38th Festival Internacional de Musica de Canarias

previewed by Norman Warwick

At the time I sat down to write this article I was feeling pretty downhearted at what seemed to be dearth of arts events scheduled here on Lanzarote. At the time i started to write I put that down to fear of rising covid cases and the usual slight scaling down of events after the Christmas fests of December. I would need a Christmas Miracle to placate Margaret, especially, and Iain, friends of ours known to these pages, who had decided atthe very last minute to Christmas over here to avoid lockdowns in the UK. Margaret loves to jump and jive and rock and roll and close her eyes and sway to the classical. What on earth would she think when reading what I was about to write? Perhaps, just perhaps a Christmas Miracle would happen even whilst i wrote

Whatever the reasons were, they provided scant consolation as I read enviously of all the events Rob Adams was drooling over as he described Jazz In January in the UK. Where Rob finds the time to do all this promotional work whilst also working so hard in the jazz media I´ll never know. His press releases and listings for Music That´s Going Places always arrive promptly, giving us enough lead time to squeeze them on to our pages and are always delivered in precise and accurate text and accompanied by relevant photographs. Heppy New year, Rob. Keep ém coming please.

2021 was a fantastic year for saxophonist Matt Carmichael (left) . Not only did Matt release his first album, Where Will the River Flow, to great responses across the world, but the internationally revered WDR Big Band have commissioned the marvellous saxophonist-arranger Bob Mintzer, of Yellowjackets, to arrange the album with Matt as guest soloist. This will be performed in Cologne on March 19.

Before that, Matt features with his quintet in a Celtic Connections double bill with violinist-broadcaster Seonaid Aitken’s Chasing Sakura project at the Mackintosh Church on Saturday January 29. Matt’s quintet comprises the group that recorded Where Will the River Flow (Fergus McCreadie – piano, Ali Watson – bass, and Tom Potter – drums) with the outstanding Scottish fiddler Charlie Stewart added.

Pianist Fergus McCreadie’s trio also had a great year in 2021, with their second album, Cairn featuring in numerous highlights-of-the-year lists internationally.

A new album is due in March and the trio kicks off 2022 with a short tour of the Netherlands before returning to play at Celtic Connections on Sunday January 30

They feature in a double bill with our old friend, the brilliant Carnatic violinist Jyotsna Srikanth’s duo with cellist Justyna Jablonska. In case you need reminding, here’s a video Fergus, David and Stephen recorded to promote Cairn.

Please note that Celtic Connections will be making an announcement about the festival, including these two concerts, in the next few days.

The Jazz at St James series of Saturday concerts is scheduled to recommence on February 12 with a solo saxophone concert by Tommy Smith (left). Those who caught Tommy’s appearance in the intimate surroundings of St James when the series began will remember a great night of melodic exploration, complete saxophone mastery and that beautifully judged tenor tone. We’ve had to rearrange this concert several times and we’re hoping this time we can go ahead. Tommy played a number of solo concerts in cathedrals, abbeys and churches during 2021 and these were among the musical highlights of the year.

Sidetracks and Detours had also learned from Jazz In Reading about a fantastic gig scheduled for that part of the country in January. Friday 28 Jan 2022 Progress Theatre, Reading | 7: 30pm | £18.00 (£16.00 concessions) plus maximum 5% booking fee.

Vasilis has played as sidesman for Jazz In Reading with bands at Progress, but this is the first time as leader. He always gets a great reception and the band he has put together is guaranteed to get an enthusiastic response from the audience.

His “Dexterity” album is an exciting project that celebrates the music and spirit of the legendary American saxophonist Dexter Gordon and features some of his less known original compositions. The line up tonight includes; Quentin Collins on trumpet, Ross Stanley on piano keyboard, featured with Vasilis in the album line-up, plus Simon Thorpe on bass, Matt Fishwick on drums.

Progress Theatre
http://www.progresstheatre.co.uk | The Mount, Off Christchurch Road, Reading RG1 5HL

A feeling of failure therefore settled in my stomach. As I read the message from our friends Margaret and Iain reminding us that they had returned to Lanzarote just before Christmas to avoid the misery of cultural closures in the UK brought about by covid, only to find no concerts were being advertised for the coming weeks here, I realised I had nothing to offer. The shelf in the cupboard labelled ´Forthcoming Lanzarote Arts Events´ was, indeed, bare,….

Hark, though,  was that a ping in my e mail in-coming,….it was. I need not have been so worried. Here e mails came pouring in two by two; one from Migeul Ferre at The Cabildo and another from the committee at the Classical Musical Festival !And it is an e mail from the committee of the Internacional Festival de Musica de Canarias and so I can share today´s posts with Margaret safe in the knowledge that even as you read this, she and Iain are swearing at their computer whilst trying to snaffle up all the tickets they need to celebrate with us the always wonderful sounds of The Annual Canary Islands´ Classical Music Festival. This delivers to each of our eight island´s live classical music played by world-class musicians from all around the world.

Deputy Minister of Culture of the Canary Islands Government, Juan Márquez, and the director of the Canary Islands Music Festival, Jorge Perdigón, (see our cover and top photo) have announced the programme of the Festival that returns to its traditional pre-covid dates. since it will be held from January 13 to February 16, 2022.

Regarding the Festival’s programming, the high level of the symphony orchestras that will meet in the Canary Islands stands out, as well as the number of great figures of current classical music. Specifically, lovers of classical music will be able to see and hear world-class musicians such as  Grigory Sokolov (piano), Steven Isserlis (cello), Sergej Krylov (violin), Beatrice Rana (piano), Arabella Steinbacher (violin), Anastasia Makhamendrikova (piano), Javier Camarena (tenor), Philippe Jaroussky (countertenor) or Manuel Gómez Ruiz (tenor), all int eh space of one month.

These names will also include legendary Canary Islands violinist, Anne-Sophie Mutter, who will be playing in a trio format according to a Canarian Executive in a press release.

Great symphonic orchestras will visit the archipelago this month to particiuapte in the festival. These will include London Philharmonia Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony, Luxembourg Philharmonic, Tenerife Symphony, Gran Canaria Philharmonic, Paris Chamber Orchestra, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra and Russian State Symphony ‘Evgeny Svetlanov’. Among the directors will beSanttu-Matias Rouvali, Jordi Savall, Vassily Petrenko, Philippe Herreweghe, Gustavo Gimeno, Antonio Méndez, Michael Boder and Karel Mark Chichon.

The Canary Islands Music Festival (Festival de Musica de Canarias) is held once a year since 1985, from mid January till start March. The Canary Islands are group of islands in the Atlantic Ocean located off the north-western coast of mainland Africa, Morocco and the Western Sahara.

This classic music festival introduces the best conductors and soloists from all over the world. The festival’s program, venue, line-up information show time / schedule of events etc. is present in the festival’s link website at


As soon as the press release was transmitted we hit the phone to Iain and Margaret, and the buy button on screen to purchase tickets for all the concerts (if we could). Sadly, there was one we couldn´t obtain tickets for, but we have all reserved tickets (covid and OMGOnicron permitting) to hear six concert as detailed below.

Manuel Gomez Ruiz

Thursday 13th January 2022.

38th Festival International Music Canary Islands

Trio Arbos and Manuel Gomez Ruiz

Teatro San Bartolme

We have also managed to reserve seats for

Tuesday 18th January 2022

‘Skin With Skin’ by the company Pieles

Santo Domingo Convent, Teguise

Friday 21st January

Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra 

El Salinero Theatre, Arrecife

We also have tickets for the following week

Friday 28th January

Abraham Cupeiro and Las Palmas Symphony Orchestra ‘Forgotten sounds’

El Salinero Teatro Arrecife

We move from the plash theatre to the underground caves for a concert on the following evening of

Saturday 29th January 2022

Paris Chamber Orchestra

Jameos del Agua

NO SEATS LEFT was screamed out at us from our computer screens as we tried to book tickets for what is obviously the most in-demand of the Festival concerts, scheduled for

Sunday 30th January 2022

Vivaldi es Gloria

Convent of Santo Domingo, Arrecife

Whether writing reviews for Miguel´s Lanzarote Information or for my own daily blog at Sidetracks And Detours we always pay for our tickets and we never would resort to asking for free press passes from any auditoriums.. It was very sad, though, to find we were tool late, and Iain, especially, was disappointed, and the promo blurb below certainly made it sound very exciting.

Juan de la Rubia, director of the Tenerife Baroque Orchestra Camerata Lacunensis, Beatriz Ramos, soprano Celia Martín, soprano and Víctor Ramírez, countertenor  will deliver ‘Vivaldi is Gloria’ as a celebration of the Venetian genius of the Baroque. It is a tour that runs through the islands with masterpieces that will take us back to the 17th-18th centuries. It will be led by an exceptional artistic team under the direction of Juan de la Rubia and with the Orquesta Barroca de Tenerife (OBdT) and the Camerata Lacunensis. With a five-year history, the OBdT is one of the islands with the greatest projection of early music ensembles, heir to the formidable degree of maturity acquired by Spanish early music and emerged as a consequence of the rise and quality of historicist groups. The Camerata Lacunensis, one of the most successful choirs on the islands, founded in 1993 and conducted for 20 years by José Herrero. With a great commitment to the history of vocal music, his versatility allows him to brilliantly tackle performances from the 16th century to the present day. These concerts will feature the solo voices of the sopranos Beatriz Ramos and Celia Martín and the countertenor Víctor Ramírez. Program: A. Vivaldi: – Concerto for oboe and violin, in B flat major RV548 – Double Concerto for violin and continuous, for the Santissima Azzuzione di Maria Vergine, in D minor RV 582 – Glory in D major RV589 These concerts will feature the solo voices of the sopranos Beatriz Ramos and Celia Martín and the countertenor Víctor Ramírez. Program: A. Vivaldi: – Concerto for oboe and violin, in B flat major RV548 – Double Concerto for violin and continuous, for the Santissima Azzuzione di Maria Vergine, in D minor RV 582 – Glory in D major RV589 These concerts will feature the solo voices of the sopranos Beatriz Ramos and Celia Martín and the countertenor Víctor Ramírez. Program: A. Vivaldi: – Concerto for oboe and violin, in B flat major RV548 – Double Concerto for violin and continuous, for the Santissima Azzuzione di Maria Vergine, in D minor RV 582 – Glory in D major RV589.

So we would love to hear from any readers who did manage to acquire tickets. Simply send your review to me at

normanwarwick55@gmail.com as a Word document attachment and we will fully attribute if and when published. Feel free to include a photo of yourself and a brief bio if you wish and we will try to include that, too.

We look forward to hearing from readers and sharing your reviews.

We will have to wait a week or two, then, for our next concert on

Thursday 10th February

Jordi Savall and the Orchestra Le Concert des Nations 

Jameos del Agua

So, we and our friends have all now got tickets for the same six world class concerts all within 30 kilometers of home for a total price of less than 125 euros per person, Of course, there will be petrol costs and meals and maybe even a couple of nights hotel accommodation rates should we decide to stay overnight for a gig but it, honestly, feels like we are putting more into our diaries than we are taking out of our banks !

Margaret is happier now, though she has noted that Lanzarote has just moved into a slightly deeper level 2 pandemic protocol but at this stage it looks like it could all go ahead at these gigs.

So, too, should the Flamenco Festival (left)we have all booked to see. We preview this concert on our pages elsewhere in our archives and of course we will deliver all the reviews we can over the coming weeks.

Somehow I feel sure Margaret will make her way down to the ´loyal friends and front row dancers´ at The Flamenco gig  and will hitch her skirt, stamp her feet and click her castanets and call out ´Let the music play´.

There might even be a bonus we can offer her, as we have just heard from my friend and neighbour Burkhart Bensmann about an exhibition he and his wife Anja have been to see in Arrecife.

THE ARTISAN LOOK by Javier Reyes (right) is showing until January 2022 and is ´a sample of rural photography from Lanzarote and La Graciosa from the middle of the last century.´The images can be admired for free at La Casa Amrilla, the former seat of the Cabildo de Lanzarote located at the beginning of Calle Real.

Between the 1940s and 1970s, Javier Reyes (Haría, 1926) alternated various trades with the professional practice of photography in the small towns in the north of the island of Lanzarote and on the islets of the Chinijo Archipelago.

Far from artistic pretensions and technical virtuosity, Reyes started from a committed artisan conception of the trade and an innate visual ability to compose an archive that today stands out for the veracity and humanity that his photographs demonstrate.

Lanzarote had, in that time, serious difficulties in supporting a small population that was always aware of cyclical and dramatic droughts. The island continued to be a land of emigrants, with a strong chieftaincy, a high level of illiteracy and archaic communications with the outside world, while the majority of the population survived with a modest survival economy based on primary sectors and certain traditional activities.

In his work Javier Reyes radiographed the humble ways of life of a peasant and seafaring society that, after centuries of stillness, was about to disappear with the arrival of tourism. His collection not only not only portrays broad sectors of the population habitually ignored by official and artistic photography of the time, but also intends to do so. The point of view of this exhibition comes from the very heart of that world.

Javier Reyes Acuña (left) not only worked in Lanzarote, but he was also the first photographer who began to visit the small island of La Graciosa on a regular basis, which until then had only seen occasional visits from image professionals. As in Lanzarote, Reyes covered portraits, weddings, baptisms and all kinds of commissions, but also captured its inhabitants during their arduous housework, working in fishing, and interacting at religious events and festivities …

Along with the activity carried out in his modest studio, Javier Reyes also took his camera to meetings and social events of all kinds, photographing the rites and leisure moments of the society that surrounded him.

In addition, Reyes found a small source of income in the portraits he took of friends, families or couples during popular festivals and dances. This variant of his work shows a delicate universe of lovers and revelers, waiters and musicians, eager suitors and vigilant mothers, entertaining children and lonely night owls …

But above all, these photographs show the extraordinary intuition of Reyes to capture eloquent moments full of spontaneity and naturalness. 

Reyes took commissions for weddings, baptisms or other events, but above all, portraits, a genre that grew considerably due to the imposition of the identity card as a mandatory document. In addition to the studio portraits, Reyes organized long sessions on weekends in the populated areas of the centre and north of the island, as well as La Graciosa.

Self-taught, Javier Reyes (Haría, 1926) began to take professional photographs almost by popular request, since many residents of Haría saw it as an advantage to have a photographer in town to avoid having to travel to the island’s capital of Reef (Arrecife). Reyes set up a modest studio in the family home, ingeniously overcoming the lack of resources: he used the interior patio and its curtains to regulate the light in the portrait room and had to set up his own generator set to avoid frequent power outages.

Photography was a complement since he also worked as an administrative worker in the Haría City Council and also sold stationery supplies and later household appliances in the family studio. All these activities ceased in 1972 when Javier Reyes began working for a bank. In recent decades, his work has been recovered and the Cabildo de Lanzarote has digitized and analyzed his entire archive for the first time. This exhibition is curated by Mario Ferrer and is free to the public, organised by The Cabildo de Lanzarote and can be found at the beautiful Yellow House in Arrecife until January.

We thank Burkhart (right) for the information and will certainly try to visit the exhibition before it closes. Meanwhile we encourage you to check

https://ld21.de/ for details of his range of services.

We can also tell Iain and Margaret and all our other readers that this year, 2022, the 3D tour of The Lanzarote Art Gallery will become fully operational and enable you to view the work of artists of  national and international level.

´Collecting has a lot of heart´, says owner Eduardo Farina, ´of an instinct that leads you to take care of your collection, to want to complete it, to make it grow within your possibilities.

The patronage and economic commitment of collectors in our country is a little known and less socially recognized reality. Their motivations, their difficulties are part of the paradoxical situation of small and large benefactors and philanthropists today in Spain. The 3D samples allow us to know works by national and international artists and enable us to enjoy them for a short time. These works may well become part of your next collection, which can be visited in the Virtual 3D Gallery of Lanzarote Art Gallery´.

Whether you virtually visit, or arrive there in the flesh, The Lanzarote Art Gallery, which has featured on these pages in the past, always rewards a viewing.

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