Nuevo Flamenco Pioneer Manzanita Dies at 48

Alhaurín De La Torre, Málaga, Spain – City officials announced that Flamenco singer and guitarist, José Ortega Heredia, also known as ‘Manzanita,’ died last night of a heart attack at his home, in Alhaurín de la Torre, Málaga (Spain). He was 48.

A police spokesman informed that Manzanita will be buried Tuesday, December 7, at 10 a.m. in the Alhaurín de la Torre cemetery.

Manzanita was born in Madrid on February 7, 1956. He was the son of Andalusian Gypsy performers and was the nephew of Manolo Caracol. At the age of 9, he played at Flamenco nightclubs, where his father performed as a singer (cantaor). At 11, he accompanied renowned Flamenco singer Enrique Morente. In 1974 he formed Los Chorbos, part of the Cañorroto Gypsy sound.

In 1977, Manzanita started a solo career. His first solo album, Poco ruido y mucho duende, came out in 1978.

He was one of the pioneers of Nuevo Flamenco, combining rumba, salsa and other elements.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites and 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.