Artist Profiles: Enrique De Melchor

Enrique De Melchor – Photo by Paco Manzano

Born Enrique Jimenez Ramirez, in Marchena (Seville province) in 1951, Enrique De Melchor moved to Madrid at the age of 12. His father was the renowned guitarist Melchor de Marchena, who initiated him in the art of guitar accompaniment in flamenco singing.

At the early age of 15, he made his first public appearance at the famous Madrid tablao (Flamenco nightclub) Los Canasteros, owned by Manolo Caracol. He continued performing there for another five years, playing side by side with other great flamenco artists, including the maestro Mairena.

By the age of 18, he had been awarded two of the most important national flamenco awards: the National Award of the Chair of Flamencology of Jerez and the Castillete de Oro of La Union (Murcia).

He joined a group of artists that performed regularly at Torres Bermejas, one of Madrid’s most acclaimed tablaos, where he gave some unforgettable performances, being the guitar accompaniment to legendary flamenco singers such as Camaron de la Isla, La Perla de Cadiz, Pansequito, Turronero, Fosforito, etc. He also performed with Paco de Lucia in worldwide concert tours.

Without abandoning his role as one of the most sought after guitar players to accompany cantaores (singers), like his father, he wrote his own compositions and developed his skills as a concert guitarist, becoming one of the first ever flamenco artists to play solo guitar. He also toured as part of a short lived spectacular guitar trio together with Tomatito and Manzanita.

As a soloist, he has appeared in some of the world’s greatest concert halls, namely the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, Madrid’s Teatro Real, the Liceo in Barcelona, Carnegie Hall in New York City and at the United Nations’s General Assembly together with the Spanish National Symphony Orchestra, Montserrat Caballe, Jose Carreras and Jose Menese. He also performed in the annually held Madrid Jazz Festival.

Enrique de Melchor was one of the most solid professionals of flamenco guitar and he mastered, as few others do, the difficult art of accompaniment.

Enrique de Melchor died on January 3rd, 2012 in Madrid.

Discography

* Guitarras Gitanas, with Melchor de Marchena
* Grandes Guitarras del Flamenco (Philips)
* La noche y el día (Fonomusic, 1991)
* Cuchichi (Fonomusic, 1992)
* Bajo la luna (Fonomusic, 1996)
* Arco de las rosas (Fonomusic, 1998)
* Raiz flamenca (2004)

Books

Herencia Gitana. sheet music + cd

Videos

La Guitarra Flamenca de Enrique de Melchor. Video + book (Encuentro, 1993)

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.

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