Las Guitarras De España
Tantas Cosas (NR 1104, 2011)
Las Guitarras De España (The Guitars of Spain) is a Chicago-based band that fuses Flamenco sounds from Spain with a wide range of global sounds, including West African music, pop ballads, rock and Gypsy swing. Despite the band’s name, Las Guitarras De España includes more than guitarists. Tantas Cosas (which translates to “Many Things”) is Las Guitarras De España’s fifth album and features a full band with bass, percussion, brass and various other instruments.
Tantas Cosas includes compositions by vocalist and producer Patricia (Patty) Ortega. Her Spanish language vocals are passionate and infused with Flamenco roots. She leads the listener to a sound very similar to Spanish flamenco fusionists such as Ojos de Brujo, Chambao or Ketama. Patty herself is the product of cultural fusion: She was born and raised in Chicago, but her mother is from Mexico and her father from Cuba. As a child, the family listened to Mexican folk music, Cuban son, and flamenco. She mentions that pop, rock, R&B, Mexican ranchera, and artists such as Cafe Tacuba, Ojos de Brujo, Chambao, Concha Buika, Lila Downs, and Michael Jackson are the inspiration for her compositions.
The other band leader and executive producer is guitarist Carlo Basile. He has a Master’s Degree in Classical Guitar performance and pedagogy from Northeastern Illinois University. His Master’s Degree performance was titled “Flamenco Music and Spain’s Nationalist Composers.” Carlo studied Classical guitar with Anne Waller at Northwestern University for 7 years. He continues to study flamenco guitar in Cordoba and Sevilla (Spain) with various teachers including Luis Ruiz (“Calderito”). Carlo has travelled to and either performed, lectured, or collaborated with musicians from Rajasthan (India); Mirissa (Sri Lanka); Chang Mai (Thailand), Cebu (Philippines), Merzuga (Morocco); Camaguey and Havana (Cuba); Limassol (Cyprus); Zabalo (Ecuador) and Paracho (Mexico). As a composer, Carlo has written music for Clinard Dance Theater productions, various radio and television spots, and recently he co-wrote and performed all of the music for the Steppenwolf Theatre’s production of “Sonia Flew.”
Tantas Cosas is a formidable album with as winning mix of Flamenco rock and global sounds.
Buy the CD: Tantas Cosas
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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.