Miguel Espinoza Flamenco Fusion | Living in a Daydream Review
By Illiam Sebitz
Miguel Espinoza Flamenco Fusion is a Denver, Colorado-based world fusion ensemble led by guitarist Miguel Espinoza. The core ensemble is Dianne Betkowski (cello, palmas, and vocals), Andy Skellenger (tabla, cajon, and vocals), and Randy Hoepker (bass) with guest musicians two-time GRAMMY winner Howard Levy (harmonica/piano); Mario Moreno (congas, timbales, and percussion); Linda Richardson (castanets); and Nabin Shrestha (tabla and vocals). Miguel Espinoza Flamenco Fusion is releasing Living in a Daydream, the ensemble’s third full-length album and follow-up to Veneta.
“Bubble” features Levy and Moreno as guest musicians and is a joyous excursion into the world of flamenco fusion. With a shifting harmonic figure, the composition methodically unfolds. Levy’s harmonica playing fits the ensemble sound perfectly. Betkowski’s fluidity over the entire fingerboard of the cello is stunning and lends to the ensemble’s versatility. The bridge is a beautiful flamenco excursion showcasing Espinoza’s versatility on the guitar. Finally, levy’s harmonic solo builds the energy to the closing figures, closing another outstanding adventure Miguel Espinoza Flamenco Fusion brought to us.
“Division” showcases a beautiful melody with Espinoza’s foundation flamenco grounding. Richardson’s castanets further promote the flamenco setting to enrich Espinoza’s harmonic structures. Betkowski’s performance is elegant and switches between playing leads and accompanying Espinoza. The counterpoint of the melody between the cello and guitar is very subtle but highly musical.
Living in a Daydream continues the diverse and musical catalog of the Miguel Espinoza Flamenco Fusion ensemble. Flamenco music’s passionate and romantic sound is always a beautiful listening experience. Still, Espinoza expands that to include many textures derived from North African rhythms, Celtic melodies, and structures and many Brazilian rhythms and influences to create powerful transformative, vibrant, and deeply emotive music.
Living in a Daydream
Release Date: April 22, 2022
About the author
Born and raised in a picturesque European village, my fondness for music began during my formative years, when the charismatic tones of the recorder first filled the halls of my primary school. This early fascination escalated into my lifelong pursuit of embracing the melodious charm of the flute; I have even spent time refining my skills at a music conservatoire. As a seasoned music connoisseur, I find myself captivated by the multifaceted world of music. I enjoy writing music reviews to better enable me to explore genres as diverse as world, rock, jazz, classical, folk, and film music, each offering a unique auditory journey that enriches my life and intellect.
In my spare moments, you'll likely find me meticulously crafting my latest woodworking project, sharpening my skills with flute etudes, or inventing tales of fantasy through the art of creative writing. My eclectic interests and expertise harmonize to create a symphony of passion and curiosity that resonates within every aspect of my life as a music enthusiast.