Tag Archives: Flamenco

Artist Profiles: Ojos de Brujo

Ojos de Brujo in 2002

Ojos de Brujo was a flamenco roots band based in Barcelona, Spain. The band caused a stir in international music circles in 2003-2004 with its flamenco fusion. The group whose name means ‘witch eyes’ created a popular mix of flamenco with funk, samba, reggae and other forms of world music. One of Spain’s most popular live musical acts at the time, the group was composed of musicians on flamenco guitar, bass and percussion; a DJ and a dancer and featured the captivating lead vocals of Marina Abad.

Said Xavi Turull the group’s percussionist: “We live in Barcelona and we live strong – always out in the streets so we’ve always lived rumba catalana and flamenco puro really strongly. But when Marina came into the group we became even more focused on flamenco. Our roots got stronger and we became more confident when we experimented with other styles. We became more solid – more of a band.”

The second album Bari took its name from a word in Caló – the Gypsy (Roma) dialect of Spain – that means roughly ‘finding the groove in life’ – the same way you do in music. Xavi Turull explained: “Bari is a word that Ramon, who’s Gypsy, picked up from his grandmother. It’s kind of like the feeling that everything in life is working right. That everything feels good.”

Techari came out in 2006 and was released in North America on February 2007 on Six Degrees Records. It is an ambitious self-produced journey recorded both abroad in Cuba and New York as well as in a studio at the foot of the Pyrenees Mountains close to the birthplace of Salvador Dali. “One of the pressures of success is to look for ways to stay true,” said Xavi Turull. “And we are really trying to find a way to be free. That’s why the new album is called Techari because it means ‘free’ in the gypsy language.”

Work on Techari started at the end of March 2005 and was completed at the end of October. In between the band did two international tours which stop-started the recording process. “Recording and touring at the same time was a little crazy but the result is amazing,” added Xavi. “We are finally at a point where the sound is exactly the way we want.”

Special guests included Faada Freddy from Senegalese hip hop collective Daara J, Asian Dub Foundation’s Prithpal Rajput and Nitin Sawhney, South Indian fusion artist and British TV star (who returned the favor after Ojos de Brujo collaborated on two tracks for his album Philtre).

Cuban pianist Roberto Carcasses also made an appearance alongside respected flamenco guitarist Pepe Habichuela and Cuban tres/flamenco guitar player Raul Rodriguez from Son de la Frontera.

Cuban drums were used in bulerias, funk was layered onto rumba catalana and dhol drums add an Eastern flavor to the mix. However the band was quick to point out that these collaborations were the result of new friendships and not any cynical marketing strategy.

The Techari bonus CD-ROM featured work from fourteen illustrators from around the world, each represent the individual nature of the fourteen tracks fifteen translations of lead singer Marina’s emotionally-charged lyrics and three full-length videos.

 

 

 

Lenacay, Calima, Marinah and Kejaleo are bands started by former Ojos de Brujo members.

Discography

Vengue (1999)
Bari (2002)
Bari: Remezclas de la Casa (2003)
Techari­ (2006)
Techari­ Live (2007) CD/DVD
Techari­ Remixes (2007)
Aocana (WEA Spain, 2009)
Corriente vital 10 años (WEA Spain, 2010)

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Artist Profiles: Pepe Habichuela

Pepe Habichuela

José Antonio Carmona Carmona, better known as Pepe Habichuela, was born in Granada (Spain) in 1944. The guitar has always been present in the Habichuela dynasty. Pepe Habichuela’s grandfather, Tio José Habichuela and father Juan Carmona Habichuela played the guitar and all his brothers are professional players. His son is Josemi Carmona, who along with Pepe’s nephews, founded innovative flamenco fusion group Ketama.

As many other guitarists Pepe Habichuela’s professional career started as accompanist to well-known cantaores (singers) like Camarón de la Isla. His collaboration with the great cantaor Enrique Morente meant a giant step for modern Flamenco. Pepe Habichuela participated in several of Morente’s superb albums: Se hace camino al andar, Homenaje a Don Antonio Chacon and Despegando.

Since 1980 Pepe Habichuela has been giving concerts as a soloist. Pepe Habichuela’s first solo album was a tribute to his grandfather.

Pepe has gone beyond traditional Flamenco guitar by adding bass, percussion and Jazz elements to his compositions. His interest in Jazz has led him to collaborations with jazzmen Don Cherry and David Holland. He has also explored the connections between flamenco and Indian music collaborating with Nithin Sawhney, Anoushka Shankar and The Bollywood Strings.

Discography:

Homenaje a D. Antonio Chacón, with Enrique Morente ((Hispavox, 1976)
Despegando (CBS, 1977)
A Mandeli (Nuevos Medios, 1983)
Habichuela en Rama (Nuevos Medios, 1997)
Yerbagüena, with The Bollywood Strings (Nuevos Medios NM15788, 2001)
Hands, with Dave Holland (Dare2 Records, 2010)

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Artist Profiles: Miguel Poveda

Miguel Poveda

 

Spanish flamenco singer Miguel Angel Poveda León was born in Barcelona on February 13, 1973. He grew up in the Badalona suburb and started singing at 15 at local peñas flamencas (Flamenco fan clubs).

In 1993, Miguel Poveda won the most sought-after award “La Lampara Minera” at the 33rd Song Festival de las Minas de La Unión and became known to a wider public. At the same festival, Miguel Poveda obtained three further awards La Cartagenera, La Malagueña and La Soleá

Having gained recognition as a new talent by the professional flamenco world, his artistic career quickly developed. In 1994, film director Bigas Luna took him on as an actor in the movie “La Teta i la Lluna”. One year later he produced his first CD “Viento del Este” together with musicians such as Moraíto, Carles Benavent and José Soto.

In 1996 Miguel Poveda participated in various festivals in Spain and Europe and set out for his first tour of Japan. In the following year he produced a show about García Lorca for a seminar organized by the University of Bologna, Italy.

In 1998 he attended the “Festival of Culture and Arts” in Ramallah, Palestine and was the invited artist in “La Vida es un Sueño” presented by Calixto Bieito in the International Festival of Edinburgh. At the same time he presented successfully his latest show “Suena Flamenco” throughout Europe. The most outstanding pieces of these live concerts are included in his CD “Suena Flamenco”.

Miguel Poveda is one of those artists who grow once they are on stage and manages to connect quickly with the public. In 2003 he moved to Sevilla one of the cradles of flamenco.

 

 

In 2015 Poveda released “Sonetos y poemas para la libertad.” It’s a collection of poems by leading poets from the Spanish-speaking world in Spain and Latin America, including Quevedo, Rafael de León, García Lorca, Borges, Miguel Hernández, Pablo Neruda and Joaquín Sabina. Poveda recreated the expression of these poems through flamenco.

 

Discography:

Viento del Este (1995)
Suena Flamenco (Harmonia Mundi Ibérica HMI 98719, 1999)
Zaguan (Harmonia Mundi, 2001)
Poemas del Exilio Rafael ALberti (Harmonia Mundi, 2004)
Qawwali-Flamenco (Accords Croises, 2006)
Desglac (Discmedi, 2005)
Tierra de calma (Discmedi, 2006)
Cante i orchestra (Discmedi, 2009)
Coplas del querer (Universal Music, 2009)
Coplas del querer en directo live (Universal Music, 2010)
Artesano (Universal Music, 2012)
Real (Universal Music, 2012)
Diálogos De Buenos Aires A Granada, with Rodolfo Mederos (Universal Music, 2013)
Sonetos y poemas para la libertad (Universal Music, 2015)

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Artist Profiles: Miguel Angel Cortés

Miguel Angel Cortés

 

Miguel Angel Cortés was born in Granada (Spain) on January 26th, 1972. The Cortés family is well known for its fine guitarists so it is not surprising that Miguel Angel displayed an early enthusiasm for carrying on the family tradition. His unusual talent was discovered when he was given a guitar at the age of 8. He made his debut into the world of flamenco at the Zambra del Sacromonte club in the famous Gypsy caves of Granada.

By the time he was 14 years old Miguel Angel was already touring extensively throughout Europe, the United States, Turkey and Japan accompanying top Flamenco dancers such as Mariquilla, Manolote, Antonio Canales, Javier Barón and Juan Andrés Maya and flamenco singers José de la Tomasa, José Merce, Chano Lobato, Luis El Polaco Morenito de Illora and Estrella Morente.

In 1994, Miguel Angel won the Paco de Lucía Guitar Award. For the past several years he and his brother Paco Cortés have been working and touring with one of the leading flamenco singers in Spain, Carmen Linares. They also worked on a music project in collaboration with several other musicians and El Guito, formerly Paco de Lucia’s dancer.

Miguel Angel’s pride as a Gypsy musician compels him to continue composing and performing Flamenco music. He is traditional in his approach while still being an active participant in the exciting ongoing evolution of Spanish guitar music.

To me it is more important to ‘feel the pain’ with sensibility when playing flamenco because anyone can achieve technical speed by rehearsing 12 hours a day.”

Discography:

Patriarca (Antequera Records/Alula Records, 1998)
Bordón De Trapo ‎(Nuba Records KAR7714, 2006)

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Flamenco Star Miguel Poveda to Perform in Alcalá de Henares

Miguel Poveda

Miguel Poveda, an award-winning flamenco vocalist, is set to perform September 1st, 2017 at the Auditorio del Patrimonio in Alcalá de Henares, near Madrid. This performance is part of the series Conciertos de La Muralla that take place in the walled enclosure next to the Archbishop’s Palace.

Although Miguel Poveda is a talented flamenco singer, he’s also a crossover artist that performs traditional Spanish copla and other genres. He will be accompanied by his regular band, directed by Joan Albert Amargós.

Poveda’s discography includes ten albums. His most recent Sonetos y poemas para la libertad, arteSano (2012), and Coplas del querer (2009).

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Jerez Celebrates the 50th Fiesta de La Bulería Flamenco Festival

Jerez de la Frontera, one of the cradles of flamenco, is celebrating the 50th edition of its renowned flamenco festival Fiesta de La Bulería de Jerez. The shows begin today, August 24th and will run until August 26th. Performances take place at the Alcázar de Jerez. This year’s festival is dedicated to Juan de la Plata.

Today, the Festival of the Festival de la Bulería Joven (the young buleria festival) is titled ‘Bodas de Oro,’ directed by Pedro Garrido ‘Niño de la Fragua.’ The show will honor the most outstanding flamenco vocalists, dancers and guitarists that have performed at Festival of the Bulería in its 50 years. The second part ‘Canta Jerez’ (Jerez Sings) will showcase the current young flamenco cantaores (male singers) and cantaoras (female singers) along with more experienced artists.

On Friday, August 25, the Fiesta de la Bulería again opens its borders to other sister municipalities, including a show dedicated to iconic singer Camarón de la Isla, titled ‘Jerez, Cádiz and the Ports, to Camarón’, directed by Diego Magallanes. The show is a province of Cadiz tribute to José Monge Cruz (Camarón).

On Saturday, August 26, the week of the Festival of the Bulería will culminate with the grand final show that, under the title ‘La tierra y el cante’ (the earth and song) with Pepe del Morao as artistic director and Juan Alfonso Romero as executive producer.

Throughout the festival, flamenco dance and guitar workshops will be available.

The festival held a flamenco dance flashmob on August 21.

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Artist Profiles: Mayte Martin

Mayte Martin

Mayte Martin is one of the most versatile cantaoras (flamenco singers) of her generation. She is capable of performing the most difficult styles of her repertoire with equal talent and without falling for the clichés linked to flamenco cante. She takes time to explore all of the possibilities for beauty and expression in each cante.

For her interpretive work is above all an exercise in ̶interior listening” a kind of mental composition that must later be re-created with the voice. Mayte controls the ̶micro-intervals”, the melismas that are interspersed between prolonged notes and that give her cante a fluidity and an unusual melodic elegance.

Mayte exudes an expressive and personal style founded on a classic base. Mayte recorded a boleros album with Tete Montoliú and wrote a handful of songs for string quintets before meeting the dancer Belén Maya. Their meeting resulted in the forging of one of the most important and unusual artistic unions in today’s flamenco.

Mayte’s recording, Querencia, with Drac-Virgin Records, provides an in-depth look at the essence of cante and Mayte’s own restlessness as an artist.

Querencia adds rhythmic emphasis without falling into festive clichés. It gives melodiousness to the most solemn of flamenco styles without loosing a speck of depth.

Translated by Rita Granda

Discography:

Muy Fragil (K Industria Cultural, 1994)
Free Boleros (K Industria Cultural, 1996)
Querencia (Virgin Records, 2000)
Tiempo de Amar (Virgin Records, 2002)
De fuego y de agua (KLM, 2008)
Al cantar a Manuel (Nuevos Medios, 2009)
Cosas de dos (2012)

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Artist Profiles: Manuel Flores

Flamenco percussionist Manuel Flores was born in Morón de la Frontera, Spain in 1969. Considered one of the masters of hand rhythm (compas) from Moron he has participated in the Bienal de Flamenco and the Feria Mundial de Flamenco. For many years Flores was the rhythmic “anchor” for singers and dancers such as Chano Lobato, Andorrano, Kiko Veneno, Juan de Juan, Nano de Jerez, Rafael de Utrera and Javier Ruibal and guitarists Paco del Gastor, Diego de Moron, Juan del Gastor, El Leri, and Eduardo Rebollar.

Outside of Spain he has been involved in flamenco performances in the United Arab Emirates, Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, the United States, France and Belgium. In 1998 Manuel Flores began to collaborate with Martirio. He soon became an integral part of her flamenco group and performed on her album Mucho Corazon subsequently touring with her in 2003 and 2004.

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Artist Profiles: Manolo Franco

Manolo Franco

Flamenco guitarist Manolo Franco was born in Sevilla (Spain) in 1960. He debuted at age 15 with Matilde Coral who performed at famous festivals in Spain. Since then he has participated as soloist in prestigious national and international festivals in Stockholm Tokyo Freiburg the Festival de la Guitarra de Cordoba, the Flamenco Summit Madrid and Sevilla Flamenco Biennial.

His discography includes the essential Aljibe solo album as well as countless collaborations as a sideman with several singers and other music genres related to flamenco. His main professional focus is accompanying vocalists. He is a teacher at present at the Conservatorio Superior de Musica `Rafael Orozco´de Cordoba (Cordoba’s Rafael Orozco Conservatory of Music).

His artistic career has been recognized with numerous awards including the Giraldillo al toque in 1984 at the Bienal de Sevilla and the Premio Nacional de la Catedra de Flamencologia de Jerez (National Flamencology Award in 2003.

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Guitarists Jose Maria Bandera and Amir John Haddad to Celebrate Paco de Lucía’s Final Work

Canción Andaluza, the last album released by guitar maestro and Paco de Lucía will be presented live for the first time as a tribute led by two world class guitarists, Paco’s nephew José Maria Bandera (a regular member of Paco’s band) and Amir John Haddad (El Amir). The concert will take place at the IV Encuentro Internacional de Guitarra Paco de Lucía on July 18th, 2017 in Paco de Lucia’s birthplace, Algeciras (Spain).

Canción Andaluza focused on popular Andalusian music known as copla. It received two 2 Latin Grammy awards in 2014 for Best Flamenco Album and Best Album of the Year.
The lineup for this special concert includes José María Bandera on guitar; El Amir on guitar and bouzouki; Josemi Garzón on double bass; and Israel Katumba on percussion. Celebrated flamenco singer Arcángel is scheduled to appear as special guest.

July 18th, 2017
Parque María Cristina, Algeciras
10:00 p.m.

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