A tribute to Sir Brook Zern
July 21, 2019
dunaway13 (130 articles)
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A tribute to Sir Brook Zern

Brook Zern, Flamenco aficionado and a major contributor to the appreciation of flamenco in the United States. Tribute by Estela Zatania.

Zern junior, would devote his entire adult life to the study, appreciation and preservation of flamenco, never for profit. The last week of June, 2019, flamenco lost a good friend.

The last week of June, 2019, flamenco lost a good friend. Brook Zern, a man so soft-spoken and unassuming that he was often underestimated as just another “guiri”, the pejorative Spanish term that indicates a less-than-knowledgeable outsider.

As early as 1944 Brook’s father was one of the first flamenco guitar aficionados outside of Spain, and inspired his son’s interest in the art-form. Zern junior, would devote his entire adult life to the study, appreciation and preservation of flamenco, never for profit.

His achievements regarding flamenco are many and varied.  In the 1970s, after an extended time in Seville, he founded the Flamenco Center USA in New York City.  In 1972 his article “Flamenco: For the Purist it’s a Ritual, not a Spectacle” published in the New York Times received the Meliá Prize for Journalism conceded by José María Pemán. In 2004, at the request of José Luis Ortiz Nuevo, he wrote the United States petition to the UNESCO to have flamenco declared a World Cultural Heritage, and in 2014 he successfully lobbied to have a postage stamp printed to commemorate guitarist Paco de Lucía who died in February of that year. …{more/más}

 

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