Carnival in big letters

Once a year, the people of Cadiz publicly mock their masters. He does it with grace and salt shaker, full of musical feeling and always on the verge of Lent, although Carnival is not for that reason a pagan expression, quite the contrary. Carnival is the prodigal son of Christianity, as the poet Jaime Cedillo points out in a book that is of vital importance for carnival fans: Juan Carlos Aragón, el Carnaval con capitals (Renaissance).

This year, the Cadiz Carnival has arrived after Lent, in spring, and has arrived with the wrapper of controversy due to the canceled performance of a chirigota whose members were prisoners of the Port. The matter has its one, since it was said that one of the members of the aforementioned chirigota is serving a sentence for sexual abuse of minors from the carnival groups – although Penitentiary Institutions have assured that the information published "does not conform to reality"– . These are things that happen, dodgy things that shouldn't overshadow this festival that is a sacred rite where life is celebrated to the beat of a well-tuned copla.

With everything and with it, the scandal of the prisoners' chirigota has splashed the mayor of Cádiz who, in turn, has been the target of mockery by one of the most ingenious comparsas of recent times, that of Los Insumisos, led by Martínez Ares, whose members went out to the Falla Theater the other day dressed as a clown to turn the seats upside down, leaving Kichi upside down with a brave couplet, full of denunciation and local color. He still resonates the clasp of his zipper in the ears of the people: "You are not, not even wanting to, my Salvochea." Hard lyrics for Kichi, who always treated himself as a political descendant of Fermín Salvochea, the legendary mayor of Cádiz during the First Republic.

However, the most atypical of this Carnival continues to be the absence of Juan Carlos Aragón, without a doubt. We miss his mordacity and that musical way of mixing influences that range from genuine Cádiz sounds to Andalusian rock, passing through Latin American songwriters, especially Silvio Rodríguez, with whom Juan Carlos Aragón fully identified, just as Jaime Cedillo accurately points out in his book dedicated to the figure of one of the greatest carnival authors in the region.

It is a very complete book where Cedillo deeply analyzes the sound spectrum of the Cadiz Carnival as an evolution of flamenco. This is due to the fact that the Cadiz Carnival shares the compass of the Cadiz bulería with flamenco. But don't get confused, because this bulería arises as a result of the compás of the comparsas and not the other way around, as many people think. Jaime Cedillo explains it very well with dates and signs, in a rigorous and didactic way at the same time, making this work an essential study for all those who want to get closer to this popular expression of thunderous revelry and couplet with breeching.

The mockery, the wit, the spark, the grace, that voice that the people have when it comes to singing the forties to power, this and more is the Carnival of Cádiz, as the Kichi has recognized, fitting the complaint with distinction of the comparsa of Martínez Ares; thus declaring what all the people know, that it is better to be quiet when a poet from Cádiz speaks, since the poet always speaks through the mouth of the people. A whole lesson, that of Martínez Ares, that of Kichi and, of course, that of that other poet who is from Toledo, although adopted from Cadiz, and whose name is Jaime Cedillo.

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