Flags are flying at half staff today in the Cadiz provincial government buildings, mourning the loss of the Hijo Predilecto (Favorite Son) of Cadiz, Flamenco singer Juan Ramírez Sarabia, better known as Chano Lobato. The popular singer was suffering from diabetes and died at his home in Sevilla on April 5th. He was 82.
The President of the Cadiz government sent a wreath and telegram to Lobato’s widow and family: “I received the sad news of the passing of our friend Chano and Favorite Son of the Cadiz Province. I also send you my heartfelt condolences for the irreparable loss of the king of flamenco rhythm and Cadiz artist."
Chano Lobato was born in Cadiz’s Santa María neighborhood. He began performing at nightclubs in his hometown. Later, he moved to Madrid, where he joined Alejandro Vega’s Flamenco dance group. For 25 years he was one of the lead singers of renowned performer Antonio ‘El Bailarín.’ Lobato also performed with Manuel Morao and El Serna and later sang for various top dancers such as Matilde Coral, his wife Rosario la Chana, Carmen Amaya, and Manuela Vargas.
In 1974 Chano Lobato received the Enrique El Mellizo award at the national contest Concurso Nacional de Córdoba. In 1996 received the Medalla de Andalucía (Medal of Andalusia). Despite being one of the top Flamenco singers in the country, Chano Lobato was shy and did not aspire to be a soloist. Eventually, he released two recordings as a singer: La nuez moscá (1996) and Azúcar cande (2000).
Chano Lobato mastered several Flamenco styles such as soleás, bulerías, alegrías, and tangos, although he could also sing most other styles such as siguiriya a la malagueña, cantiñas, soleares, tonás, martinetes a la farruca, garrotín and the cantes de ida y vuelta.