Artist Profiles: Duquende


Juan Rafael Cortes Santiago, beter known as Duquende, is a talented cantaor born in Sabadell, Spain in 1965. At an early age, he attracted the attention of guitarist Tomatito. Since then, Tomatito took care and polished the style of Duquende and produced Duquende’s first album, together with Juan Carmona (member of the band Ketama).

When he was only 9 years old he sung for the legendary singer Camarón de la Isla just before one of his concerts, and Camarón was very impressed by the talent of this kid. He then invited Duquende to join him and that was Duquende’s first appearance on stage, while Camarón played the guitar. Since then, he has worked with the late Manzanita, Juan Carmona, Juan Manuel Cañizares, Juan Habichuela, Moraito Chico and Vicente Amigo.

Duquende was the first cantaor who was invited to perform at the Champs Elysees theatre in Paris (1995).

Duquende sings the traditional flamenco styles, adding a personal touch and modern arrangements. He has mentioned some of the older cantaores, Mojama, Talega, and Borrico, as his main influences.

His 2006 CD, Mi forma de vivir, was produced by Duquende himself. Three top Flamenco guitarists, Tomatito, Niño Josele and Chicuelo, as well as bassist Carles Benavent collaborated on the recording.


Soy el duende (Divucsa, 1988)
A mi aire (Divucsa, 1989)
Duquende con Manzanita (Divucsa, 1990)
Duquende y la guitarra de Tomatito (Nuevos Medios, 1993)
Samaruco (Universal, 2000)
Mi forma de vivir (K-Industria, 2005)
Qawwali Flamenco (Accords Croisés, 2006)
Mi forma de vivir (2006)
Live in Cirque d´Hiver – París (Flamenco Producción, 2007)
Rompecabezas (2012)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and 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.

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