Asignatura Flamenca (Bujio BJ-200, 2010)
Soniquete is one of the most exciting projects related with Flamenco in recent years. This group, formed by young musicians is the result of a series of flamenco workshops conducted by Carlos Gonzalez Pantoja that took place in 2005 in Jerez de la Frontera, one of the cradles of Flamenco. The workshops were sponsored by the peña Fernando Terremoto of Jerez. Peñas are the essential flamenco clubs run by music fans.
The concept behind the workshops was to introduce children to the basics of Flamenco compás (rhythms). In the liner notes, José Maria Castaño explains that thanks to this project, Jerez recovered the ancient tradition of children getting together after school to have fun, play and jam playing palmas (handclap percussion). The young musicians and singers are children and grandchildren born in widely respected families with deep flamenco roots. Currently, the former workshop students are now teachers and mentors themselves, working with the next generation of flamenco artists.
Soniquete’s debut album, Asignatura Flamenca, covers a wide variety of flamenco genres. Rumbas and tangos (not the Argentine genre, but a Flamenco genre which share the same name) are a great tool to jam and Asignatura Flamenca includes several of these popular pieces. This is the real stuff, the rootsy rumbas. As good flamenco students, Soniquete also perform more complex flamenco forms such as the ever popular buleria, fandangos and the deep flamenco of the soleá.
Soniquete’s line-up includes vocalist and dancer Manuela Fernandez Martinez, born in 1992, of the Parrilla family; vocalist and dancer Angeles Cortés Rodriguez a.k.a. Angeles "La Junquerita," born in 1995, granddaughter of "la Venta" and a relative of "Niño Jero"; guitarist Jesus De Los Rios Carrasco, born in 1989. He is a member of the "Madriles" and "Niño Jero" families; vocalist Manolo Marin Valencia. a.k.a. Manuel de la Chochete, born in 1995, and a member of the Sordera and Diamante Negro families; vocalist and dancer Dolores Carrasco Ruiz, born in 1994 and a member of the "Niño Jero" family; vocalist and dancer Reyes Moreno Romero, born in 1991 and a member of the Tomasito and Tía Bastiana families; Teresa Moreno Jimenez a.k.a. Tere del Morao, born in 1991, is a member of the "Morao" and "Moraíto Chico" families; and guitarist Fernando Romero Moreno, born in 1991 and a member of the Rafael Romero and Moraíto Chico families.
Many of the members of Soniquete are gypsies (called gitanos in Spain). The group has been the focus of Mundi Romani, The World through Roma Eyes, a documentary series co-produced by the Romedia Foundation and Duna Television Hungary, which explores the world of the Roma (Gypsies) from Kosovo to Spain through Romania, France, Macedonia, Italy and Israel. The latest episode of Mundi Romani was shot in Jerez, Spain, in April 2010. The first broadcast will appear on Duna Television Hungary on Friday 21 May 2010 at 4 p.m.
Asignatura Flamenca was released by the Bujio label, which is quickly becoming one of the top Flamenco labels in Spain, releasing some of the finest traditional and contemporary forms of Flamenco.
Judging by Soniquete’s passion and creativity, Flamenco’s future is in good hands.
Buy the album or MP3: Asignatura Flamenca
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Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV 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 albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.