Flamenco Piano Sensation Pedro Ricardo Miño Talks to World Music Central

Pedro Ricardo Miño
Pedro Ricardo Miño

Flamenco musician Pedro Ricardo Miño is one of a growing number of pianists who are taking Flamenco in new directions. Pedro Ricardo Miño is the son of dancer Pepa Montes and guitarist Ricardo Miño. He was born in Seville in the Barrio de Triana in 1979. He was presented in his first public piano concert in Sevilla, at the tender age of four.

Pedro Ricardo Miño‘s training and formation took place in the family and at the Conservatory of Music in Sevilla. He has toured and played in various prestigious theaters in Spain, such as the Teatro Manuel de Falla de Cadiz, Gran Teatro de Cordoba and the Noches de la Villa de Madrid, to name a few. He has toured parts of Europe and the United States as a soloist and with his parents’ company, “Flamenco en Concierto”.

World Music Central interviewed Pedro Ricardo Miño in November of 2005.

Angel Romero – There is a guitar tradition in your family, why did you choose the piano?

Well… not only guitar. My mother is a well known dancer (bailaora) in Spain. Her name is Pepa Montes (national dance awards winner). The truth is that at home we breathed and still breathe Flamenco and, naturally, my father wanted me to have academic training (at the classical music conservatory), which he was not able to get. My father [Ricardo Miño] was a Flamenco guitar professional at the age of 14 and he didn’t have the time nor the opportunity to study.

Before entering the conservatory, I had a private teacher that taught me music theory and piano ( at the age of four) little by little …and then I went to the conservatory where I finished my music degree.

That is my academic training, but in Spain you cannot study flamenco at the conservatory…but, clearly…knowing the piano technique and having the good fortune of growing up in a “Flamenco family,” that’s how I began.

I have classical music training and oral transmission of Flamenco.

Do you compose your own pieces?

I prefer to compose my own pieces. I like to squeeze the juice out of my ideas and, especially, develop them on state, in contact with the audience.

Did you ever record with your father?

I participated in some my father’s CDs and we have also performed many concerts together. For example, last May we played together in San Francisco.

How do Flamenco aficionados react to Flamenco piano?

The piano is a relatively new instrument in the world of Flamenco (although there were good works in the 1960s by Manuel Gracia Matos, Pepe Romero and Arturo Pavón).

I think they value if the person who dances, plays or sings sounds like Flamenco or not. If it gives you goose bumps or not.

Flamenco is the person, not the instrument.

Q – Other pianists who play Flamenco, such as Chano Domínguez, come from rock and jazz music. Which are your influences?

The influence and style that identify better with is pure Flamenco. In its traditional form.

What do you think about New Flamenco and fusions?

When a musical work is well done and thought out, it’s good. When I listen to Nuevo Flamenco, I don’t try to compare it with pure Flamenco, since it is another form.

But, of course, today’s Flamenco Puro (from the 1970s and 80s) was probably not considered pure in its early days, because it is not the same as what was made
in the 1940s and 50s. At the time it was also Nuevo flamenco.

To me there is only one Flamenco style: that one which moves you.

You are performing a lot in the United States. Where do you live now?

That’s right. Everything seems to be going very well. I live in Spain in the city of Seville (it’s a magical place to live in), but I wouldn’t mind living here
for a few months a year, especially in California. It’s a place that I like, where I have great friends: Ravi Shankar, Jackson Browne, Gino Dauri, David Crosby, Jeff Bridges, Alan Kozlowsky and Sandra Hay, …. and many more.

My first time in the US (2001) I lived four months in Santa Barbara (which I like a lot), later in Santa Monica, Topanga… I just came back last week from
three concerts with Anoushka Shankar in New York … and that way up to 9 or 10 months in the US (I think it’s time to find a house here…).

Do you perform with a band?

Usually, I work as a soloist and have my own band, which I’d like to bring to the Us one day. I also collaborate with other artists.

Are you recording an album?

At this time we are negotiating with several record companies about releasing my CD. It was recorded in Santa Barbara [California] and Spain. I would like to
release it in the US. That’s where it was made and where there is growing number of Flamenco fans.

How do you see the future of Flamenco?

I thank God every day. There are very good works being made and there more and better aficionados, more knowledge…more places to study Flamenco, more concerts…its wonderful!

I hope I can introduce Flamenco to US and international audiences for many years.

From here I send my greetings to all American flamenco aficionados.