Our mission: to make people weep - when they feel transported back to Spain... or France or Italy or that evening in New York; to make them clap their hands - when they have picked up that rhythmic hand-clapping is fun; to make them yell - when the passion of the music has overcome them; to make them laugh or cry - when the music has given them permission to feel their feelings.
David Chu began his music career as a teen playing piano and percussion, but soon switched to guitar. At SUNY Oswego he earned a Bachelor's in Music while minoring in Spanish. He was a well-known guitarist in Syracuse for many years, building his career first as a player of electric guitar in jazz, pop and blues styles. Then he switched to the flamenco guitar while maintaining an interest in electric. Largely self-taught, he has studied under José Ramos in New York and Jason McGuire in San Francisco. An accomplished soloist, he provides accompaniment and is the group's arranger and composer.
Lonnie Chu, manager and singer, studied vocal music at SUNY New Paltz before going to Spain where she has lived several times. Having earned a BA in Spanish and an MA in Linguistics, she always included music in the Spanish courses she taught at Le Moyne College and at Syracuse University. When bringing flamenco to an educational institution, we encourage all learners to participate fully in a flamenco "juerga," doing the rhythmic hand-clapping (palmas), yelling encouraging comments (jaleo) and, for some, playing the cajón.
Formed in 2009, Crimson Canary started out as "Puente Flamenco" in Syracuse, NY, doing purely flamenco music across upstate New York, with dancers much of the time. With a move to Easthampton and a broadening of our repertoire to include vocal jazz and beloved songs in various languages, we changed our name and started having twice the fun.
Eight years of playing in schools, theaters, festivals and restaurants, including a monthly "First Friday Flamenco," Syracuse to Buffalo.
Produced and played at Syracuse's first-ever full 3-day flamenco festival, including workshops and a ticketed performance in the 600-seat Palace Theater in Syracuse, with dancer Sergio Aranda direct from Málaga, Spain (September, 2011).
Played at the world premier of Hollywood director-producer Katina Dunn's "Kumpanía: Flamenco Los Angeles" with guitarist José Tanaka (October, 2011).
Played at international corporate culinary event, "A Night in Spain", for the Culinary and Hospitality Council, Delaware North Companies (November, 2012).
Still relatively new to Easthampton in 2016, Crimson Canary has played at a number of small and/or private events plus two ArtWalks and one Cultural Chaos. We also participated in STRUT with a fashion nod to our 1940's jazz repertoire.
"Having hosted well over 1000 music performances over the last nine plus years that have covered every kind of music from classical to hard rock, we at Mocha Maya were very excited to find Dave and Lonnie Chu, as they were a first rate act as well as being wonderful people to work with. Dave and Lonnie brought an electricity and energy to the room that only flamenco music can do when it is played by true professionals." Chris King, Mocha Maya's, Shelburne Falls, MA