Valentine’s Day, love, and the rich romance language … it’s a natural fit. Add a bit of mystery, and it’s easy to see why gypsies and their music have long been associated with romance.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Barrio Manouche will woo the Socorro audience with its Flamenco-Latin/gypsy-inspired music on Friday, Feb. 14 at New Mexico Tech’s Macey Center. A Spanish-themed Club Macey Schmooze, Booze, and Bites precedes the show.

“We play music inspired by the places we come from and the places we have lived, those that have come before us, and the nomadic spirit,” says Javi Jimenez, the band’s leader.

Barrio Manouche – “neighborhood gypsies” – is a blend of flamenco, gypsy jazz, and more. With members from Spain, Quebec, France, Brazil, and California, this San Francisco-based sextet combines sophisticated techniques and innovative style with a visual and auditory feast that is pure magic.

“Barrio Manouche makes magical acoustic music mashed together from all corners of the globe — a new form of Americana, if you will, where flamenco guitar drifts above Brazilian beats, clashing with Gypsy-jazz melodies,” writes concert reviewer Aaron Carnes. “It could very well qualify as Americana in another decade or two. Or maybe its rich, gorgeous blend of acoustic Latin-French jazz will always remain distinctly Barrio Manouche.”

The members bring their international roots to form a truly unique sound that is hard to classify yet instantly recognizable. Deeply influenced by a wide range of musical traditions, with an original style and passion for musical improvisations, this group brings authentic World Music to the Macey Center stage.

“Barrio Manouche is one of the most exciting additions to the Bay Area Gypsy swing scene,” comments doubleOone, a unique arts organization based in San Francisco.

Their latest album, Despierta, was released last November. One California reviews called it one of the year’s wildest albums, referring to its global fusion and inspiration to dancers.

“I am very excited about this concert,” PAS Director Ronna Kalish said.

She discovered the group on the Western States Art Federation’s IMTour roster of Independent artists, a group of performers who have been deemed ready to tour the United States.

Kalish added that there will be room for dancing for those so “moved.”

The players for Socorro’s show are Javi Jiménez, guitar; Alex Zelnick, guitar; Cyril Guiraud, saxophone; Sacha Jacobsen, bass; Luis Jiménez, cajón; and Melissa Cruz, Flamenco Dance.

Early arrivers can sample a taste of Spain at Tech Club Macey’s Schmooze, Booze and Bites, and enjoy a “Dynamic Duos Competition,” based on the Newlywed Game. Featured Spanish Tapas are beef churrasco, garlic shrimp, Pa Amb Tomaquet (bread with tomato, a traditional Catalan cuisine), arroz con coco y mango, and a sangria drink special at the cash bar.

This pre-show event is free for members; $15 for non-members. Tech Club Macey is a 21-and-over social club.

The concert received support from the IMTour Program, National Endowment for the Arts and New Mexico Arts, with additional sponsorship provided by VHG Architects; Bodega Burger Co. and Lounge; and KUNM Public Radio. Lodging is provided by Holiday Inn Express. Tickets are $16 for adults, $14 for seniors and $8 for youth 17 and under. New Mexico Tech students will be admitted free with their student ID at the door or can pick up one ticket each at the New Mexico Tech Bookstore.

Tickets also can be purchased online at, or at the following locations: New Mexico Tech Cashier (Fidel Center), Sofia’s Kitchen, John Brooks Supermart at the Customer Service desk, or the PAS office (call 835-5688 for directions).