Our Spanish colleague, Araceli Tzigane of Radio Nacional de España (RNE) – Radio Exterior, reports that Spanish singer Benjamín Escoriza, former vocalist of Radio Tarifa, died at Valdemoro Hospital (Madrid) on March 9th, 2012 after a long illness.
Benjamin Escoriza was born in Colomera, Granada in 1953 and moved to Madrid over 20 years ago. In the Spanish capital he met Vicente Molino and Fain Sanchez Dueñas and the result of their musical chemistry was the seminal world music band Radio Tarifa, founded in the early 1990s.
In 1992, Radio Tarifa released Rumba Argelina. The album, produced by indie label Música Sin Fin, is regarded as a one of the finest works in Spanish world music. Other well received recordings followed: Temporal, Cruzando el Rio and Fiebre, recorded live in Toronto (Canada).
Along with his work for Radio Tarifa, Benjamin Escoriza released two solo albums. On his first recording, Alevanta!, he enlisted Jaime Muela, Vicente Molino, Fernando Mejias and the producer of Rumba Argelina, Juan Alberto Arteche. Together they produced a powerful mix of Arabic music, Flamenco, Arab Andalusian and Sephardic influences, Andalusian folk, medieval music and rock.
Mirando p’l Este (A Tope Producciones), his second solo album, came out in 2010. Mirando p’l Este had less flamenco and more of the world fusion found in Radio Tarifa. The album featured Spanish saxophonist Gautama del Campo, Swedish trombonist Ove Larsson, Bulgarian clarinetist Ivaylo Hristov and Turkish singer Sevaal Sam.
He is survived by his wife Paloma and his two sons.