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LA RUYA feat. Melissa Cruz plus special guests
February 06, 2013
Near-East Flamenco meets Latin Jazz
Wednesday, Feb 6
- 8pm $10 adv, $15 door
Andalusia meeting the Black Sea, Arabic and Turkish maqam meeting the modes, movement and tonalities of flamenco, all underpinned with a latin jazz pulse – this is La Ruya, something new and unexpected in the universe of world fusion.
The project initially formed as a collaboration between local rock drummer Sam Foster and renown Flamenco dancer and instructor Melissa Cruz, who first met through their shared love of Heavy Metal. At that time the rock drummer was also studying Turkish and Arabic darbuka (or ‘gourd drum’) with some of the Bay Area’s best percussionists. Through Melissa he discovered San Francisco’s vibrant and thriving Flamenco scene, and so the idea for the band took shape. But it wasn't until oud and guitar met that the project was actually born. Oudist Gary Haggerty brings his deep understanding of oud, saz and other eastern stringed instruments to the native and innate flamenco playing of David Paez.
While distinct voices, the songs of both oud and flamenco guitar share many root characteristics – in tonality, hypnotic phrasing and their complex relation to the improvised movements of the dance, which itself conducts their melodic voice. And so La Ruya is fortunate to have Rebecca Kleinmann on flute to help interpret this challenging and complex melodic role of voice - as deep in jazz as it is in flamenco. Beneath this tapestry of sound the solid percussion duo of Sam Foster and Istanbul native Murat Bayhan act as a solid core, weaving the sonic fabric together.
But the mood La Ruya strives to evoke would be incomplete without the dance, and to this end it's the artistry of dancer Melissa Cruz that truly bring the music to vivid life. It’s the dance that makes each song a narrative, ostensibly transforming the perspectives of performer and audience alike from the commonplace to one closer to a lucid state... La Ruya expresses a purity – not of style but of intent. A purity of intent aimed at a synthesis, creating new pathways to sound and expression, pathways they are delighted to share with you on their return to San Francisco’s venerable Jazz club.