MALAGA, Spain "“ February 8, 2006 "“ One of Andalusia's most historic cities just announced a greatly expanded program of flamenco activities for 2006. MÃ¡laga en Flamenco ("MÃ¡laga: All about Flamenco") will feature over 100 festivals, concerts, performances, recitals, flamenco courses and other events in towns and villages in and around MÃ¡laga. Visitors to the Costa del Sol area will see authentic flamenco "“ including the malagueÃ±a, the free form flamenco style that originated here "“ performed in the province's theatres and peÃ±as, traditionally the private clubs for local aficionados. From now through December visitors can enjoy:
"¢ "We'll See You in Your PeÃ±a" series "“ Up to 40 flamenco performances and concerts in flamenco peÃ±as throughout the province from January 14 to April 22 and from September 16 to December 16 with 40 singers, guitarists and dancers
"¢ "MÃ¡laga Sings Flamenco" "“ In March, 40 concerts and the Festival of MÃ¡laga Flamenco Songs will take place at the Teatro Cervantes
"¢ "Flamenco Wednesdays" "“ Ten shows featuring a guitar concert, a recital of flamenco songs and a flamenco demonstration on five Wednesdays in May, the last Wednesday in September and four in October
"¢ "Flamenco and Literature" "“ On four Mondays during June, flamenco singing and lectures at four different venues
"¢ "Celebrating Flamenco Singing in MalagueÃ±as" "“ A festival will be held at the Teatro Cervantes in Ãlora (date to be announced)
"¢ Advanced courses for flamenco singers by the award-winning cantaor Fosforito
"¢ Tributes to malagueÃ±o artists including the "dean" of Malaga's flamenco singers Antonio de Canillas and NiÃ±o de VÃ©lez, the creator of the malagueÃ±a upon the 100th anniversary of his birth
"¢ Twenty records with 16 hours of songs will be issued in 2006
"We want to highlight Malaga's important role in the development of flamenco. This intermingling of three ancient cultures is one of the hallmarks of Andalusian tradition," said Ana Gomez, General Director of Tourism for Andalusia. "This ambitious program will also pay tribute to the malagueÃ±o artists who are dedicated to preserving this art form at the highest level," she explained.
Flamenco was born in this region of southern Spain some five hundred years ago
when the traditional melodies of the Gypsies "“ influenced by the sounds of ancient India "“ were combined with Arab and Jewish music. Every year other cities in the region celebrate their flamenco heritage in festivals such as: the 10th Festival of Jerez (February 24-March 11), Granada's International Festival of Music and Dance (June 23-July 9), Cordoba's International Guitar Festival (July 1-14), CÃ¡diz Flamenco Summer Festival (July-August) and the 14th Biennial de Flamenco in Seville (September 13-October 15).
A thriving cruise ship port, Andalusia's second largest city is also the birthplace of Pablo Picasso and home to one of Spain's Picasso Museums. In 2006 MÃ¡laga is commemorating the 125th anniversary of the artist's birth with three exhibitions "“ including works never before exhibited in Spain "“ and a series of special lectures, workshops, courses and activities for children and families. Spread out over the top of the city, the immense Alcazaba was built between the 8th and 11th centuries. The Archaeological Museum contains Phoenician, Roman and Moorish artifacts while the Museo de Bellas Artes has paintings by Murillo, Ribera and ZurbarÃ¡n. Wild eagles soar over the nearby Parque Natural de los Montes de MÃ¡laga where hikers can choose from a number of marked trails.
Four tour operators are offering packages to Andalusia: Central Holidays www.centralholidays.com/andalucia (866) 521-4180; Spanish Heritage Tours www.shtours.com (800) 456-5050; Sun Holidays www.sunholidaytours.com (800) 422-8000 and Trafalgar Tours www.trafalgar.com (800) 854-0103. For a list of performances, artists and activities go to the new, very comprehensive website www.malagaenflamenco.com. For more information about the region of Andalusia contact: the Tourist Office of Spain at 212-265-8822 or www.spain.info or go to www.andalucia.org.
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