Tag Archives: Spanish music

Artist Profiles: Benjamin Escoriza

Benjamin Escoriza

Benjamin Escoriza, was born in Granada and later moved to Madrid. In the Spanish capital he met French multi-instrumentalist Vincent Molino and Spanish percussionist Fain Sanchez Dueñas and the result of their musical chemistry was the groundbreaking band Radio Tarifa, founded in the 1990s.

In 1993, Radio Tarifa’s Rumba Argelina was released. The album, produced by indie label Música Sin Fin, is regarded as a masterpiece of Spanish world music. Other recordings followed, Temporal, Cruzando el Rio and Fiebre, recorded live in Toronto (Canada).

Along with his work for Radio Tarifa, Benjamin Escoriza worked on a solo album. He enlisted Jaime Muela, Vicente Molino, Fernando Mej5as and the producer of Rumba Argelina, Juan Alberto Arteche. Together they created Alevanta!. The album is a powerful mix of Arabic music, Flamenco, Arab Andalusian and Sephardic influences, along with Andalusian folk, Medieval music and rock.

On Alevanta!, Benjamin Escoriza shifted from being a contributor to writer of all the material. In this flamenco-focused record Benjamin left his Granada roots more visible. The songwriting process took place in stages. After writing the lyrics, Benjamin tried them out over his own guitar or small electric keyboard, searching for melodies and chords and writing them down on a 4-track recorder. He later worked on the rough demos with his various musical collaborators, primarily Vincent Molino, but also Jaime Muela, Fernando Mejias and producer Juan Alberto Arteche. Much of the record was put together in these musicians’ homes. By working through the ideas and arrangements, the songs gradually took shape and the choice of instruments was selected to reflect the mood and meaning of each composition.

Benjamin Escoriza died on March 9th, 2012.

Discography:

Rumba Argelina (Música Sin Fin, 1993, released by World Circuit / Nonesuch outside Spain)
Temporal (1996)
Cruzando el río (2000)
Fiebre (2003)
Alevanta! (18 Chulos Records, 2006/Riverboat Records-World Music Network, 2007)

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Artist Profiles: Xosé Manuel Budiño

Xosé Manuel Budiño

Piper Xosé Manuel Budiño was born in Moaña, Spain. He is the son of a fisherman, a common profession in Spain’s northwestern reion of Galicia. Although none of his family members were musicians, Budiño soon took an interest in the traditional music that his parents played at home.

In his hometown of Moaña there were also many choir groups and bagpipe bands that he listened to. Budiño’s first instrument was the flute, which he learned how to play in school at the age of seven. In addition to studying classical music, the kids also learned Galician traditional music.

A few years later, Budiño started to play the gaita (Galician bagpipe), performing locally and throughout the region with a local group. What started as a group of friends playing bagpipes eventually became a bagpipe school, Escuela de gaitas Semente Nova (New Seed) de Moaña, which is now run by the city government.

A young Budiño played at his first festival at the age of 15, in Lorient (Brittany). He knew then that he wanted to be a professional musician. He started to play at competitions for solo pipes in Galicia and won some awards. His success led to his selection as representative of Galicia at the Macallan Trophy at the Lorient Interceltic Festival where he won the master bagpiper award several times.

In 1991 he formed Fol de Niu together with musicians that came from the fields of folk and jazz music. The progressive folk band lasted four years until the band members decided to go in separate ways. At that time, Budiño formed his own band.

His first album, Paralaia, came out in 1977. Budiño invited one of his idols to play in the album, Breton musician Jacky Molard. There were other Breton and Spanish musicians that participated in the recordings. The album brought immediate critical acclaim and Budiño was praised as one of the new innovators of Galician music.

To record Arredor (Around), Budiño traveled to Glasgow (Scotland) where he worked with producer Donald Shaw.

Discography

* Paralaia (Resistencia, 1997)
* Arredor (Virgin Music Spain, 2000)
* Zume de Terra (Boa, 2004)
* Home (Falcatruada, 2007)
* Volta (2010)
* Sotaque (Fol Musica, 2013)
* Paralaia 20 Aniversario (2017), book + CD

Web site: www.xosemanuelbudino.com

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Artist Profiles: Tomás San Miguel

Tomás San Miguel

Tomás San Miguel was born in Vitoria (Spain) in 1953. He is living presently in Madrid, working as a pianist, composer and an accomplished accordionist.

He recorded piano and flute duos with flamenco flutist and saxophonist Jorge Pardo, on the album Life in Cathedrals.

San Miguel has composed numerous soundtracks and themes, including themes for Spanish National Radio (RNE), the movie score for Big City Blues by Clive Fleury with Burt Reynolds and Balthasar Getty (USA, 1997), TV series such as Para Elisa (1992) and Muerte a Destiempo (1990).

He recorded a trilogy of recordings accompanied by the chalaparta, a Basque percussion instrument. The trilogy includes Dan Txa, Lezao and Ten.

Discography

* Esta Noche, with Gerardo Núñez (21 Records 1985)

* Vida en catedrales Life in Cathedrals, with Jorge Pardo (Sonifolk, 1991)

* Lezao, Tomas San Miguel + Txalaparta (Spain: Nuevos Medios, 1993 / USA: Narada, 1993)

* De dos en dos, with Jorge Pardo (Nuevos Medios, 1995)

* Q, Soundtrack (Andanzas, 1996)

* Ten, Tomas San Miguel + Txalaparta (Spain: Nuevos Medios / USA: Narada, 1998)

* Nuevos Medios Coleccion – 20 años, best of, (Nuevos Medios, 2002)

* In the flight of life En el vuelo de la vida, double (MusiMagic, 2003)

* Dan Txa (Musimagic, 2005)

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Artist Profiles: The Rosenberg Trio

The Rosenberg Trio

The Rosenberg Trio is formed by three cousins Nonnie (double bass), Nous’che (rhythm guitar) and Stochelo Rosenberg (solo guitar). All three have been playing music since their childhood days at family reunions, religious celebrations, and other events as their talent grew.

They were fascinated by music, taught to play by ear and practice restlessly, playing the classics over and over again. However, neither of the three can actually read nor write music.

The Rosenberg Trio plays jazz standards, Django Reinhardt’s classic compositions and also original tunes by Stochelo. Perhaps that’s why they were adopted by the legendary violin Maestro Stéphane Grappelli, who, after seeing and hearing them for the first time, immediately invited them to play with him throughout Europe, and also to celebrate his 85th birthday at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

´Tribute to Stephan Grappelli´ featuring Tim Kliphuis on violin was released in March 2008.

 

 

Discography

Caravan (Verve/PolyGram, 1993)
Live at the North Sea Jazz Festival ’92 (Universal, 1993)
Gypsy Swing (IMS, 1995)
Gypsy Summer (Universal, 1996)
Impressions (Universal, 1996)
Seresta (Hot Club, 1996)
3 Originals (Universal, 1998)
Deine Kuesse Sind Susser (Polydor/Universal, 1999)
Je Zoenen Zijn Zoeter (Universal, 1999)
Noches Calientes (IMS, 1999)
Sueños Gitanos (Universal, 2002)
Noches Calientes (PO, 2004)
Rosenberg Trio Live (Brilliant, 2006)
Roots (Iris Musique 2007)
Nomy Rosenberg Trio (Big Bear, 2008)
Tribute to Stephane Grapelli (FMM, 2008)
Djangologists (Enja, 2010)

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Artist Profiles: Sergio Monroy

Sergio Monroy

 

Sergio Monroy was born in Cadiz (Spain). He has developed a unique synthesis of flamenco and piano music. His debut album was acclaimed in the new flamenco community for its freshness and accessibility, wedding flamenco with jazz. Sergio fuses all the components of flamenco – the guitar, the palmas (hand-clapping) and the voice – without imitating them, bringing all the piano’s melodic resources, rhythm and harmony into play.

Monroy’s career began at an early age: at seventeen the pianist performed his first open air concert at the Mentidero square in Cadiz and his true debut came at twenty when he accompanied celebrated flamenco singer Miguel Poveda in the Central Lechera theatre, also in Cadiz, in 2000. Since then he has performed in many renowned theatres in Spain, ranging from the prestigious Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid to the Mercado de Música Viva showcase in Vic. He has also played concerts in England, Netherlands, Germany, United States of America and France.

 

Sergio Monroy

 

His first album, titled Monroy – Piano Flamenco, was released in 2003. It already showed his interest in approaching flamenco and jazz and included appearances of celebrated singers such as Javier Ruibal and Miguel Poveda. Chicuco, his second recording, showed the ancient wisdom of Cadiz flamenco and a deep respect for the folk songs as they were sung at the popular Mentidero square and where they were caught in the air by this fresh-minded flamenco artist, eager to renew his sound.

Chicuco is how you call in Cadiz the brisk boy from the northern coast who has come to the town to help out in the little corner shops. It is a true homage to his roots, to his father, to a lifestyle and a spirit. There is also a village in Mozambique and a valley in northern Mexico called Chicuco. And Monroy is wise and humble enough to listen while he’s working and melting together an universe of artistic influences: flamenco, jazz, Spanish folk music, Cuban son and other rhythms.

 

Discography

* Piano Flamenco (Ediciones El Bujío, 2003)
* Chicuco (Ediciones El Bujío, 2009)

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Artist Profiles: Segundo Falcón

Segundo Falcón

 

Segundo Falcón was born in 1970 in a section of Sevilla (Spain) that is known as El Viso del Alcor, where a family of cantaoras (female singers) by the name of Janegas are concentrated.

Antonio Mairena discovered him. Even as a child, Segundo Falcón had expressed a passion for flamenco. He debuted at a local flamenco club called El Rincon del Pilar when he was just 8 years old. His apprenticeship continued at other clubs, competitions and tablaos where he accompanied many big names in flamenco, including Mario Maya, Manuela Carrasco, Pepa Montes, Javier Baron, Israel Galvan, Juana Amaya, etc.

In 1990, he became part of the flamenco show at the tablao Los Gallos de Sevilla.

Segundo Falcón has achieved his own style and sound by re-introducing influences from certain teachers and artists whom he admires, such as Enrique Morente and Enrique El Extremeño.

 

Segundo Falcón

 

Thanks to the support of some of those teachers, Segundo Falcón’s recording career had a great start with the release of Un Segundo de cante, which includes samples of solea, fandangos, seguidillas, tangos, and bulerias.

In January 2002, he was appointed director of the Centro Andaluz de Flamenco (CAF) (Andalusian Flamenco Center). He managed the center until 2006.

In April 2002, Segundo Falcón and Arcangel performed in Sevilla with the Chekara Orchestra from Tetuan, Morocco, under conductor Jallal Chekkara. The performance was called ‘Flamenco Couscous’ as it mixed different types of flamenco with Moroccan music.

Discography

* Un Segundo de Cante (2002)

* La Chekara y el Flamenco (Musica Es Amor, 2009)

Translated by Rita Granda.

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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: Ramón El Portugués

Ramón El Portugués – Photo by Mario Pacheco

Ramón Suárez Salazar, better known as Ramón El Portugués, was born in Mérida (Badajoz province), Spain in 1948. He is the nephew of the legendary singer Porrina de Badajoz.

Ramón El Portugués is specialized in cantes extremeños (Flamenco songs from Extremadura, a region in western Spain), such as tangos and jaleos. The jaleos are thought to be one of the oldest forms of Flamenco, a primitive form of the alegria.

Although born in Mérida, Ramón El Portugués is known in the Flamenco circuit as El Portugués because his region, Extremadura, borders Portugal.

Ramón El Portugués has taken part in most relevant flamenco festivals and has proved to be a “live” artist rather than a recording artist. He has recorded very few albums during his musical career, the first one in the early 1970s.

On his second album, Gitanos de la Plaza, he was accompanied by some the finest flamenco guitarists: Juan Habichuela, Pepe Habichuela, Tomatito and El Bola. His own son, Paquete, and El Negri, also collaborated, both being members of La Barberia del Sur. Therefore, Gitanos de la Plaza brought together several flamenco generations with the fabulous voice of Ramón El Portugués.

In 2009, top flamenco artists participated in a tribute to Ramón El Portugués’ 50th anniversary as a singer. Pepe Habichuela, José El Frances, Los Chunguitos, Juan Carmona and others got together in a series of fundraising concerts to pay for knee surgery.

Discography

* Gitanos de la Plaza (Nuevos Medios, 1992)
* Canta Ramón El Portugués (2006)
* Archivo De Flamenco Vol.17, Aires Flamencos De Extremadura Con El Indio Gitano Y * Ramón “El Portugués” (2007)
* Jaleo, with Guadiana (Karonte, 2014)

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Second Flamenco Eñe Showcase Announces Artists Selected

Santiago Lara and Mercedes Ruiz perform Flamenco Tribute to Pat Metheny at the 1st Flamenco Show for International Programmers. Photo by Jesús Domínguez

The SGAE Foundation announced the artists selected to participate in the 2nd Flamenco EÑE Show for International Flamenco Programmers. The event will take place May 18 to 20, 2017 in Malaga, southern Spain.

The initiative, organized by the SGAE Foundation, with the collaboration of the Malaga Picasso Museum and the Andalusian Institute of Flamenco – Andalusian Regional Ministry of Culture, aims to internationalize flamenco.

The artists selected include Angelita Montoya, who will present Versos Perdidos (Forgotten Verses); guitarist Daniel Casares, who will pay homage to the painter Pablo Ruiz Picasso (who was born in Malaga) through his show Picassares; cantaor (singer) David Palomar will present Denominación de origen (Denomination of origin); the latest from brothers David de Jacoba and Carlos de Jacoba; Veteran performer Diego Carrasco will review his 50-year career; Guadiana, who will deliver the show Raíces de mi tierra (Roots of my land); the Jairo León Quartet; José Carlos Gómez, with his new album, Origen; Mixto Lobo, who will present Plugged Flamenco; Naike and Paquete, who will showcase Diez canciones Con nombre de mujer (ten songs with a woman’s name); Raúl Rodríguez, who will perform his latest project, La Raíz Eléctrica; and Rycardo Moreno, with the special collaboration of Sandra Carrasco in the project A Galeano.

Over the course of four days, the participating flamenco artists and groups will perform concerts in showcase format to the attending public, which will include different directors and programmers from European festivals interested in current Spanish flamenco. There will also be networking meetings.

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