Gareth Owen Flamenco Guitar
Gareth Owen blends the traditions of Flamenco guitar with his own aggressively passionate style. A talented young guitarist, from Canada's West Coast, he is one of the privileged few North Americans born into the world of Flamenco. As the son of top Flamenco guitarist Harry Owen and dancer Veronica Maguire, Gareth plays with the instinct and raw intensity that comes from truly having the music in his blood and bone. From an early age he has been immersed in the rhythms of Flamenco, performing professionally alongside his family and the Alma de España Flamenco Dance Company. In 2001, at the age of 12, Gareth participated in the CD recording of Alma de España's "Flamenco Live" at Victoria's McPherson Playhouse Theatre. Now, 8 years later, Gareth is once again recording with his parents, but this time as a soloist in what he hopes will be the first of many albums. His talent, technical ability and the way he draws the music from his very soul has earned acclaim at the Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival, the Victoria Conservatory Festival of Music Summer Guitar Academy and his first sold out solo concert in 2006. Gareth has performed throughout British Columbia, including touring of the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island and he is currently extending himself to reach a greater audience. He has participated in concerts presented by the Arts Council in the Queen Charlotte Islands, the University Theatre in Calgary and the 2008 Toronto International Flamenco Festival. With Alma de España he has performed at the 2009 Vancouver International Flamenco Festival and the 2009 Dawson City Music Festival. His first solo CD album was recorded live in 2008, in concert at the Alix Goolden Performance Hall in Victoria, B.C. Gareth traveled to Spain for the second time in 2007. Living in Jerez de la Frontera, the heartland of Flamenco, gave him the opportunity to study and absorb the Spanish culture and traditions. There he played for many of the local singers and dancers at Peña Los Cernicalos and furthered his studies with guitarists Jesus Alvarez and the legendary Niño Jero. Today, at age 21, Gareth draws on the inspiration of many of today's great Flamenco guitarists. His playing falls between the open, intuitive sounds of Niño Jero and the modern syncopations of Diego Morao. Through mastering the arrangements of Moraíto, and emulating the tone of Diego Amaya, Gareth creates a style that is all his own. Since returning home to Victoria, on Vancouver Island, Gareth has been busy performing and putting in hours of practice every day. Although Gareth's playing can be experimental, with a great deal of contemporary sound and modern style, he maintains the essential spirit and traditions of pure Flamenco. Gareth is constantly pushing himself to the very edge of his music and within the Compás (Flamenco rhythm) redefining that edge.