Marina Heredia Ríos, the daughter of flamenco singer Jaime El Parrón, was born in Granada on the 10th of April of 1980. She grew up with the art of flamenco in her blood. Marina started singing from her tender infancy and has been working relentlessly ever since. All her efforts and dedication paid off when she was awarded the prize Andalucía Joven a las Artes (Andalusia Youth for the Arts) for being an example of work and talent, and contributing to the dissemination of Andalusian flamenco throughout the world.
Since Marina’s first recording experience at the age of thirteen, making a flamenco CD for children called Malgre la Nuit, her artistic career began to take on a dizzying rhythm, when she participated in a new children’s CD, with a world music focus, representing flamenco to the world.
Her artistic commitments grew year by year. At fifteen, she collaborated as a singer in a group formed by guitarist Miguel Ángel Cortés and performed in various flamenco shows. This was when her international tours began and she performed with the flamenco dancer La China in Switzerland, France, Portugal, Spain and the London presentation of El Legado Andalusí (the Andalusian Legacy). In her search for new ways of understanding the flamenco of her roots, Marina has been experimenting with her musical ideas and shared the stage with gipsy performers from both Hungary and Pakistan in the Festival Madrid Sur.
Just a year later, she received critical acclaim for her performance on the stage of Espárrago 98 festival and began performing with well-established artists such as the dancer Maria Pagés and guitar maestro José María Gallardo. At the 10th Seville Flamenco Biennial, she was applauded triumphantly for her performance with Eva Yerbabuena at the Lope de Vega Theater.
With a growing reputation as one of the important young voices of flamenco, Marina took part in the Flamenco Adventure program, which took place during the late night concerts at the International Festival of Music and Dance in Granada. Also in 1998, Marina Heredia Ríos took part in the tribute concert for the legendary flamenco singer Camarón De La Isla in San Fernando, Cadiz.
Marina’s most flamenco side opened up to other kinds of music when she was involved with the opera De Amore by the composer Mauricio Sotelo and produced by the Munich Biennial and Madrid’s Zarzuela Theatre, premiering in the prestigious Carl Orff auditorium in Munich. Later that year, she performed in the concert Modus Novus again by Mauricio Sotelo for the Injuve 99 program for young composers at the Circulo de Bellas Artes (Academy of Fine Arts), Madrid.
Since the turn of the millennium Marina’s career has gone from strength to strength, appearing on main stages in Spain, France and Portugal. She has graced with her presence all the major Spanish festivals such as Madrid’s Autumn Festival, Seville’s Flamenco Biennial, and the festivals of Jerez, Ronda and of course the well-established International Festival of Music and Dance of Granada. Moreover, Marina has appeared in international festivals such as De Single of Antwerp, Strasbourg and the Nimes Flamenco Week. In 2002, she made her New York debut at the New York Flamenco Festival, where she also illustrated a conference by the critic and flamenco specialist Ángel Álvarez Caballero.
In 2001, she recorded her first solo album Me Duele, Me Duele, produced by Pepe de Lucia. Marina was accompanied by José Maria Cañizares and other great flamenco voices of today. That same year, she contributed to recording collaborations with Hougui B along with José Mercé creating a particular form of flamenco. Her interest in other artistic disciplines has led her to work with the dancer and choreographer Blanca Li in France and played a co-starring role alongside her father El Parrón in a documentary directed by Dominique Bel about the transmission of flamenco within the family.
This same restlessness brought her to poetry, which is especially present in her record La voz del agua (The voice of water), and clearly demonstrated in her performances both at the 7th Women Poets meeting in 2002 and at the International Solidarity Poetry Festival of Granada in 2005. Her poetic inclinations also brought her onto the stage in a UNESCO gala in Seville in solidarity with Afghan women.
In 2006, she opened the Seville Flamenco Biennial at the famous Lope de Vega Theater, but the most important work of that year was the recording of La voz del agua (The voice of water), her second solo album, under her own label.
In 2010 she performing together with Chekara Arab-Andalusian Orchestra of Tetuan that has collaborated with many of flamenco’s leading singers.
Web site: www.marinaheredia.com
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.