One of Spain’s best known flamenco vocalists, Manuel de los Santos Pastor, better known as ‘Agujetas’ or ‘Agujetas de Jerez’, passed away December 25 at the Hospital del Servicio Andaluz de Salud in Jerez de la Frontera. He was 76 years old.
Manuel Agujetas was an exceptional singer. He was born in Jerez de la Frontera (some biographies indicate Rota) in 1939. He grew up in the Spanish Gypsy tradition of singing blacksmiths. His father, known as ‘Agujetas Viejo’ introduced him to the singing style of masters such as Manuel Torre, Tío José de Paula and El Marruro.
Agujetas worked in his father’s forge until 1970, when he made his first recording. He achieved international recognition for his singing of the superbly intense form of flamenco called cante jondo (deep song) that includes flamenco’s purest, ancient styles such as martinetes and siguiriyas.
Manuel Agujetas was the father of singers Dolores Agujetas and Antonio Agujetas. He recorded over 13 albums, including his debut titled ‘Viejo cante jondo’ (1972) and his most recent, a 5-volume anthology titled ‘Agujetas: Historia, Pureza y Vanguardia del Flamenco’ (2012).
Agujetas also appeared in Carlos Saura’s influential movie “Flamenco” and was the subject of Dominique Abel’s documentary “Agujetas, Cantaor”.
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. 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.