Tag Archives: flamenco guitar

Artist Profiles: Ramón Montoya

Ramón Montoya

Ramón Montoya Salazar is considered a genius by most Flamenco guitarists. He was born November 2, 1879. Some biographies mention he was born near Toledo (Spain), while others indicate his birthplace as Madrid, Spain.

As a child he visited Madrid’s influential Cafe de la Marina, watching guitarists play. The key moment came when he met the most important classical guitarist of that time Miguel Llobet.

Ramón Montoya recorded his first solo piece as a soloist in 1936 in Paris, at the age of 56. Until then Montoya had only recorded as accompanist.

Ramón Montoya died July 20, 1949 in Madrid, Spain.

Discography:

Flamenquistas volume II (Stinson Records, 1962)
Arte Clasico Flamenco. Un Maestro De La Guitarra (Hispavox, 1971)
Le Vrai Flamenco Instrumental ‎(Disc’Az, 1974)
Great Masters of Flamenco, Vol .5 – Grandes Figures Du Flamenco (Le chant du Monde, 1996)
El Genio De La Guitarra Flamenca (2003)
Maestro De La Guitarra Flamenca ‎(Calé Records, 2011)

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Artist Profiles: Paco Fernandez

Francisco Fernández Vargas “Paco Fernández” was born in Triana (Sevilla) in 1967. He grew up in a family of singers, guitar players and dancers.

At the age of eight he began playing the guitar and received his first lessons from Rafael Amador, a member of the “Pata Negra” band. He later continued his apprenticeship with guitar teacher Miguel Pérez (senior).

At the age of twelve, Paco Fernandez officially debuted with his brothers Esperanza and José Fernández at the Álvarez Quintero Theater in Seville, forming the group Pandilla Gitana. The following year, his father Curro Fernández, along with the important representative José Antonio “Pulpon”, had the great idea of forming one of the most recognized flamenco families in the country, “La Familia Fernández”, which toured for eight years throughout America, Europe, Japan, and India.

At a young age, Paco was recruited by guitar maestro Rafael Riqueni as second guitarist in his shows. Later, he participated with guitar virtuoso Gerardo Núñez on a tour of Germany.

In 1992, Paco played guitar in Roció Jurado’s album, “Dos Mundos Cantan”, in the songs “Fandangos de Descubrimiento” and “Del Amor de España”.

In 1995, Paco participated in the song “Bulerias del Olivar” from the album “De Aquí a Ketama” and on the album “Pasión Gitana by dancer Joaquín Cortes “.

In 1996 Paco participated, together with Tomatito on the album by Morenito De Illora. He also accompanied Niña Pastori and Joaquín Cortes dring their tours.

In 1998, he started as a music producer on Carmen Carmona’s album, intervening as musical director, arranger and guitarist of all the songs. At the end of the same year he also produces and plays the guitar on the album “Sueños” by La Chiqui.

In 1999 he produced two albums, “Sueños de Mimbre” by Rocío Ruiz and “Volcán” by the group Varaya; both productions for the OFS discography.

In the year 2001 he participated with his show “Sastipen Tali”, at the Lewes Guitar Festival in Great Britain. Also at the eighth Astaffort Guitar Festival in France.

In 2002 he collaborated as a musical producer and guitarist in the show “Yo misma” by Juana Amaya, participating in the XII Bienal de Flamenco de Sevilla. That same year he toured with acclaimed singer and guitarist Raimundo Amador.

In January 2003, he received a platinum record for his song “Teléfono de Mi Casa” from Javi Cantero’s album and that year he also took part in the “Por Derecho” tour with Juana Amaya and Farruquito.

In 2005, Paco released his first solo album “Sastipen Tali.” Paco Fernandez is currently one of the most sought-after guitarists in Spain.

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Artist Profiles: Pepe Habichuela

Pepe Habichuela

José Antonio Carmona Carmona, better known as Pepe Habichuela, was born in Granada (Spain) in 1944. The guitar has always been present in the Habichuela dynasty. Pepe Habichuela’s grandfather, Tio José Habichuela and father Juan Carmona Habichuela played the guitar and all his brothers are professional players. His son is Josemi Carmona, who along with Pepe’s nephews, founded innovative flamenco fusion group Ketama.

As many other guitarists Pepe Habichuela’s professional career started as accompanist to well-known cantaores (singers) like Camarón de la Isla. His collaboration with the great cantaor Enrique Morente meant a giant step for modern Flamenco. Pepe Habichuela participated in several of Morente’s superb albums: Se hace camino al andar, Homenaje a Don Antonio Chacon and Despegando.

Since 1980 Pepe Habichuela has been giving concerts as a soloist. Pepe Habichuela’s first solo album was a tribute to his grandfather.

Pepe has gone beyond traditional Flamenco guitar by adding bass, percussion and Jazz elements to his compositions. His interest in Jazz has led him to collaborations with jazzmen Don Cherry and David Holland. He has also explored the connections between flamenco and Indian music collaborating with Nithin Sawhney, Anoushka Shankar and The Bollywood Strings.

Discography:

Homenaje a D. Antonio Chacón, with Enrique Morente ((Hispavox, 1976)
Despegando (CBS, 1977)
A Mandeli (Nuevos Medios, 1983)
Habichuela en Rama (Nuevos Medios, 1997)
Yerbagüena, with The Bollywood Strings (Nuevos Medios NM15788, 2001)
Hands, with Dave Holland (Dare2 Records, 2010)

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Artist Profiles: Miguel Angel Cortés

Miguel Angel Cortés

 

Miguel Angel Cortés was born in Granada (Spain) on January 26th, 1972. The Cortés family is well known for its fine guitarists so it is not surprising that Miguel Angel displayed an early enthusiasm for carrying on the family tradition. His unusual talent was discovered when he was given a guitar at the age of 8. He made his debut into the world of flamenco at the Zambra del Sacromonte club in the famous Gypsy caves of Granada.

By the time he was 14 years old Miguel Angel was already touring extensively throughout Europe, the United States, Turkey and Japan accompanying top Flamenco dancers such as Mariquilla, Manolote, Antonio Canales, Javier Barón and Juan Andrés Maya and flamenco singers José de la Tomasa, José Merce, Chano Lobato, Luis El Polaco Morenito de Illora and Estrella Morente.

In 1994, Miguel Angel won the Paco de Lucía Guitar Award. For the past several years he and his brother Paco Cortés have been working and touring with one of the leading flamenco singers in Spain, Carmen Linares. They also worked on a music project in collaboration with several other musicians and El Guito, formerly Paco de Lucia’s dancer.

Miguel Angel’s pride as a Gypsy musician compels him to continue composing and performing Flamenco music. He is traditional in his approach while still being an active participant in the exciting ongoing evolution of Spanish guitar music.

To me it is more important to ‘feel the pain’ with sensibility when playing flamenco because anyone can achieve technical speed by rehearsing 12 hours a day.”

Discography:

Patriarca (Antequera Records/Alula Records, 1998)
Bordón De Trapo ‎(Nuba Records KAR7714, 2006)

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Artist Profiles: Manolo Franco

Manolo Franco

Flamenco guitarist Manolo Franco was born in Sevilla (Spain) in 1960. He debuted at age 15 with Matilde Coral who performed at famous festivals in Spain. Since then he has participated as soloist in prestigious national and international festivals in Stockholm Tokyo Freiburg the Festival de la Guitarra de Cordoba, the Flamenco Summit Madrid and Sevilla Flamenco Biennial.

His discography includes the essential Aljibe solo album as well as countless collaborations as a sideman with several singers and other music genres related to flamenco. His main professional focus is accompanying vocalists. He is a teacher at present at the Conservatorio Superior de Musica `Rafael Orozco´de Cordoba (Cordoba’s Rafael Orozco Conservatory of Music).

His artistic career has been recognized with numerous awards including the Giraldillo al toque in 1984 at the Bienal de Sevilla and the Premio Nacional de la Catedra de Flamencologia de Jerez (National Flamencology Award in 2003.

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Guitarists Jose Maria Bandera and Amir John Haddad to Celebrate Paco de Lucía’s Final Work

Canción Andaluza, the last album released by guitar maestro and Paco de Lucía will be presented live for the first time as a tribute led by two world class guitarists, Paco’s nephew José Maria Bandera (a regular member of Paco’s band) and Amir John Haddad (El Amir). The concert will take place at the IV Encuentro Internacional de Guitarra Paco de Lucía on July 18th, 2017 in Paco de Lucia’s birthplace, Algeciras (Spain).

Canción Andaluza focused on popular Andalusian music known as copla. It received two 2 Latin Grammy awards in 2014 for Best Flamenco Album and Best Album of the Year.
The lineup for this special concert includes José María Bandera on guitar; El Amir on guitar and bouzouki; Josemi Garzón on double bass; and Israel Katumba on percussion. Celebrated flamenco singer Arcángel is scheduled to appear as special guest.

July 18th, 2017
Parque María Cristina, Algeciras
10:00 p.m.

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Nikos Tsiachris, El Greco Flamenco

Nikos Tsiachris, featuring Bandolero – Alcance (Galileo Music GMC075 CD, 2017)

Alcance is the remarkable debut album of Berlin-based Greek flamenco guitarist and composer Nikos Tsiachris. And indeed he plays real flamenco. Tsiachris delights the listener with a set that includes various flamenco palos (genres), including bulerias, garrotin, soleá, farruca, rumba, granaina and alegria.

The Spanish influence is clearly evident and it’s no wonder since Nikos Tsiachris invited Spain’s famed flamenco percussionist Bandolero (José Manuel Ruíz Motos). The Madrid-born Bandolero is one of the finest flamenco percussionists and has played with some flamenco’s biggest stars. He plays cajón and palmas (flamenco handclap percussion) and adds jaleos (shouts of encouragement) as well.
Alcance, nevertheless, is not a traditional album. Tsiachris surprises the listener with a brief injection of electric guitar on the opening track “Alcance”, a Middle Eastern trumpet introduction on “Lobna” and flamenco-jazz on “Baracoa.”

Spain-based Cuban bass player Yelsy Heredia also appears on the album, adding a succulent Cuban flavor that blends perfectly with Bandolero’s beats, Tsiachris’ guitar and a Latin jazz trumpet played by Martin Auer.

Also featured is Flamenco singer Juan Cárdenas on one track, trumpet player Milad Khawam, Tom Auffarth on percussion, Takashi Peterson on electric guitar, and Yorgos Dimitriadis on percussion.

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Artist Profiles: Ricardo Miño

Ricardo Miño

Ricardo Miño Alvarez was born in 1949 in Sevilla, Spain. He began his remarkable career at 10 in his native Triana, the most Gypsy of Sevilla’s neighborhoods. At twelve, Ricardo began his professional career by touring with Pepe Marchena and La Niña de los Peines in the now legendary tour Asi Canta Andalucia.

At thirteen, Ricardo became a student of acclaimed guitar maestro Niño Ricardo and soon after began to accompany legendary singers and guitarists such as Antonio Mairena, Pepe Pinto, El Fosforito and Paco de Lucia.

He has recorded for various labels in Spain, such as CBS, Hispavox, Columbia, Belter and Dial among others.

His international tours include performances in Japan, Morocco, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, England, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and the United States of America.

Ricardo Miño has recorded several collaborations with sitar player Gualberto, including Puente Mágico and Con Trastes.

His son Pedro Ricardo Miño is an acclaimed flamenco pianist.

Discography:

Flamenco Fury (1976)
Flamenco de Concierto (Claves, 1976)
Puente Mágico (Dial, 1983)
Jacaranda (Senador, 1992)
Puerta De Triana (Senador, 1998)
Con Trastes (Pasarela CDP5/724, 1998)

Bibliography

Ricardo Miño: 50 años caminando juntos by Ángel Vela Nieto, Published by Sevilla: Libros con duende, 2014. ISBN: 9788493988692.

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Artist Profiles: Raul Rodriguez

Raúl Rodríguez – Photo by Oscar Romero V.

 

Flamenco guitar and Cuban tres player Raúl Rodríguez Quiñones was born in Sevilla (Spain) in 1974. He started out playing electric guitar and drums, taking a particularly interest in blues and rock music, but by age 17 shifted his attention to playing flamenco guitar.

Raúl later attended the University of Sevilla, where he majored in the History of Cultural Anthropology. He began playing professionally in the group Caraoscura, a duo including himself and Jose Loreto “Charmusco,” the son of the famous guitarist Parrilla de Jerez. In 1995, they released an album titled Qué es lo que quieres de mí? on RCA Records that was produced by Kiko Veneno and Joe Dworniak.

 

Raúl Rodríguez

 

In 1996, Raúl joined Kiko Veneno as his flamenco guitarist, touring and recording Punta Paloma (BMG 1997), Puro Veneno (BMG 1998), and La Familia Polio (BMG 2000). Raúl Rodriguez also performed with his mother, the renowned Spanish singer Martirio, playing guitar and percussion.

In 1999, Raúl co-produced Martirio’s Flor de Piel (52 P.M.), an ambitious flamenco-jazz interpretation of South American music. In 2001, Raúl produced and arranged Martirio’s Mucho Corazon (52 P.M.) that was nominated as “Best Flamenco Album” at the 2002 Latin Grammys. His collaborations with Martirio continued with the albums “25 años” (Nuevos Medios, 2009), “El aire que te rodea” (Sony, 2010), “De un mundo raro. Cantes por Chavela” (Universal, 2013), and “Martirio – 30 años” (Universal, 2015).

 

Raúl Rodríguez – Photo by Oscar Romero V.

 

In 2003 Raúl formed the acclaimed flamenco fusion group Son de la Frontera. Raúl Rodriguez played the flamenco tres he developed, based on the Cuban tres.

A seasoned session musician, Raúl Rodriguez has also recorded with Compay Segundo, Jackson Browne, Chavela Vargas, Soledad Bravo, Jerry Gonzalez, and many others.

His first solo album Razón de Son came out in 2014. The CD version came in a beautifully-packaged hard cover book.

 

Discography

* ¿Qué es lo que quieres de mí?”, with Caraoscura (BMG, 1995)
* Son de la Frontera (Nuevos Medios/World Village, 2005)
* Cal (Nuevos Medios/World Village, 2007)
* Razón de Son (Fol, 2014)
* La Raíz Eléctrica (2017)

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