Composer/ Director /Spanish Guitarist
One of Australia’s finest Spanish Guitarists, Andrew Veivers draws on a wide range of musical influences to evoke the sensual and mesmerising sounds of the Spanish guitar in all of its guises.
From the beginning, Andrew combined the traditional study of flamenco with the formal training of the classical guitar. After graduating with a Bachelor of Music in 1993 from the University of Queensland (St. Lucia) Andrew spent 3 years studying, teaching and performing in London, Madrid and Amsterdam.
At venues ranging from Blenheim Palace (UK) to The Dillington Classical Guitar Festival (UK) to chamber music series’ in Amsterdam to concerts at many of Australia’s leading festivals, Andrew has appeared as a soloist as well as with his various groups (Flamenco Fire, The Saruzu Quartet, Jaleos Flamenco) to great critical acclaim.
Alongside his performance schedule Andrew has continued his dedication to the teaching of the Spanish Guitar. After being on the teaching staff for many years at the Classical Guitar School in Brisbane and The Spanish Guitar Centre in London, Andrew opened The Spanish Guitar Studio in Brisbane in 1997. Andrew launched his teaching manual and DVD – The Rhythm Method: An Introduction to Flamenco Guitar in December 2010 at the Woodford Folk Festival.
Andrew’s solo debut recording – Jaleos – was awarded Best Album (Folk, Ethnic and Other) at the Queensland Recording Association’s Sunnie Awards. In 2006, one of Andrew’s compositions – Guarijas – was a finalist in the Queensland Song Awards World and Folk category.
Andrew’s current ensembles include Australia’s only national flamenco touring company – Flamenco Fire and flamenco-tango-jazz band – The Saruzu Quartet. Andrew has also been a special guest guitarist in the Doch Gypsy Orchestra since 2002.
Andrew created the Flamenco Fire concept in 1999 and has continued to focus on the creative development of the production since its inception. Andrew’s vision for Flamenco Fire has been instrumental in the creative growth of the production. With the support of the Australia Council for the Arts, Flamenco Fire’s 2010 production – Al-Andaluz – was his first commissioned work.
Andrew’s recent commissioned compositional credits include – ‘Al-Andaluz’ (Flamenco Fire 2010), a new translation of Garcia Lorca’s ‘Blood Wedding’ (Sydney Theatre Company 2011), major orchestral works for the Woodford Folk Festival (2001/12 & 2012/13), Gypsy Pathways’ (Flamenco Fire 2012) and the Floating Land Festival (2013).
In 2011/12, Andrew relaunched his solo performance career with an extensive tour of the east coast, regional NSW and Tasmania. In 2012, Andrew toured regional and remote Queensland with the support of the Arts Queensland Flexible Touring Program. In 2012, he also played a major role in the Portrait of Spain:Masterpieces from the Prado exhibition at Queensland Art Gallery performing extensively both as a soloist and with his production Flamenco Fire for all major public events associated with the exhibition as well as presenting an author talk as part of the Prado Up Late program.
This guy can really play….Andrew Veivers must eat gypsy hearts for breakfast. (Lulo Reinhardt)
Andrew Veivers is an Australian with a flamenco soul. (Olivia Stewart, Courier Mail)
CD Review by Chris Spencer
Andrew Veivers is an Australian based Spanish guitarist and composer. He performs as a soloist or with his groups Flamenco Fire and The Saruzu Quartet. He has at least 5 albums available of both solo and band work. This album was released in 2003, while his most recent, Departures, was released last year.
This album of 8 tracks covering the different “styles” of flamenco will be a must-buy for fans of flamenco. For other readers who are aware of the style, but do not own any music of this genre, this would be a good starting purchase. While it is only 36 minutes long, the choice of material keeps the listener’s attention. Interestingly, Veivers did not compose any of the titles on this release except the first track, ‘Bain-Douches’.
Several guest musicians provide some embellishment: Shenton Gregory provides mandolin on 2 tracks, Andrew Shaw double bass on 2, Simone Pope assists on another 2, while Dheeraj Shreesta plays tabla on one track. Four of these musicans provide palmas – percussion – on the album.
The songs on the album range from quiet acoustic ‘tunes’ to upbeat, percussive and loud ones! The opening track, ‘Bain-Douches’is a tango, with palmas, and to my ears is typical of Spanish flamenco. I can see the fingers flicking across the strings, rather than picking individual strings. ‘Mantilla de Feria’ is more laid back, with more subtely; ‘Jongo’ again is restrained a bit more jazzy in style, ‘Milonga’ is much more quiet. The centre-piece of the album at 7 minutes is ‘Noroeste’; it contains a range of sounds and percussion. The last track ‘Retrato Brasileiro’ is restrained, providing a gradual ending to the album.
Recommended for readers who would like to add some spice or variety to their folk music collections.