The essence of flamenco

New Zealand-born flamenco guitarist Paul Bosauder went searching for “something” and discovered flamenco guitar. Now internationally renowned, he talks with Lynda Papesch, ahead of his Christchurch performance later this month.

Paul Bosauder

Something beautiful that requires a lot of training is Paul’s description of his art. He’s talking flamenco guitar, a passion of his that he shares with a wide international audience.

Currently based with family in New Zealand, he’s sharing his favourite music genre via a series of small intimate concerts and lessons.
Not too long ago he was the one taking lessons. His family arrived from Lebanon, escaping a civil war, when he was a baby, and he grew up inspired by their creative musical vibe.

Guitar was his choice of instrument and it was while in Lebanon, working at a bar in Beirut, he first heard a gypsy from Spain playing flamenco music.

“I remember sitting back stage, listening to him warm up and I fell in love with it (flamenco) then and there.” Paul headed for Spain, bought a guitar and an instruction book, and started learning. “After nine months, I secured my first gig. I had no idea then that it would become my life,” he recalls.

Paul remained in Spain for 14 years, studying concert flamenco guitar at the Higher School of Music of Catalonia and graduating with the highest mark possible.

He now performs regularly with flamenco dance companies, recitals of flamenco cante (accompanying flamenco singing) and as a soloist.

While challenging, which is part of what attracted him to it, flamenco guitar is also very rewarding, he explains. “For me it‘s the feeling of flamenco; the combination of playing music in a community group, the harmony of the sound of flamenco guitar and blend of genres such as classic and Arabic harmonies. “The rhythm is electric, fast and with its own heartbeat; you have to be so precise and clear. Once mastered, it gives a complete sense of freedom.”

Normally Paul performs as part of a group, but circumstances have dictated he’s on his own this time, enabling him to perform and at the same time explain some of the nuances, the essence of flamenco in a more intimate setting.

“If I can help others understand [flamenco] that would be success for me. Something I can give back to New Zealand. I’d love to see flamenco grow here so if there are any interested musicians out there, just reach out to me through social media.”

When and where:

The Essence of Flamenco
Southern Ballet Theatre,
108 Carlyle Street, Sydenham
Sunday August 29
7pm to 8:35pm.
Tickets from Eventfinda.



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