Artist Profiles: Ariadna Castellanos

Ariadna Castellanos – Photo by Jorge Calvo

Spanish pianist and composer, Ariadna Castellanos Rivas is currently one of the top rising and most promising Flamenco artists. She combines Flamenco and Jazz in order to create a new language, a unique identity.

Ariadna was born in Madrid, Spain, in 1983. She began her music studies at age six. When she was 17 she won a full scholarship to study classical piano at the Guildhall School of Music in London, where she graduated after four years. Throughout her education she has been close to flamenco music. After graduation she returned to Spain to work with famous flamenco figures such as Jorge Pardo, Jesus Del Rosario, and Agustin Carbonell (“El Bola”) and toured the world with flamenco dance companies like Los Vivancos 7.

Ariadna Castellanos

After four years of work exploring new paths for piano in flamenco, she was signed by the production company Casa Limón for her first album. In 2009, after an impromptu audition in Madrid with Berklee faculty, she won a full Presidential Scholarship to Berklee, , becoming the first Spanish musician to receive this recognition. At Berklee she concentrated on skills specific to improvisation and jazz. In May of 2010, at the college’s commencement exercises, she was chosen to lead the tribute performance for flamenco legend Paco de Lucía, who was in attendance. She is a dual major at Berklee, in both professional music and performance.

Based on her technique, acquired with classical piano training, and her natural sense of improvisation, Ariadna’s performances achieve the highest artistic quality. Ariadna Castellanos has appeared all over the world, bringing her innovative style to such venues as the Palacio de las Artes de Valencia, Monterrey Jazz Festival, Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, and the Heineken JazzFest in Puerto Rico, where she shared program alongside legendary artists such as Paco de Lucía and Michel Camilo.

She recorded her first album for Casa Limón, which was produced by the Grammy Award winning composer and producer Javier Limón (Paco de Lucía, Bebo Valdés, El Cigala, Buika), released in 2012. She has also collaborated with top Spanish artists, including Jorge Pardo, Niño Josele, Agustín Pardo “El Bola”, Sandra Carrasco, Javier Limón, José Mercé, and Alejandro Sanz.


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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.


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