Review: Duende presents an unforgettable musical experience

The musical trio, Duende  has combined the talents of 3 professionally trained, accomplished, musicians/entertainers to bring us a most satisfying, exquisite,  world-class show.  This is not ‘high brow’ music, but an unforgettable, musical experience shared in a relaxed, fun and completely entertaining performance.  You might expect to see this level of entertainment in an arena of 20,000 or more, but we found ourselves pleasantly surprised to find it in a small  venue of 100 people.

The goal of the musical trio, Duende is to give the audience new ways to think about the music that we all love. It  is to imagine, create, arrange and share with all people who love music!  The spirit of Duende is born of struggle and suffering.  True creativity has this spirit flowing through its music, art and words. These musicians are serious about communicating the music, but doing it in a fun, lighthearted way!

Duende is infused with breathtaking musical talent, creativity, art, dance and hybrid instruments which leads to an exquisite, exciting and captivating musical experience.

The music is eclectic and covers both classical and popular.  The extraordinary blending of 8 instruments, including the 5 string cello (with a range from cello to bass), the 5 string violin (covering violin to viola), acoustic guitar and percussion (including various drums and some unique percussion instruments) create a remarkable sound. Their goal is to find different melodies and rhythms and present them in new and creative ways.

On Saturday night at Octopus Garden in La Cruz, we heard dramatic and enjoyable interpretations of familiar songs, like “Eleanor Rigby,”  “Wild Horses” and “Wake Me Up,” along  with classical and gypsy/flamenco numbers. The musical group, Bohemia Viva, were guest artists for a thrilling set that included, “Dust in the Wind,” “Unchained Melody” and “I Can See Clearly Now.”  Together the groups ended the night with an encore, featuring the Sting classic,  “Fragile.” As Duende and Bohemia Viva performed together, my first thought was,  “Wow, these two groups need to do a worldwide tour!”  Yes, they were that good!!!

Luis Rascon on cello, flute (the thousand year-old sound of a Duduk),  drums, keyboards, etc… continues to show us in every performance that he is a musical wizard with a complete mastery of the music,  playing perfectly in synch  with Lilly Alcantara on percussion  and Geo Ulrich on guitar and violin.  Lilly with her beauty, grace and joy  was simply riveting as a dancer, as well!  With pleasing harmonies and vocals mixed into the performance,  the show completely enthralled us throughout their two hour performance.

Duende’s sound  is a true collaborative effort as Geo writes the music and Lilly and Luis practice the new rhythms, passing creative suggestions back and forth.  Duende commonly puts in 12 hour practice days preparing for their shows.  This  season they have added new music, vocals  and original dance.  Duende  is all about  3 souls, sharing, collaborating and connecting  as they present fresh, innovative and exciting ‘world music’ in every performance

To create a full sound with just 3 musicians (without back tracks),  Duende uses state of the art synchronized double looping.  We hear the melody in the background as the looping works to create a complete sound.  Their energies are focused on making merged melodies, interesting fusions, a touch of classic masterpieces, along with new tones and rhythms.

Duende brings a unique and exceptionally satisfying  sound to Banderas Bay this  season with their shows at Incanto Vallarta and Octopus Garden in La Cruz (on the North Shore.)    From the classics to Rumba, pop, rock, gypsy, flamenco and now some African inspired rhythms from Geo’s recent time in South Africa, Duende is always fresh and innovative!  Come and see how this group has evolved in only one year, into a spectacular, world-class musical ‘tour de force.’  I guarantee you will be entertained!

Dudende performs at Incanto Vallarta on Friday nights and at Octopus Garden in La Cruz (on the North Shore) on select  Saturday nights throughout the season.  Go to  and  ‘Octopus Garden/Hikuri’ on facebook  to see a full schedule of their upcoming shows.  Please contact  [email protected] for information or to book tickets for Duende at Octopus Garden.  Duende’s guest artists, Bohemia Viva, perform their new show ‘Sound Garden’ each Wednesday night at Incanto Vallarta

 ‘A mysterious force that everyone feels, but no one can explain. The poet said, “The Duende is not in the throat. Duende surges up from inside – from the soles of one’s feet.” Musical ideas begin to coalesce into a structure that evolves, takes shape and then comes to life!

Puerto Vallarta News

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