Antonio Manuel Álvarez Vélez, better known as Pitingo was born into a seafaring family in the city of Ayamonte in Huelva, Spain, in southwestern Spain.
After going to school locally, he moved to Madrid where he started performing in underground flamenco clubs, eventually ending up with a weekly gig at the flamenco bar El Mago (The Magician), a regular spot of flamenco’s greatest vocalists, such as Enrique Morente and Carmen Linares. He soon debuted at festivals and theaters across Spain and was signed to Universal Music.
Pitingo’s first album, Pitingo con habichuelas, brought together the singer with worldclass guitarist Pepe Habichuela. Pitingo quickly distinguished himself from other flamenco singers with his unconventional R&B and Gospel approach to flamenco.
In 2008 Pitingo released his first major effort to fuse flamenco with soul and gospel traditions, Soulería. The word-play of the title refers to the flamenco musical style called bulería. Pitingo followed that release with 2010’s Olé and Amén that featured the London Community Gospel Choir.
Pitingo’s Malecón Street (named for the famous Havana seaside promenade) expanded his flamenco soul style to the streets of Old Havana with a collection of classic Cuban songs from decades past.
* Pitingo con habichuelas (Universal Music, 2006)
* Soulería (Universal Music, 2008)
* Olé and Amén (Universal Music, 2010)
* Malecón Street (Universal Music, 2011)
* Cambio de tercio (Universal Music, 2014)
* Soul, bulería y más (Warner Music, 2016)
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.