The Finest Flamenco Guitarist from Granada

Emilio Maya

Temple (Andalamusica, 2004)

Emilio Maya is probably the finest Flamenco guitarist living in Granada
(Spain) right now. Despite his last name, he is not related to the legendary
Granada guitarist Juan Maya “Marote.” It’s a shame that it’s taken quite a few
years for Emilio Maya to record his first album, but this this is not uncommon in
Flamenco and many other styles. Anyhow, it was worth the wait. Thanks to the
work of Katrina Edbrooke and Harold Burgon, two British expatriates living in
Granada, Emilio’s music is now available on CD. Some of the compositions are eight or
nine years old and Maya has updated them. The album opens with a great rumba
titled “Algo de mi,” with backing vocals, and a strong rhythm section with
palmas (Flamenco handclap percussion), bass and percussion. Maya continues with
a solo minera called “Temple,” where he shows how painfully beautiful an
instrumental miner’s song can be. Next comes another instrumental, “La Fuente,”
a bulería, one of the hardest Flamenco styles to play on the guitar. This time
Maya is accompanied by palmas.

The fourth track on the album,  “Tacones de plata” (Silver heels), is a
“zapateo.” Zapateo is a Flamenco style that uses Flamenco shoe (or boot) tapping
(heel based rather than shoe tip based). Maya plays “Tacones de plata”
accompanied by zapateado percussion.

“De Caramelo” is a flamenco tango. This piece
features vocals, bass, palmas and percussion. “Eshavira,” a rondeña, features
the guitar accompanied by cello player Arantxa Hernáiz.

Song 7, “Salitre,” is a tribute to Emilio Maya’s birthplace, coastal Granada.
It’s a style called alegrías, which literally means happiness. Salitre means sea
salt residue. Maya grew up smelling salitre: the sea, the fishing boats, the winds. On “Salitre”
Maya uses bass, palmas and percussion.

The album ends with another bulería, “Cazuela pa’ 1500,” that has the feel of
a spontaneous Flamenco jam, with cantaores, jaleos (shouts of encouragement) and

To buy the album, go to