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Feel the heat of fiery flamenco

By ELIZABETH SHEPHERD
Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber Staff
November 13, 2013 · 1:15 PM
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Two internationally revered flamenco performers, Ben Woods, on guitar, and Stephanie Pedraza, will perform in a Vashon Allied Arts show on Saturday. / Courtesy Photo

The flamboyant art of flamenco will be on display this weekend, when Vashon Allied Arts brings guitarist Ben Woods and dancer Stephanie Pedraza to town to perform.

Woods and Pedraza are both vibrant performers who bring a lifetime of experience to their art form — a music and dance experience filled with percussive sounds, intricate guitar work and passionate emotion.

Pedraza, from Vancouver, B.C., is a triple threat talent as a dancer, songwriter and singer of traditional flamenco music.

Born to a Latin American family, she moved to Colombia at an early age and has been immersed in the Latin roots of song and dance ever since.

Her original compositions reflect her heritage with a blend of traditional Latin rhythms, pop, jazz and English and Spanish lyrics.

She has toured extensively and taught workshops in Canada and internationally, in countries including Mexico, Spain, Colombia, Guatemala and the United States.

Woods, who was born in Seattle, is considered an innovative, virtuoso player.

His journey as a musician began as a player of heavy metal music who only switched to flamenco when his electric guitar was stolen.

Although known for his muscular and nuanced traditional flamenco playing, he’s also created two fusion flamenco/metal bands, Flametal and Heavy Mellow.

He’s also performed with a long list of revered rock musicians and has released 13 albums on his own, two of which have been licensed and sold widely at Costco stores.

Concert organizers promise a performance perfect for lovers of flamenco and Latin American dance, full of fervent song and dance, with musical surprises thrown in for good measure.

 


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