Siempre Flamenco is a not-for-profit arts organization founded by Paco and Celia Fonta, dedicated to promoting awareness of flamenco music and dance and to preserve its art and traditions.
Paco Fonta is an internationally recognized as a foremost flamenco guitarist, singer, and composer. Born in a small town near Jaen in the Andalusia region of southern Spain, Paco performed professionally in Madrid before touring Europe with the Kurt Savoy Trio. His guitar can be heard on Gloria Estefans hit record “Cuts Both Ways”, Olga Tañon’s “Tu Amor” and many other recordings with Latin artists.
His wife, Flamenco dancer Celia Fonta, is a native of Chicago, where she first studied flamenco guitar before beginning her career in dance. She began her studies of Flamenco, Spanish Classical and Folkloric dance in Madrid with world famous teachers Ciro, La Tati, Paco Romero and Azorin.
Together, Paco and Celia have toured the United States with the Boston Flamenco Ballet. In 1986 Celia and Paco came to Miami to work at the Famous Cacharrito’s Place and since have made Miami their homes. They started Siempre Flamenco back in 2002 and haven’t looked back.
I photographed them at the Miami Beach Bandshell back in July and they contracted me to shoot their show at the Arsht Center in Miami, one of the largest performing arts centers in the United States. The Center opened as the Carnival Center on October 5, 2006 and on January 10, 2008, philanthropist and business leader Adrienne Arsht donated $30 million to the facility to make it financially stable. The former Carnival Center for the Performing Arts was renamed “The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County”.
The Arsht Center was designed by Argentine-American architect César Pelli (October 12, 1926 – July 19, 2019), one of the most influential American architects. Pelli designed some of the world’s tallest buildings and other major urban landmarks. Two of his most notable buildings are the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur and the World Financial Center in New York City.
Over the years, the Arsht Center has spurred more than $1 billion in economic impact in the neighborhood and was the site of the first Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign. It is also home to the Florida Grand Opera, Miami City Ballet and New World Symphony. It is here that I was fortunate enough to get a first row view of Siempre Flamenco’s “Festival de Cante”. Enjoy the photographs…