HONOLULU (Sept. 9, 2015) — FANDANGO, the most exciting new group on Chicago’s music scene, will open Hawaii Theatre Center’s 2015-2016 season at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015.
FANDANGO features four globe-trotting virtuosi—Eugenia Moliner, flute; Desirée Ruhstrat, violin; Denis Azabagic, guitar; and David Cunliffe, cello—who together create a spicy mix of Latin, Spanish, Sephardic, Balkan and classical sounds. The concert program includes “Winter” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Telemann’s Trio in E minor and Falla’s soulful Spanish Dance, as well as modern compositions, two of which are the result of Moliner’s and Azabagic’s discoveries of their shared Sephardic heritage.
While the artists have played separately and together in the world’s concert halls and festivals, their Hawaii concerts represent their world premiere performance collectively as FANDANGO. Moliner and Azabagic are a husband-and-wife team, who perform together as the celebrated Cavatina Duo. They joined forces with another married couple—Ruhstrat and Cunliffe, who are members of the acclaimed Lincoln Trio—to form FANDANGO.
The concert features two new works by American composers Alan Thomas and Carlos Rivera. Commissioned by Azabagic and Moliner, the works are based on Sephardic tunes and poetry. After years of playing together, Moliner and Azabagic recently discovered their common link to the Sephardic Jews who fled Spain in the late 15th century. In exploring that legacy, they unearthed a wealth of folk music.
“In 1996, after a five and a half-year brutal civil war in the former Yugoslavia, we were able to visit my new home country, Bosnia and Herzegovina,” explains Azabagic. “While visiting my relatives, I was astonished that my great aunt began speaking to my wife in Spanish, which my wife recognized as the Sephardic Spanish dialect known as Ladino.”
Azabagic and Moliner then learned that his great aunt was the descendant of Sephardic Jews who left Spain to escape the Inquisition at the end of the 15th century. After 250 years of preserving its heritage, the family converted from Judaism to Islam at the outset of the World War II, in order to survive persecution from the Nazis.
Subsequently, Moliner realized that her two surnames, Moliner and Ferrer, meaning Miller and Blacksmith, were names forced upon a Jewish branch of her family that converted to Christianity during the Inquisition in order to remain in Spain.
“We then found ourselves voraciously looking for Sephardic-related music from our native countries,” continues Azabagic. “The Sephardic music was there all along, waiting to inspire modern composers, musicians and audiences alike.”
Hawaii Theatre concertgoers can expect the musicians to speak to the audience, and to each other, during the concert and in-between the works.
“We like explaining what we are going to do,” explains Moliner. “We like to be relaxed. Many people try to keep this big distance between the performers and the public; you know, performers are in another world. I think you can do that, you can be in another world, another dimension, through your music, but you have to show your human side. I like to show the public my personality.”
COMING SOON TO HAWAII THEATRE CENTER
The Rough Riders
Friday, October 23, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.—Tickets start from $40.
Hawaii music icons and award-winning artists, Henry Kapono, John Cruz and Brother Noland—The Rough Riders—wrap up their 2015 “We Ride” Tour at Hawaii Theatre, bringing to the stage the well-honed craft and power of three inspiring songwriters, three distinctive voices and the perfect blending of guitars.
Friday, October 30, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. —Tickets start from $30.
With their high energy, Polynesian-rock fusion rhythms, Te Vaka has been hailed by critics as “one of the greatest South Pacific Bands of all time.” Consistently at the top of the World Music charts, this multi-talented group combines log drums with electric guitar, Polynesian dance, drum kit and bass, to create a unique, contemporary sound infused with powerful tribal rhythms from their roots in Samoa, Tokelau, Cook Islands and New Zealand.
- Tickets are on sale now at the Hawaii Theatre Box Office by calling 808-528-0506 during business hours,Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. , or www.hawaiitheatre.com.
- Please ask about available discounts for youth ages 4 to 17; students ages 18 and over; HTC members; seniors ages 62+; and military with identification.
- A $3 Theatre Restoration Fee is applied to all ticket sales at Hawaii Theatre.
- The Hawaii Theatre recognizes the special needs of some of our patrons. When ordering tickets, please make any special seating needs you have known to the representative assisting you with your order.
- The Hawaii Theatre is located at 1130 Bethel Street in downtown Honolulu.
- Schedule subject to change without notice. All sales are final. No refunds or exchanges.
About Hawaii Theatre Center
The Hawaii Theatre Center was established in 1984 as a private nonprofit organization to restore and operate the historic Hawaii Theatre as a multi-purpose performance facility for artistic, cultural, entertainment and educational events and to promote the redevelopment of the downtown Honolulu/Chinatown area. Opened on September 6, 1922 as the flagship of Consolidated Amusement Company, the 1,400-seat Hawaii Theatre is listed on both the State and National Registers of Historic Places. It reopened in 1996 after an extensive restoration and has been recognized by the League of Historic American Theatre as the 2005 Outstanding Historic Theatre in America. In 2006, Hawaii Theatre Center received a National Preservation Honor Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. To learn more, visit www.hawaiitheatre.com.
Hawaii Theatre Center extends its deepest thanks to Season Sponsor Starwood Hotels in Waikiki, which are The Royal Hawaiian, Sheraton Waikiki, Moana Surfrider, and Princess Kaiulani. Hawaii Theatre Center’s educational programming is supported in part by grants from ABC Stores, The Bretzlaff Foundation, Samuel N. and Mary Castle Foundation, Friends of Hawaii Charities, Macy’s, Matson and the McInerny Foundation. Programming is also supported in part by the City & County of Honolulu, Mahalo to all our supporters!