PLPA Concert Season Concludes June 11th

by Dave Cunningham, Staff Writer

You have just one more opportunity to see a live concert at the Bay Club in 2022. On the evening of Saturday, June 11, Barrio Manouche will take the stage at 7 p.m. for the fifth and final performance of Port Ludlow Performing Arts’ (PLPA) 2021-22 season.

Barrio Manouche isn’t a person: that’s the name of the band, which, when you translate the Spanish and French, means “gypsy neighborhood.” The performers hail from many different countries and specialize in flamenco, gypsy and jazz guitar.

If we had to choose just one adjective to describe the music of Barrio Manouche, it would be “high-energy.” You will not be nodding off during this show.

The San Francisco-based acoustic ensemble performs a repertoire of original, mostly instrumental compositions, with an emotionally charged sound that is difficult to clas- sify, yet instantly recognizable. The group’s international roots shine in its music, with members from Spain, Canada, France, Brazil and California, deeply influenced by a wide range of musical traditions.

The world-traveling band will be arriving in Port Ludlow after a performance in Barcelona, and they will be playing music from their latest album release, Despierta (which means “wake up” in Spanish.)

A writer for the Berkeleyside newspaper in California described the band thus: “The group is honing a singular body of music that combines the instrumentation and signature rhythms of … the enduringly popular, propulsive string-band style created in 1930s Paris by Sinti guitarist Django Reinhardt and French violinist Stephan Grappelli.”

Barrio Manouche was imagined and then created by guitarist and singer Javi Jiménez, and the band members include Alex Zelnick (guitar), Luis Jiménez (cajón and percussion), Gary Johnson (bass), Cyril Guiraud (saxo- phones and caxixi), Magali Sanscartier (violin, vocals and percussion), Fanny Ara (dance, palmas, castanets and vocals) and Emaye Ama Mizani (dance and percussion).

The band’s unique sound contains hints of the swing of Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet to the hot jazz of Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli, the gypsy soul of eastern Europe, the nuevo flamenco of Paco de Lucía and Camarón de la Isla, to the avant-garde sounds of Miles Davis, Ornate Coleman and John Coltrane.

Tickets ($30 each) are available online at Barrio Manouche Tickets and also will be available at the door if any seats still remain. Doors open at 6:30 pm