The production FELLAH MENGUS is a musical dialogue that not only brings East and West together, but also builds a cultural bridge between contemporary worldmusic and the
traditional Flamenco culture from Spain. The renowned music ensemble OLLA VOGALA
guarantees, as always, an original and diverse cultural cross-pollination of the highest level.The term “Fellah Mengus” = “traveling or nomadic farmer” is the most popular hypothesis in Spain when it comes to the history of the word “Flamenco”. It is the old-Arabic expression for a wanderer who became sedentary over time. Gradually this word has been corrupted into “Flamenco”. And it is Arte Flamenco that is flourishing like never before and in the meantime has conquered the whole world ... and continues to wander around. After years of musical rambles, OLLA VOGALA got in touch with a number of fantastic Flamenco musicians (singer Carmen Fernández, dancer Inés García and guitarist Alexander Gavilan), thanks to a production called “EXODUS”.
This was a special experience for everyone and they decided to join forces for a new project. “FELLAH MENGUS” is the result. Is it pure Flamenco? Is it Jazz? World music? With the nomadic spirit of OLLA VOGALA it can go in every direction. But it is certainly a wonderful meeting between genres and cultures. And OLLA VOGALA has a solid reputation when it comes to respectfully and carefully dealing with other musical cultures.We bring new compositions based on old flamencostyles, improvisations between horns and flamenco dance, with on top the characteristic gipsy voice of singer Carmen Fernandez. A gitana that sings the fate of her beautiful people. Nomads and sedentary citizens.The link with Sephardic music is never far. And thanks to two wonderful musicians such as Elias Bachoura and Shalan Alhamwy (Syria), the Arabic input also takes shape.
Wouter Vandenabeele: violin, artistic direction, compositions
Alexander Gavilan: Flamenco guitar, compositions
Elias Bachoura: lute
Liesbeth Lambrecht : violin
Shalan Alhamwy: violin
Inès Garcia: Flamenco dance
Carmen Fernandez: vocals
Jasmijn Lootens : cello
Marc De Maeseneer: baritone sax
Frederik Heirman: trombone
Ruven Ruppik : percussion
Joris Vanvinckenroye: double bass
Jean-Philippe Poncin : clarinet
Flamenco guitarist Alexander Gavilán combines an orthodox technique with modern, mostly personal compositions. His playing is intense and virtuoso. Alexander Gavilán studied
Flamenco guitar at Codarts Rotterdam with Paco Peña.Since 2005, he has combined his concerts with an
appointment as a Flamenco guitar teacher at Codarts Rotterdam. He has performed in: Philharmonie Krakow Poland, BRUSELAS FLAMENCO Festival, the Flamenco Festivals of Düsseldorf and Freiburg Germany, Concertgebouw
Amsterdam, IMA Paris, Festival of Music of the 21st century in Evora Portugal, Guitar Festival Balatonfüred Hungary and Festival Iberica Czech Republic.
is a Belgian violinist, composer and
arranger. He founded the world orchestra Olla Vogala, which under his leadership conquered a unique place in the music scene. As the artistic leader of the groups Transpiradansa !, GFVP and Liqa, he once again tells his own story where he never excludes encounters with other cultures and genres.
Other notable projects he completed include the prestigious Hadzidakis project (opener of the 2004 Athens Olympics).