Business Profile: Jesus Muñoz Flamenco

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Jesus Mu–oz Flamenco
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How did you get started in this business?

I started training in Albuquerque and later Spain. My first professional contract was with Maria Benitez in Santa Fe, she hired me as a choreographer for her final 2007 season. The next month I started commuting frequently to New York City to work with Manhattan-based company, Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana. That last 9 years.

Why did you choose this business?

I chose it for the humanity of it. The elusive link that makes flamenco relevant to life.

What is your business philosophy?

You learn to work by working.

What are your strongest business traits?

I do what I say I’m going to do. I have no fear of accomplishing tasks that may seem insurmountable or insignificant. I’ll learn something from all of them. I’m not afraid to do any kind of work, even if it means getting dirty. I’ll do all the work I need to do to get where I need to go.

Why did you choose to do business in Albuquerque?

I love Albuquerque! There’s really no place like it. I’ve been offered opportunities in LA, San Francisco, Minneapolis and places on the East Coast. Some to take over existing schools. I just felt that Albuquerque has a special community that I want to be part of.

How is operating your own business different than you expected?

Oof! It’s tough. There is a lot to balance and to learn. You learn to appreciate your awards and mistakes equally. People expect a lot from someone with the title "Director.” They need to. We are accountable to the people.

What successes in the past year are you most proud of accomplishing?

I’m really proud of how far the company has come. We’ve started moving into the local, national and international spotlight. I was excited about the National Hispanic Cultural Center and Lensic partnership last year, as well as preparing for the Palladium Project. It’s finally here and we’re excited to see our work come to life on stage.

How do you maintain your competitive edge?

We seek out the very best people and inspiring artists for our work. They help us grow. We identify ourselves as different because it is important. We aren’t ballet or repertory. We are music and the language of flamenco. I’d be more closely related to a flamenco/big band/jazz/improvisational Orchestra than a ballet company, and it’s ok. I like flamenco ballets too. But, we are different, and different is good.

What do you think is the biggest obstacle in operating a successful business?

Managing time. It’s hard to find enough time in a day to dedicate yourself to all the things that need to be done.

What are your growth goals?

After this concert, we will begin to actively seek investors, contributors and donors for a national tour 12-18 months from now. We are at the end of our sixth season and six concert series productions. We’ve really pushed ourselves to get here, and it will be an equally big push to get the company on the road. But—It’s going to happen, and it’s time.

What is your company’s greatest challenge?

Financing based on a dream.

What contributions to the community (charitable or otherwise) are you most proud of?

I’d have to say the free kids’ concerts that we offer for low-income children annually, and the on-going educational performances that we have going on at the Casa Flamenca in Old Town. We are grateful for the sponsors of this year’s children’s concert, the City of Albuquerque and City Council. The collaboration we have with the city right now is amazing; they’re very supportive.

What words of wisdom would you offer to someone starting their own business?

You have to choose the right people. Do the work with a clear message and be passionate about what you do. Your message will come across as genuine.

What’s your favorite saying or quotation?

We are more powerful, beautiful, intelligent and grande than we could ever imagine. Denying ourselves is denying our true nature.

What book are you currently reading or what’s your favorite book?

Babe Ruth’s biography. Everyone loves the Babe!!

Do you have a hero or mentor-business or otherwise?

Yes! I’d have to say my mom, my family, our board of directors: Jason Marks, Valeria Montes, Bruce Shortz. The artists, and my friends Ruben Ramirez, Anne Marie and Sean Murphy. These people have helped me come a long way in a short time. Their advice and guidance has been priceless.

What inspires you?

Good art, good people and good food … and people enthusiastic about what they do.

Do you have any exciting projects coming up that we should know about?

Yes! Next week actually. Palladium Project is being premiered in two theatres in Albuquerque, the National Hispanic Cultural Center and Kimo Theatre October 9-11.
Jesus Mu–oz Flamenco

Jesus Mu–oz Flamenco

Jesus Mu–oz Flamenco

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