Artist Profiles: Niño de Pura

Niño de Pura

A student of Sevillian maestros such as Manuel Lozano and Manolo Carmona, Daniel Navarro Cruz, better known as Niño de Pura, started playing guitar professionally accompanying his brother, flamenco bailaor (dancer) Jose Joaquin. His most influential teacher was Manolo Sanlucar, considered one of his mentors.

He was born in Sevilla in 1966. From a very early age, Niño began to enter contests, and ended up becoming one of the most prize-winning guitarists in Spain. Foremost among his prizes are First prize of the Flamencology Professorship of Jerez, First prize of the Flamenco Guitar Young Performers Contest at Seville’s 3rd Bienal of Flamenco Art, the ‘Bordon Minero’ of La Union’s Las Minas Festival, the ‘Zipa de Oro 1985’ prize from the Colombian press, and the ‘Giraldillo del Toque’ of Sevilla’s 6th Bienal of Flamenco Art.

In the mid-1980s, Niño joined the international circuit, with his first concert tour around South America. At the same time he accompanied top-rate flamenco cantaores (singers) and bailaores (dancers), both in concert and in recording studios. From the late eighties to the early nineties, he recorded on all the Spanish television stations and toured Japan with the show ‘Estrellas de la Bienal’ (‘Stars of the Bienal’).

Niño de Pura recorded his first solo album in 1986: Capricho de bohemia. Following this record was Caliente in 1991 which, besides featured both his own compositions and original arrangements. He soon became a highly sought-after studio musician, composer and arranger writer for record companies and producers.

His best known songs and studio productions from this period are ‘Acero frio’ and ‘Orzo Rom” by Aurora Vargas and ‘Por la bahia’ by Pansequito. In 1993 he composed ‘Mas alla de la luz’ for solo guitar and chamber orchestra, a work which premiered at the Reales Alcazares in Sevilla. His third solo album was Maquida, released in 1996. Six years later he released Pozo y caudal, an album on which he is accompanied by guests such as Carles Benavent, Tino di Geraldo, La Macanita and Rafael de Utrera.

In terms of performing arts, he composed a part of ‘El Perro Andaluz’ for the Andalusian Dance Company, then directed by Maria Pages, and in 1998, for Jose Joaquin’s Company he composed the music for the show ‘Sansueña’. Together with guitarist Manolo Franco, he presented the show ‘Compadres’ at Sevilla’s 1999 Bienal, later presented at the International Book Fair in Guadalajara (Mexico). One year later, he premiered the concert ‘Guitarra amiga’ with guitarists Manolo Franco, Miguel Angel Cortes and Pedro Sierra.

Niño de Pura continues to internationalize his art, gracing stages such as London’s Royal Albert Hall and festivals in France, Germany, Belgium, Mexico, Chile, and Spain. He has appeared with many great guitarists, including Costas Cotsiolis, Adam Holzman, Pavel Steidl, Ralph Towner, Hopkinson Smith, Silvina Lopez, Maria Esther Guzman, Alex Garrobe, Yamandu Costa, Roberto Limon, Martin Madrigal, Roberto Aussel, and Aldo Lagrutta.

Discography

* Capricho de bohemia (1986)

* Caliente (1991)

* Maquida (1996)

* Pozo y Caudal (Senador, 2002)

DVDs

Essential techniques of flamenco guitar

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.

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