Spanish flamenco guitarist Antonia Jiménez is set to perform
on Friday, February 15, 2019 at Instituto Cervantes in Chicago. This concert is
part of the Chicago Flamenco Festival 2019.
This concert is the result of Antonia Jiménez´s long career
as a composer and flamenco guitarist to the best of today’s flamenco dance
stars (Olga Pericet, Marco Flores, Manuel Liñán). Many of these compositions
have been heard in venues such as the famous Villamarta Theater at the Jerez
Festival and the prestigious Teatro Lope de Vega during the Flamenco Bienal in Seville.
Antonia Jiménez’s program includes the following flamenco
styles: taranta, guajira, tanguillo, seguiriya, alegría, petenera, tangos, soleá
Rafael Riqueni del Canto was born in the Triana barrio of Seville in 1962. He is one of the top guitarists in the world and belongs to the generation that comes after Paco de Lucía’s.
At the age of 15 he won the most prestigious national award for Flamenco guitar, the Ramón Montoya Award for concert guitar given in Córdoba. Riqueni continued his training performing at tablaos (Flamenco nightclubs) and accompanying famous Spanish singers and dancers. In 1981 Riqueni won another National award, this time in Jerez. As a result, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain commissioned him to play as a national representative.
In 1986 Riqueni recorded his first solo album performing his own compositions. Since then he has developed his career as a composer and solo performer, although he still accompanies some top Flamenco singers.
Riqueni’s technique is faultless and implacable. He’s got a very elegant touch, full of sensibility and astonishing and rich melodies that evoke the unmistakable aroma of the Triana neighborhood where he grew up.
Rafael Riqueni stopped performing and recording in 1997 due to health reasons. In 2011 he made a comeback, performing with various well-known artists at festivals and working on a new album.
Juego De Niños (Nuevos Medios, 1986) Flamenco (Flamencos Accidentales, 1987) Mi Tiempo (Nuevos Medios, 1990) Suite Sevilla (JMS Records, 1993) Maestros (Discos Probeticos, 1994) Alcázar De Cristal (Auvidis Ethnic, 1996) Parque De María Luisa (Universal Music, 2017)
Born in the Andalusian city of Cordoba, Paco Peña began learning guitar from his brother at the age of six and made his first professional appearance at the age of 12. In the late 1960s he left Spain for London, where his recitals of flamenco music captured the British public’s imagination.
Since 1970 Paco Peña has performed regularly with his own hand-picked company of dancers, guitarists and singers in a succession of groundbreaking shows. The Paco Peña Flamenco Dance Company has taken flamenco into the realm of music-theater with regular seasons in London (Royal Festival Hall, Sadler’s Wells Theatre and Barbican) and festival appearances in Edinburgh, Adelaide, Amsterdam, Athens, Israel, Istanbul, Singapore and Hong Kong.
1999 brought the most ambitious production yet: Musa Gitana. Peña based the piece on the life and work of another artist from Cordoba, the painter Julio Romero de Torres. Its seven-week season at the Peacock Theatre in London’s West End stands as the longest-ever run of a flamenco show and a further London season followed in Spring 2001.
Another landmark was Misa Flamenca, a 1991 setting of the Mass that juxtaposed Peña’s company with a classical choir. Its premiere at London’s Royal Festival Hall, given with the Choir of the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, was followed by a staging at the 1992 EXPO in Seville. Misa Flamenca has also been seen in Australia, New Zealand, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and the USA. Paco Peña has further plans to marry flamenco with the forms and forces of classical music.
Venues for his solo performances have included the intimate Ronnie Scott?s Jazz Club and the monumental Royal Albert Hall in London, New York’s Carnegie Hall and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. He has shared the stage with fellow-guitarists, singers and instrumental groups, bridging diverse musical genres, including classical, jazz, blues, country and Latin American.
In 1981 he founded the Centro Flamenco Paco Peña in Cordoba, later becoming Artistic Director of the Cordoba International Guitar Festival.
Paco Peña is based in London, but still spends a significant part of the year in his native Spain. In 1997 he was proud to be named Oficial de la Cruz de la Orden del Merito Civil, an honor bestowed by King Juan Carlos of Spain.
Manolo Sanlúcar, guitarist and composer, was born in Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Cádiz), a town by the seashore, where the Guadalquivir River ‘says farewell’ to Andalusia.
Initiated by his father “el tocador” (the guitar player) Isidro Muñoz, Manolo learned to passionately love the guitar. Very quickly, he assimilated its art and perfected it to the extent of becoming one of the best performers of the present time.
At the age of 12, he made his debut as a professional, and at the age of 18, putting aside the fashionable flamenco, he began to investigate and shape his unique conception and interpretation of flamenco music, gradually reinforcing himself, not only as a privileged instrumentalist, but also as a composer. A musician from the sensitive and lively people, faithful to the cultural heritage and to the precise call of the contemporary.
Manolo Sanlúcar belongs to that small group or artists upon which nobody doubts when coming to acknowledge their talent. Gifted with an exceptional musicality and a technique out of the ordinary, each of his recitals becomes a superb lesson in guitar, expertise and art.
His astonishing technique, which never loses contact with improvisation and the direct spiritual communication with flamenco style, doesn’t make of virtuosity a goal in itself, but praises it to convey deep emotional qualities.
“Trebujena”, guitar and orchestra concert in RE MAJOR, opened a new door to flamenco in the path of classical music and set up a full composite revelation, starting from the flamenco roots.
His “Medea”, composed for the Spanish National Ballet, was performed all over the world gathering success.
“Tauromagia”, is a musical journey that the composer undertook through the world of bullfighting. Themes where guitars and voices (a choir of strings, metals and percussion) keep threshing, note by note, the history of the art of the fighting, from the birth of the bull in the meadow (‘Nacencia’) to the triumphal appearance of the bullfighter through the big door (‘Prince’s Gate’), follow harmoniously linked the moments of hope, fear, happiness, death and glory that come into the fiesta.
On May 20th, 1992, he premierd in Malaga his symphonic poem “Aljibe”, a flamenco symphony for guitar, symphonic orchestra, male and female voices and percussion. The concert was with the Orquesta Ciudad de Málaga, conducted by Enrique García Asensio.
Manolo was the Musical Director of the film “Sevillanas” by Carlos Saura.
By request of the Malaga University, he composesd and performed the soundtrack of the “La Enciclopedia Electrónica de Andalucia”, presented at the pavilion of Andalusia at the Expo 92.
He is the composer of the Japanese documentary soundtrack about the Romería del Rocío, titled “Viva la Blanca Paloma”. The music was recorded in London with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Manolo Sanlúcar himself.
In November 1997 he was nominated as a member of the Real Academia Provincial de Bellas Artes de Cádiz.
Recital Flamenco (Marfer, 1969) Inspiraciones (Vergara, 1970) Mundo y Formas De La Guitarra Flamenca Vol. 1 (CBS, 1971) Mundo y Formas De La Guitarra Flamenca Vol. 2 (CBS, 1973) Mundo y Formas De La Guitarra Flamenca. Volumen 3 (CBS, 1973) Sanlucar (CBS, 1975) King Of Flamenco Guitar (Columbia Masterworks, 1975) Sentimiento (CBS, 1976) Fantasia Para Guitarra y Orquesta (RCA Victor, 1978) Y Regresarte (A Miguel Hernández) (RCA Victor, 1978) Guitarras Flamencas/ Bailes Flamencos (Marfer, 1978) Manolo Sanlúcar En Japon (RCA Victor, 1979) Candela (RCA Victor, 1980) Azahares (RCA Victor, 1981) Al Viento (Polydor, 1982) Tauromagia (Polydor, 1988) Locura De Brisa y Trino (Mercury, 2000)
Juan Manuel Cañizares was born in 1966 in Sabadell, in Spain’s northeastern province of Barcelona, the son of parents from southern Spain. He started his studies at the age of 10 at the Sabadell Municipal Conservatory then continued in Tarrasa and Barcelona. In 1982, Cañizares obtained the Jerez National Guitar Award.
He toured with the group El Ultimo de la Fila in 1989, which allowed him to see outside the world of flamenco. Since then, he has continued to work with Spanish and international musicians such as: Enrique Morente, the legendary Camaron de la Isla, María Pagés, Pepe de Lucía, Rocío Jurado, Vince Mendoza, Joan Manuel Serrat, Peter Gabriel, Al Di Meola, Mike Stern, Peter Erskine, Michael Brecker and The Chieftains.
Meeting Paco de Lucía was one of the most decisive experiences in Cañizares’ musical career. He collaborated with Paco de Lucía in the shows Sólo, Dúo, Trío and was later a member of the Paco de Lucía Septet. Their collaboration lasted ten years (1988-1998), until Cañizares decided to launch his own career.
In 1997, Cañizares recorded his first album titled Noches de Imán y Luna, which is rated as a great event in the flamenco world. With this recording, Cañizares found a new way to understand flamenco and became one of the most important advocates of flamenco guitar. His second album is based on an exceptional transcription of Albéniz’ piano sonnets for two guitars it is a beautiful work from both a musical and a historical point of view.
In 2004 Cañizares collaborated with the recording of “The Official Torch Relay Theme”. This track was included on the record “Unity” (the official record for the Olympic Games in Athens 2004) which was sold in over 50 countries. In 2005 he had a huge success at Carnegie Hall in New York where he performed at the “Mano a Mano” show with Jose Maria Gallardo del Rey. Cañizares is also a noted composer who has created works for the Ballet Nacional de España as well as film scores.
In 2007 he released “Suite Iberia, which is a transcription and interpretation of the Iberia Suite, exactly a hundred years after Isaac Albeniz composed the masterpiece. This rather grand and vast composition is based on the popular music and sonority of the Spain in which Albeniz lived, inherently influenced by flamenco. Iberia, originally written for the piano, is for the first time adapted for two guitars, both played by Cañizares. The result is an exciting and surprising communion between the charisma of Cañizares’ guitar and the flamenco underlying the original piece by Albeniz.
Cañizares recorded several classical music albums featuring compositions by Albéniz, Granados, Falla and Scarlatti.
In 2018, Cañizares released an independent album titled “El mito de la caverna.” The album won the prestigious Spanish MIN independent music award in 2019 for Best Flamenco Album.
“Flamenco tradition has brought me, following the Platonic metaphor, the language of the shadows in the cavern, those mysterious sounds that reached me traveling down the river of tradition. Years later, while studying at the music conservatory, I learned musical theory, which in similar metaphoric terms can be regarded as the language of sunlight. This intellectual perception of music allowed me to travel to a very different musical world,” said Cañizares.
[First part of the biography translated by Rita Granda]
Jerónimo Maya, a.k.a. Momo, was born in Madrid in 1977. He belongs to a Gypsy family that has strong Flamenco roots. He is a direct descendant of guitar master Ramón Montoya. His father, Felipe Maya, is a professional guitarist, and his grandfather’s brother is Ricardo Losada el Yunque, a well known cantaor (singer). Both showed young Jerónimo to live and respect Flamenco.
He started to play guitar at age 5 and gave his first concert at 7.
He has accompanied famous cantaores (singers) such as El Cigala, Chano Lobato, Esperanza Fernández, Estrella Morente, and José de la Tomasa.
In May of 1999 he was given the Teatro Pavón award for young artists at Círculo de Bellas Artes (Fine Arts Center).
His debut album, entitled Jerónimo (Alma100), was named Best New Guitar Soloist 2004 at the Flamenco Hoy awards, given by nearly fifty flamenco critics. The award was given to him at a ceremony held January 27, 2005 at Casa Patas in Madrid.
In 2013, Erdal Akkaya and Jeronimo Maya worked together on album that brought together flamenco and Turkish music. The recordings took place in Duisburg and Madrid.
José Jiménez Abadía, El Viejín, lives in the Madrid district of Caño Roto, a surprising Gypsy community where several guitarists have their homes (Felipe Maya and his son Jerónimo, El Entri and his brother Ramón Jiménez, etc.). He learned how to play the guitar for the first time at the age of three.
He is the son of the great dancer El Toupé and his relationship with Flamenco dance doesn’t finish there. El Viejín is one of the artists responsible for the evolution of music in modern Flamenco dance shows. He has collaborated with both Joaquín Cortés and Antonio Channels. British film director Mike Figgis (“Leaving the Vegas,””One Night Stand”) already knew this when he commissioned El Viejín to be the musical director of the outstanding documentary “Flamenco Women,” shot in the Madrid dance academies, which focused on the learning of this fascinating art form.
Thanks to his work for dance shows the reputation of The Viejín grew and grew. He received critical acclaim for his contribution to the Nuevos Medios compilations “Los Jóvenes Flamencos” ( “A mi hijo Jonatan,” in volume III, and “Amigos,” together with Ramón Jimenez in volume IV) and everything led to being recruited by the great Paco de Lucía as second guitarist: the dream of any guitar player was thus fulfilled.
Algo Que Decir (Something That Say) is the first CD by El Viejín and recorded it with great care and dedication. It is an album with a warm sound where El Viejín shows his prodigious and passionate technique. He has illustrious collaborators: Paco de Lucía, who accompanied him in the title “A los niños que sufren,” also present is the young singer Montse Cortés, and, since dancers were mentioned earlier, nothing less that Antonio Channels and Juan Ramirez who contribute their masterful heel tapping. Guitarists Ramón Jiménez and Juan Carmona produced the album.
Emilio Maya was born into a Gypsy family in Molvizar, a village just outside of Granada. At the age of eight he began to play the guitar, winning his first prize at a festival in Lanjaron at the age of twelve, where he was the youngest guitarist.
In 1980 he began to play in the flamenco clubs (known as Peñas) all over Andalusia, accompanying many different singers and dancers.
In 1984 he moved to Seville, where he worked with the flamenco company at the Curro Velez in El Arenal, sharing the stage with artists such as Carmen Montoya, Lalo Tejada, El Lele, Juan Manuel Flores, El Toro, etc.
In 1987, along with the celebrated jazz percussionist Frank Holder, he began a fruitful collaboration which would bring him to share the billing with Fairport Convention at the Royal Festival Hall in London. Following which he collaborated on a film by the director Manfred Wafender, with music by Miles Davis, presented by the BBC.
In 1990, with his own group, Grupo Maya, he performed in the theatre Isabel La Catolica in Granada along with artists such as Jose Merce, Aurora Vargas, Juan Habichuela, etc. From this moment, he began working more and more outside of Spain, particularly with the formation of a duo with Nono Garcia which took him to France, Belgium and Holland. He has since become one of the most respected guitarists in Andalusia, collaborating frequently with not only flamenco artists but with artists of many different styles of music.
One example of his many collaborations in the world of flamenco was during the centenary of the birth of Federico Garcia Lorca when he accompanied the renowned flamenco singer Enrique Morente, or with the performances of his own group, Grupo Maya two years running at the International Festival of Music and dance in Granada. Other collaborations that stand out have been accompanying singers such as La Nitra, Chonchi Heredia, Estrella Morente, Marina Heredia, and dancers such as Juan Ramirez, Juan Andres Maya and Ana Cali. He also performed in Brazil with Antonio Canales and Juan de Juan on their 2001 tour.
His versatility is demonstrated by his work with artists such as Jorge Pardo, Ruben Dantas, the Orchestra Andalusi of Tetu?n in Morocco as well as the Orchestra Andalusi of Tangiers, with whom he performed at the Arabian lnstitute in Paris. Emilio Maya has always complemented his artistic work with his work as a teacher at the flamenco school Carmen de las Cuevas in Granada.
Daniel Casares is part of a new generation of outstanding flamenco guitarists. A soulful and virtuosic performer, he has received many of Spain’s important honors and awards.
Daniel Casares was born in 1980 in the southern Spanish coastal town of Estepona in the province of Malaga. He was blessed with a natural gift for the guitar. At 25, he had already released three CDs: Duende Flamenco (1999), La Madrugá (2001) and Corazón de tu Alma (2003) that were received with critical acclaim.
He was awarded some of the top Flamenco prizes including the 2005 National Flamenco Critics Prize, and, at age 17, the 1997 First Prize National Guitar (Bordón Minero) at the 37th Festival del Cante de las Minas de la Union, the most prestigious flamenco national contest in Spain.
He returned to give a concert at Thalia Spanish Theatre in New York in the Spring of 2005 after his successful debut concert of Corazon de tu Alma at Thalia in 2004 which won him the 2005 Ace Award for Extraordinary Performance in Concert by the Association of Latin Entertainment Critics of New York. Also at Thalia in 2006 Daniel Casares joined tango composer/arranger/bandoneon maestro Raúl Jaurena and director/producer/designer Angel Gil Orrios to create the world premiere of “Tango & Flamenco fusion”, which was a sold-out hit and got rave reviews.
In 2007 he released his fourth CD, Caballero, which he showcased at Málaga’s Flamenco Biennial.
Duende Flamenco (Antequera Records, 1999) La Madrugá (Fods, 2001) Corazón De Tu Alma (DMD Productions, 2003) Caballero (Universal Music, 2007) El Ladrón Del Agua (Lola Records, 2010) Picasares (Green Cow Music, 2015) Concierto de Aranjuez / La Luna de Alejandra with Orquesta Filarmónica de Málaga (Green Cow Music, 2018)
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