Seffarine perform uplifting Arabic and Spanish music – El Camino College The Union
Seffarine perform uplifting Arabic and Spanish music – El Camino College The Union

Manuel Gutierrez moved in a sharp, crisp, and vibrant flamenco dance that were in sync with the high energy music, along with a few slower, more dramatic moves during the somber songs.

Guiterez also performed a few slower, more dramatic dances matching the tune of the somber songs played. He danced on and off, adding more action on the stage throughout the performance.

Gutierrez, a flamenco dancer and percussionist, was one of six performers of the Spanish and Arabic music group Seffarine who performed “Fez to Jerez” Friday, Sept. 20, at 8 p.m. to an engaging audience.

The name Seffarine is named after an ancient metalworking square in Fez, Morocco where lead vocalist Lamiae Naki grew up. The noise from the metal workers creates a musical rhythm which drew the inspiration for the name of the group.

“My dad was a metal worker. We went to visit one summer. Then we got inspired by the metal workers because once you go there you hear the rhythms of the metal workers,” Naki said.

Nat Hulskamp who is the flamenco guitarist and oud player in the group added more after Naki.

“Musically it was just another connection because of all the rhythm going on,” Hulskamp said.

During the performance, the musician group of 6 played a variety of old Iranian songs, traditional Moroccan and Spanish songs, along with many of their own originals.

Naki sang many different Arabic songs, most of them with high energy beats that drew and engaged the audience in, clapping along. There were a few somber and heavy arabic songs mix into the performance.

When describing the essence of their music style Hulskamp explained, “ What we are trying to do is to write music with all of these different influences but it ends up becoming one unified and unique voice.”

Emily Estrada, Fire Technology Major described her admiration of Gutierrez’s flamenco dancing, the foot work involved in this style of dance reminded her of tap dancing.

“I really enjoyed tap. I took tap when I was five or something so I have a lot of respect for people who can tap dance,” Estrada said.

Many unique instruments were played that are specific to this genre of music including an oud which is an arabic lute, cajon a box drum used in flamenco music, kamancheh persian spike fiddle and sehtar a forest ring persian lute.

All of the musicians played with together and were in sync with one another.

“I loved this performance because it has a lot of sound. It has a lot of rhythm and a lot of dance,” said Rosbi Barrera, Neuroscience Major.

When Estrada was asked about her favorite part of the performance, she said “ I don’t remember the name of the song but it was one of theirs. It was super vibey and upbeat. I really dig that.”

Seffarine music is currently touring but will be coming back to the Southern California area next year.

“If people want to keep track of where we’re playing.. we’ll be back in southern California in January and then again in March. The easiest way to keep track is on our instagram seffarinemusic and our Facebook page which is and our website” said Hulskamp.