Tag Archives: flamenco guitar

Artist Profiles: Ricardo Miño

Ricardo Miño

Ricardo Miño Alvarez was born in 1949 in Sevilla, Spain. He began his remarkable career at 10 in his native Triana, the most Gypsy of Sevilla’s neighborhoods. At twelve, Ricardo began his professional career by touring with Pepe Marchena and La Niña de los Peines in the now legendary tour Asi Canta Andalucia.

At thirteen, Ricardo became a student of acclaimed guitar maestro Niño Ricardo and soon after began to accompany legendary singers and guitarists such as Antonio Mairena, Pepe Pinto, El Fosforito and Paco de Lucia.

He has recorded for various labels in Spain, such as CBS, Hispavox, Columbia, Belter and Dial among others.

His international tours include performances in Japan, Morocco, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, England, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and the United States of America.

Ricardo Miño has recorded several collaborations with sitar player Gualberto, including Puente Mágico and Con Trastes.

His son Pedro Ricardo Miño is an acclaimed flamenco pianist.

Discography:

Flamenco Fury (1976)
Flamenco de Concierto (Claves, 1976)
Puente Mágico (Dial, 1983)
Jacaranda (Senador, 1992)
Puerta De Triana (Senador, 1998)
Con Trastes (Pasarela CDP5/724, 1998)

Bibliography

Ricardo Miño: 50 años caminando juntos by Ángel Vela Nieto, Published by Sevilla: Libros con duende, 2014. ISBN: 9788493988692.

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Artist Profiles: Raul Rodriguez

Raúl Rodríguez – Photo by Oscar Romero V.

 

Flamenco guitar and Cuban tres player Raúl Rodríguez Quiñones was born in Sevilla (Spain) in 1974. He started out playing electric guitar and drums, taking a particularly interest in blues and rock music, but by age 17 shifted his attention to playing flamenco guitar.

Raúl later attended the University of Sevilla, where he majored in the History of Cultural Anthropology. He began playing professionally in the group Caraoscura, a duo including himself and Jose Loreto “Charmusco,” the son of the famous guitarist Parrilla de Jerez. In 1995, they released an album titled Qué es lo que quieres de mí? on RCA Records that was produced by Kiko Veneno and Joe Dworniak.

 

Raúl Rodríguez

 

In 1996, Raúl joined Kiko Veneno as his flamenco guitarist, touring and recording Punta Paloma (BMG 1997), Puro Veneno (BMG 1998), and La Familia Polio (BMG 2000). Raúl Rodriguez also performed with his mother, the renowned Spanish singer Martirio, playing guitar and percussion.

In 1999, Raúl co-produced Martirio’s Flor de Piel (52 P.M.), an ambitious flamenco-jazz interpretation of South American music. In 2001, Raúl produced and arranged Martirio’s Mucho Corazon (52 P.M.) that was nominated as “Best Flamenco Album” at the 2002 Latin Grammys. His collaborations with Martirio continued with the albums “25 años” (Nuevos Medios, 2009), “El aire que te rodea” (Sony, 2010), “De un mundo raro. Cantes por Chavela” (Universal, 2013), and “Martirio – 30 años” (Universal, 2015).

 

Raúl Rodríguez – Photo by Oscar Romero V.

 

In 2003 Raúl formed the acclaimed flamenco fusion group Son de la Frontera. Raúl Rodriguez played the flamenco tres he developed, based on the Cuban tres.

A seasoned session musician, Raúl Rodriguez has also recorded with Compay Segundo, Jackson Browne, Chavela Vargas, Soledad Bravo, Jerry Gonzalez, and many others.

His first solo album Razón de Son came out in 2014. The CD version came in a beautifully-packaged hard cover book.

 

Discography

* ¿Qué es lo que quieres de mí?”, with Caraoscura (BMG, 1995)
* Son de la Frontera (Nuevos Medios/World Village, 2005)
* Cal (Nuevos Medios/World Village, 2007)
* Razón de Son (Fol, 2014)
* La Raíz Eléctrica (2017)

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Artist Profiles: David Carmona

David Carmona – Photo by Pedro Walter

David Carmona Fernández was born in Granada in a well-known gypsy family of flamenco performers called Fernández de Íllora. Some of the best known artists in the family include Ramón de Loja, El Moreno (Diego El Cigala’s father) and Morenito de Íllora. Other family members include José Carmona, Carmen Carmona, Isabel Fernández and Evangelino Fernández, all of whom are familiar flamenco performers in Granada.

David has received numerous awards, including the 2010 Giradillo for Upcoming Artist at the XVI Biennial of Flamenco Art in Seville. In 2009, he won the first prize at the XXIII International Contest of Flamenco Guitar, organized by Peña Flamenca “Los Cernícalos” in Jerez de la Frontera, and that same year he won the Fundación Autor-SGAE Award for Musical Composition at The XVIII Contest of Choreography of Spanish Dance and Flamenco.

In 2011, he received the “Young Creators” award from the Fundación Instituto de Cultura Gitana (Foundation Institute of Gypsy Culture), and the Insignia de Oro 2011, from Peña Flamenca “La Platería” for his artistic career. At 12, he won the Hispamusic Prize at Canal Sur Televisión, in the “Veo Veo” program.

David Carmona recorded first album “Tratante” in 1997. He has accompanied leading acts since 2006, such as guitar master Manolo Sanlúcar and well –known singers and dancers like Estrella Morente, Esperanza Fernández, Diego “El Cigala”, Morenito de Íllora, Antonio Canales, Patricia Guerrero, Fuensanta “La Moneta”, and Luis “El Zambo.”

In 2008, he performed at the XV edition of the Biennial of Flamenco Art in Seville. In November of 2016, during Flamenco Day, David performed a concert organized by the Diputación Provincial de Granada within the “Flamenco and Culture” program and in December he was part of the program “Flamenco Encounters of Granada” together with José Enrique Morente.

David has a degree in music, specialized from the Superior Conservatory of Music “Rafael Orozco” of Córdoba.

His 2017 album “A Dream of Madness” features top flamenco acts such as Estrella Morente, Arcángel, Carmen Molina and Tino Di Geraldo.

Discography:

Tratante (1997)

David Carmona (Sony Music, 2005)

Un Sueño de locura (Nuevos Medios NM15929, 2017)

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David Carmona’s Guitar Dream

David Carmona – Un Sueño de locura (Nuevos Medios NM 15 929, 2017)

David Carmona is one of the rising stars of flamenco guitar. This young musician and composer from Granada grew up in a family of flamenco artists and studied with maestro Manolo Sanlucar.

On his new album “Un Sueño de locura,” co-produced by Manolo Sanlucar, David Carmona is joined by some of the finest flamenco performers in the current scene.
“Un Sueño de locura” demonstrates that David Carmona is a highly talented guitarist who sticks to the purest tradition on several of the musical pieces, but is also open to more modern flamenco arrangements.

The lineup on “Un Sueño de locura” includes David Carmona on guitars; Estrella Morente on vocals; Arcángel on vocals; Carmen Molina on vocals; Tino Di Geraldo on percussion; Agustín Diassera on percussion; Los Mellis and Carlos Grilo on palmas (handclap percussion); and El Bo, Carlos Grilo, José Cortés “El Pirata” and Ismael Tirado provide jaleos (shouts of encouragement).

 

 

“Un Sueño de locura” is a dazzling flamenco guitar album by one of the finest young players in the flamenco scene.

Buy the “Un Sueño de locura” digital version or the CD

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Artist Profiles: Paco de Lucia

Paco de Lucía

Paco de Lucía was one of the greatest guitarists in the world. He was born Francisco Sánchez Gómez in Algeciras, a port city in the province of Cádiz, in the southernmost tip of Spain on December 21st, 1947. His stage name (Lucia’s Paco) is a tribute to his mother Lucía Gómez.

His father, Antonio Sánchez, a day laborer, played guitar at night as a way to supplement his income. His father, Paco’s elder brother Ramón de Algeciras, and flamenco guitar master Niño Ricardo were de Lucía’s main influences. His first performance was on Radio Algeciras in 1958.

The training ground for a flamenco guitarist, de Lucía once said, “is the music around you, made by people you see, the people you make music with. You learn it from your family, from your friends, in la juerga (the party) drinking. And then you work on technique. Guitarists do not need to study. And, as it is with any music, the great ones will spend some time working with the young players who show special talent.

You must understand that a Gypsy’s life is a life of anarchy. That is a reason why the way of flamenco music is a way without discipline, as you know it. We don’t try to organize things with our minds, we don’t go to school to find out. We just live… music is everywhere in our lives.”

In 1958, at only age 11, de Lucía made his first public appearance and a year later he was awarded a special prize in the Jerez flamenco competition. At 14 he was touring with the flamenco troupe of dancer Jose Greco. He worked with Greco for three seasons.

It was while on tour with Greco in the United States of America that de Lucía met the great Sabicas, an influential guitarist whose name became synonymous with flamenco in the United States, who encouraged him to pursue a more personal style. De Lucía would follow Sabicas’ advice a few years later in his debut at Carnegie Hall in 1970.

In flamenco, the guitarist first and foremost, must not get in the way of the singer,” de Lucía once explained. “There is a dialog going on. The cantaor (singer) sings the words. There are no songs per se in flamenco, just short lyrics, so the guitarist follows the call of the singer. Part of the tradition in flamenco is not playing too hard or too much. You need to support the singer, help him.”

Back in Spain, de Lucia joined Festival flamenco Gitano, an annual flamenco showcase tour that lasted for seven years, and recorded his first album in 1965, at the age of 18.

With La Fabulosa guitarra de Paco de Lucía, released in 1967, de Lucía began to distance himself from the influence masters such as Niño Ricardo and Mario Escudero and by Fantasia Flamenca, recorded in 1969, he had defined his own style. His superb technique was displayed in well-structured pieces that departed from the flamenco tradition of theme and variations.

In 1968, he met Camarón de la Isla, one of the leading flamenco singers at the time. Their association was chronicled on more than 10 records. Their album Potro de Rabia y Miel (1991) was perhaps the last studio release by Camarón de la Isla, who died in 1992.

 

Paco De Lucía – Fuente y Caudal

 

De Lucía’s new style became more evident in El Duende flamenco (1972), Fuente y Caudal (1973) (which included the hit instrumental Entre Dos Aguas’).

 

 

Next came Almoraima (1976) which some consider a masterpiece. These albums were followed by Paco de Lucía Interpreta a Manuel de Falla (1980), a superb tribute to the iconic Spanish classical composer who was an admirer of flamenco music, and, in 1981, Solo Quiero Caminar.

 

Paco De Lucía – Almoraima

 

Paco de Lucia was criticized by flamenco die hards for his ventures into other styles. His own sextet, formed in 1981, included bass, drums, and saxophone. Paco also had high profile collaborations, especially with jazz musicians, most notably with pianist Chick Corea and fellow guitarists John McLaughlin, Larry Coryell and Al DiMeola. The remarkable results of these collaborations have been documented in several releases including the guitar trio albums Castro Marin (1979), Passion Grace and Fire (1982) and Friday Night in San Francisco (1981).

Paco de Lucia also recorded soundtracks for films such as Carlos Saura’s Carmen, Borau’s La Sabina, and the ballet Los Tarantos, presented at Madrid’s prestigious Teatro de la Zarzuela in 1986.

 

Paco de Lucía

 

However, as if to make a point, de Lucía returned to pure flamenco in the spectacular Siroco (1987), a brilliant outline of his style, and then twist and turned back towards fusion with Zyryab (1990) that featured his sextet enhanced by pianist Chick Corea.

Through his Brazilian percussionist Rubem Dantas, Paco de Lucía introduced the cajón, a previously unknown Peruvian instrument to flamenco. Since then, the cajón has become a standard feature in most flamenco ensembles. Spanish instrument makers have created cajón variations,  developing what is now known as cajón flamenco or caja.

De Lucía shrugged off the complaints or the concerns that he might lose his roots or betray the essence of flamenco. “I have never lost my roots in my music, because I would lose myself,” he once said. “What I have tried to do is have a hand holding onto tradition and the other scratching, digging in other places trying to find new things I can bring into flamenco.”

 

Paco de Lucía

 

There was a time when I was concerned about losing myself,” he once said, “but not now. I’ve realized that, even if I wanted, I couldn’t do anything else. I am a flamenco guitarist. If I tried to play anything else it would still sound like flamenco.”

In 2004, Paco de Lucia won the 2004 Prince of Asturias award of the Arts. This is the most important and prestigious award of its kind given in Spain. The other contenders were American rock musician Bruce Springsteen, French dancer Maurice Bejart and British composer Andrew Lloyd Webber.

In 2004, after living several years in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, Paco de Lucia moved back to Spain. He chose the ancient historic city of Toledo, which is near Madrid, but is much quieter.

In 2010 Paco de Lucia was presented with an honorary doctor of music degree from Berklee College of Music, recognizing his achievements and influence in music, and for his enduring contributions to American and international culture.

 

 

Discography

* Los Chiquitos de Algeciras, with Pepe de Lucía (1961)
* Dos guitarras flamencas en Stereo, with Ricardo Mondrego (1965)
* Doce Exitos para dos Guitarras Flamencas, with Ricardo Mondrego (1965)
* Música Clasica Transcrita para Guitarra, with his brother Ramón de Algeciras (Polygram, 1966)
* Canciones Andaluzas para Dos Guitarras, with his brother Ramón de Algeciras (Polygram, 1966)
* Dos Guitarras Flamencas en América Latina, with his brother Ramón de Algeciras (Polygram, 1966)
* La Fabulosa Guitarra de Paco de Lucia (Polygram, 1967)
* Fantasía Flamenca de Paco de Lucía (Polygram, 1969)
* El Duende Flamenco de Paco de Lucia (Polygram, 1972)
* Fuente y Caudal (Polygram, 1973)
* Paco de Lucía en vivo desde el Teatro Real (Polygram, 1975)
* Almoraima (Polygram, 1976)
* Paco de Lucia plays Manuel de Falla (with the group Dolores) (Polygram, 1978)
* Solo Quiero Caminar (Polygram, 1981)
* Castro Marin (Polygram, 1981)
* Friday Night in San Francisco (Polygram, 1981) with John McLaughlin and Al Di Meola.
* Live…One Summer Night (Polygram, 1984)
* Hispanoamérica, a collection of Latin American pieces recorded in the 1960s and 1970s by Paco De Lucia and his brother, Ramon De Algeciras (Polygram, 1984)
* Siroco (Polygram, 1990)
* Zyryab (Polygram, 1990)
* Concierto de Aranjuez (Polygram, 1991)
* Live in America (Polygram, 1993)
* The Guitar Trio (Polygram, 1996)
* Antologia (1996)
* Luzia (Polygram, 1998)
* Cositas Buenas (Universal Music Spain/Verve-Blue Thumb 80001939-02, 2004)

Bibliography

* Paco de Lucia and family: The master plan by D. E. Pohren (Bold Strummer Ltd, 1992)
* Paco de Lucí­a, Scores Book 1: The Fabulous guitar of Paco de Lucia, transcribed by Jorge Berges. Ventilador Music, 2003.
* Paco de Lucí­a, Scores Book 2, Fantasía flamenca de Paco de Lucía
* Paco de Lucia Scores Book 3 Fuente y Caudal
* Paco De Lucía Scores, Book 4 (Almoraima)
* Paco de Lucia en vivo by Juan José Tellez. Plaza Abierta, 2003. 620 pages.

Videos

* Directo Alemania (1996) DVD
* Light and Shade (Arthaus Musik, 2001) DVD

Interviews

Interview with Paco de Lucia

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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

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