José Menese, one of Spain’s finest flamenco singers passed away Friday, July 29, 2016 at his home in La Puebla de Cazalla (Sevilla).
José Menese Scott was born in La Puebla de Cazalla (Sevilla), but it was in Madrid where he started his professional career as a flamenco artist. After going through some difficulties, he debuted at Tablao Zambra, the most prestigious flamenco nightclub in Madrid. There, he performed every night for more than three years, and had the opportunity to meet artists such as Perico el del Lunar, Rafael Romero, Pericón de Cádiz, Juan Varea, Rosa Durán, among others, all of them great professionals.
José Menese’s first record was released in 1963, in collaboration with the incomparable guitarist Melchor de Marchena.
Two years later, in 1965, he reached fame after competing at the famous Flamenco Art National Contest, in Cordoba. He was awarded the Honor Prize “Tomás El Nitri”.
He performed throughout the world. In November 1974 he gave a concert at the Olympia Theater in Paris, where he recorded an album for RCA.
He also performed at Madrid’s Royal Theater (Teatro Real) with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Radio Televisión Española conducted by maestro Odón Alonso.
José Menese was considered one of the most important singers in recent decades. In addition to the above mentioned prize, he also received the following accolades: Placa de Plata de Mairena del Alcor (1967), Cátedra de Flamencología de Jerez de la Frontera, two times (1965 and 1974), Taranto de Oro, in Almería (1971), Saeta de Oro in Sevilla (1969), Premio Ondas de la Cadena Ser, Popular del Diario Pueblo in Madrid (1968), Famoso de Sevilla y Sevillano del Año (1973), among others.
His most recent recordings were A Francisco (2000), La pureza del cante (2002), and A mis soledades voy, de mis soledades vengo (2005).
Headline photo credit: José Menese – Photo by Luis Castilla, Bienal de Flamenco