Ken Leighton 12:30 p.m., Feb. 21
- Blurt: " David Maldonado Sees the Eyes of the Devil" · Oct. 6, 2010
- Blurt: "Doctor of Rock Improv Marta B Good" · Sept. 29, 2010
Gypsy/jazz/Flamenco guitarist David Maldonado heads up a stage show called Noche de Pasion. The cast of musicians and dancers unfolds a hundred year history of Spanish and Flamenco guitar, a musical evolution that winds through Spain, Morocco, Egypt, Asia, and beyond.
“The show was first debuted at the Tower Theatre in Fresno as a test run,” says Maldonado. “It received such a great response that I decided to go ahead an keep letting it grow.”
Staged from time to time in North County San Diego, Noche de Pasion also includes local star bassist Nam Chi Vu. “My role is to represent the Asian culture in the show, and the link of my people and their role in this journey of song and dance, and how all cultures of Europe and the Middle East have come together with the rest of Asia in unity for this one special occasion of self expression. We have all inspired each other in order to provide entertainment to soothe our souls, along with those around us, while we live our lives.”
Other star guests have taken part in the production. “This whole production has been a dream of sorts. My manager continues to ask me who I want in the show, and I say my dream musicians and dancers. Then, before I know it, I have one of my idols on the stage with me! I grew up in the 1980s, so I’m an ’80s rock child. I’ve had members from Quiet Riot, Slaughter, and Mr. Big in the group. Getting the best artists in this show is easy, because they tend to fall in love with the show and embrace the musical challenge.”
As for his role as central guitarist, Maldonado says “Although it’s difficult for guitarists to be able to switch from classical, to Flamenco, to modern Spanish guitar, I was fortunate enough to learn all styles, growing up in a musical family with different techniques and tastes.”
“The switching of styles is completely unheard of, and there isn’t anyone in the world doing it, or can do it with mastery. That’s why I didn't think the show would gain success. However, since our test run in Fresno, we’ve performed all over California and Nevada, filling theatres.”
“I didn’t choose to cover so much musical ground -- I just happen to live and breathe a hundred years of the Spanish guitar. It chose me.”
Maldonado’s band often includes classically trained multi-instrumentalist Marta Zaludova, aka Marta B, a native of the Czech Republic who moved to San Diego in 2007. “He found me on MySpace before I moved here. He wanted a violist, and he wanted someone who was classically trained. He asked me if I would play, and I was, like, ‘No, I can’t do it. I’ve never improvised before. I’ve never done anything like that. I don’t know the style of playing,’ and he was just persistent. Our first rehearsal was a gig — ha ha ha! They just kinda threw me into it. We played at the La Costa Resort. I showed up and, Oh, this is not really a rehearsal — we’re playing for the public. It was the best way for me to learn, actually, just push me in and swim.”
In Autumn 2010, Maldonado testified at the attempted murder trial of 40 Year Old Virgin actor Shelley Malil. Maldonado witnessed the 2010 knife attack on Kendra Beebe, intervening and sustaining injuries himself. Malil was found guilty in late September.