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Image courtesy of Charity Lynne Burggraaf

Passion.  It’s what drives us.  For some of us, it drives us nuts.  Others spend a lot of time looking for it.  But like most, I think I fall someplace in the middle.

Some time ago, before moving to Vashon Island and starting the farm, flamenco was my passion.  I took every flamenco dance class I could find in Seattle, then eventually packed up my life and moved to Madrid for six months.  Dance classes by day, performances by night; flamenco was everything.  But frankly, almost anything can be everything for six months.

Concurrently and far beyond, a guitarist named Ben Woods was also passionate about flamenco.  We met in the 90s, both relatively new to the art form and scene, and with four others, started a performing group, La Vida.  (Someone eventually tipped us off that in Spain, “La Vida” was essentially slang for “The World’s Oldest Profession”, which didn’t bother us tremendously.)  Three dancers, two guitarists and a percussionist, we performed in a handful of restaurants, cafes and bars around Seattle.  We experimented with choreography and musical arrangement, and it was a blast.  Ben’s first musical love was heavy metal, and even while still new to flamenco, he was breathtakingly talented.  Light-hearted and fun to be around, Ben was also dead serious about his future as a musician.  And his passion for flamenco ran rivers around my stream.

I went to Spain.  I came back.  By then I knew flamenco was not so all-encompassing for me.  I also understood that only the truly driven, those that are consumed –it is not a matter of choice—by their passion, are the real artists, the real geniuses of their craft.  Ben Woods is such an artist, and lives this depth of passion.  From a distance I have enjoyed watching the trajectory of his career; making CDs, performing with many other critically acclaimed flamenco artists all over the world.  It makes me smile to remember the La Vida days, and to see him live his passion.

This Saturday, Ben and his girlfriend Arlene Hurtado will perform their Gypsy Tears show at the Blue Heron on Vashon Island.  In support of their show, we will be serving a tapas menu at La Boucherie all weekend, in addition to our Prix Fixe menu.  Many of our friends and customers appreciate passion.   For a taste of the ‘real deal’, I cannot recommend Gypsy Tears enough.   Tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets.

Olé!

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