awards and has expanded his musical career exponentially, relocating to the United States to earn his degree at Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music. He has collaborated with a long list of world-renowned artists such as Alicia Keys, Quincy Jones, Paco De Lucia and Bobby McFerrin. His solo performances have reached diverse audiences from the Newport and Istanbul Jazz Festivals to the White House and the Royal Palace in Jordan. He has appeared as a soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Michigan Philharmonic and is featured in the renowned Grammy-winning Spanish documentary Entre2aguas.

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José Cortés

José Cortés (Vocalist - Cantaor) hails from a renowned Spanish gypsy Flamenco family. His singing career began at age 10 in Jerez de la Frontera where he won first place in the Youth Competition of Flamenco Singers. In his formative years, he was deeply influenced by his mentor, the great Flamenco singer, Camarón de la Isla. José has been performing and touring internationally for 30 years and has performed in prestigious international Flamenco festivals like Nimes and Mont de Marsan, and with many of the world’s most accomplished Flamenco artists. José has twice been nominated for an Isadora Duncan Dance Award for musical excellence in dance accompaniment.

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Faisal Zedan

Faisal Zedan (Percussion), born in Beirut, Lebanon and raised in Oum Dbaib, Syria, grew up impassioned with the Derbakki drum. At 15, he embarked on a journey of learning through exposure to a wide repertoire of Arabic classical and contemporary music. A great love for the drumming and years of practice resulted in a mastery of Arabic percussion instruments. Arriving in California in 1992, Faisal met UCLA's noted ethnomusicology professor Dr. Ali Jihad Racy and, at his invitation, joined the acclaimed UCLA Near East Music Ensemble. This was the beginning of an international musical career dedicated to the transformative power of rhythm. Faisal is currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area, and works regularly as a performer, collaborator and teacher.