Tag Archives: Flamenco

Artist Profiles: Juan Carmona

Juan Carmona

His family name is Carmona, like his distant cousins the Habichuelas dynasty of Granada, all guitarists. His ancestors were blacksmiths in Malaga, however his branch of the family emigrated to North Africa. In 1963, he was born in Lyon, France.

Juan was barely 10 when his father gave him his first guitar. His virtuosity became quickly apparent to professional musicians and it was only a matter of time before he began gathering international acclaim. He obtained his degree as a concert musician, awarded by the celebrated National Conservatory of Music in Paris and, at the age of 26, became the first professor of flamenco guitar in France holding a state-awarded diploma.

Juan Carmona soon felt the urge to return to the land of his ancestors, to go back to his roots and imbibe again at the family spring: Jerez de la Frontera in Andalusia. He had a personal challenge: to revive recognition of the originality of his art in the town considered as the cradle of flamenco. And the wager was won: for more than eight years, he rubbed elbows with and accompanied some of the greatest names in flamenco, all the while immersing himself in their talents: singers Agujetas, Duquende, Terremoto hijo, Rubichi, Antonio and Manuel Malenas, Jesus Monje (brother of Camaron de la Isla), Jose Mendez, dancers Joaquín Grilo, Ana Parrilla, Angelita Vargas … and recorded with Moraito, Rubem Dantas, Niño de Pura, Manolito Soler, Tino di Geraldo, and Chano Dominguez.

In 1988, he was awarded first prize in the Jerez de la Frontera International Competition, and was a finalist in the Union and Cordoba Guitar Competition. In 1989, he obtained a diploma from the Jerez Flamenco Foundation, awarded by guitarist Manolo Sanlúcar. In 1990, he won the Villa Médicis Hors Les Murs award, the Don Antonio Chacon trophy awarded by his “peña flamenca” (flamenco fan cliub), and in 1992 the Lavoisier award. Finally, in 1994, he achieved the ultimate laureate: first prize in the Madrid Paco de Lucia Competition.

Besides his many concert achievements, awards and relationships in the guitar world, this French-born gipsy can add a further distinction: permanent triumph in Spain, particularly in Andalusia where he created upheaval in the world of flamenco. His sojourn is Spain gave birth to his recording “Borboreo” (sending waves through the music world in 1996) in tribute to the city of Jerez, and “Entre dos barrios”, with singer Jose Mendez and guitarist Moraito Chico.

Juan Carmona

Since his return to France in 1996, Juan Carmona has known an endless series of recordings and concert engagements. He worked with a fabulous stream of musicians representing a wide range of musical genres: Birili Lagren, Babik Rheinhart, Larry Corriel, Philip Catherin, Christian Escoudé, Raphael Fays, Louis Winsberg, to name just a few in the area of jazz; Subramanian and the Chemirani family in Indian and Iranian music singer Matlubeth (Uzbekistan); and participation in numerous film scores, (La belle Histoire, Cuisines et Dépendances, Sables Mouvants). Juan Carmona set up his own group: Juan Carmona Grupo, staging shows throughout France and abroad, forging himself an international musical career: USA, Germany, Italy, England, Morocco, Switzerland, Portugal, in addition to performances in major music conferences such as Midem (1996) and Womex (1997). A program was devoted to him on the Franco-German channel Arte in October 1998, presented by the maestro Lord Yehudi Menuhin, who considered Carmona to be an outstanding guitarist.

Discography:

Borboreo (Le Chant du Monde, 1996)
Falla Lorca (L’empreinte digitale, 1997)
Entre dos barrios (L’empreinte digitale, 1997)
Antes (L’empreinte digitale, 1998)
Cosa de Dos (L’empreinte digitale, 1999)
Caminos Nuevos (Le Chant du Monde, 2000)
Orillas (Le Chant du Monde, 2002)
Sinfonia Flamenca (Le Chant du Monde, 2006)
El Sentido del Aire (Le Chant du Monde, 2010)
Alchemya (World Village, 2013)
Perla de Oriente, Nomades Kultur, 2016)

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Artist Profiles: Kader Fahem

Kader Fahem

Kader Fahem was born in a modest and large family, with a taste for music. Fahem started learning guitar early at the age of 7. His first approach of the instrument was dedicated to the traditional music of his Kabyle origins, much appreciated then by his parents. Two years later, he took part to a cultural event where he mesmerized his audience and the local press: that was an eye-opener.

Aware of the abilities of this young virtuoso, Kemji Fahem, his elder brother, decided to teach him the fundamentals of guitar. Even though he was himself an amateur, his relationships with Gypsies from the South of France had allowed him to discover Gypsy rumba. A long apprenticeship period followed where he learnt chords and techniques, acquired velocity, which naturally led him to create his own amateur Gypsy flamenco band, the Flamenco Kids, at the age of 12.

As time went by, Kader Fahem acquired his own style, his personal touch. His love of flamenco combined with a strong will to learn pressed him to go deeper and discover on his own the different hidden sides of the “flamenco puro”, the roots. He then dedicated his teenage years to study the soul and strength of this deep music. Outside the frame of any teaching system and with the sole inspiration he got from the great names of the genre (Paco de Lucia, Vicente Amigo, etc.), he became familiar with the compas (flamenco rhythms) and styles such as buleria, alegria, tango until he mastered them and finally created his own sound.

After he reached a certain maturity, he deemed necessary to travel to Andalusia, not only to immerse himself in the history and countryside that this region has to offer, but also to meet other “aficionados” (flamenco amateurs).

He is now a composer and performer in a flamenco-jazz style that stems from a cultural crossbreeding, influenced by his own life, childhood, travels and origins. Far from the Hispanic grounds, he expresses through his works, his great sensitivity and his love for flamenco. Far away from Hispanic lands, his works express his great sensitivity and his love for flamenco: “Flamenco guitar is the reflection of the soul“.

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Flamenco Innovator Diego Guerrero Releases Cara B

Flamenco vocalist and guitarist Diego Guerrero has released “La Cara B.” The live EP showcases the talent of this young musician, producer and composer who combines flamenco with salsa, jazz and other musical forms.

Next concerts:

Thursday, May 31 at Las Armas in Zaragoza
Friday, June 1st at Café del Teatre in Lérida
Saturday, June 2 at Café Berlin in Madrid
Thursday, June 14 at Girona Jazz Festival

Buy La Cara B

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Artist Profiles: Michel Camilo

Michel Camilo

Michel Camilo was born into a musical family and played accordion before switching to piano at the age of nine. In 1979, he arrived to New York, where the self-taught student of American jazz, continued his studies and made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1985. After three years as a member of Paquito D’Rivera’s band, in 1988, Camilo released his self-titled Epic debut. The album became an instant success and held the top jazz album spot for eight consecutive weeks. His next recording, On Fire, was voted one of the top three Jazz Albums of the Year by Billboard and 1990s On the Other Hand was a top-ten jazz album.

In 2000, Camilo’s Verve release, Spain, with Spanish flamenco guitar maestro Tomatito, won Best Latin Jazz Album in the first-ever Latin Grammy Awards. Camilo also appeared on the soundtrack CD for the acclaimed Latin jazz film Calle 54, directed by the Oscar-winning Spaniard Fernando Trueba.

2002 marked a special year for the ever-versatile Camilo with the release of two albums, one classical and one Jazz. In February, Decca released his Concerto for Piano & Orchestra, Suite for Piano, Strings and Harp & Caribe, to celebrate his guest appearance with the NSO conducted by Leonard Slatkin at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and in March Telarc released Triangulo.

August 2003 marked the Telarc release of Live at the Blue Note, featuring Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez on drums and Charles Flores on acoustic bass. This two-CD set captures the quintessential Camilo “sound” live for the first time. Camilo called upon drummer Horacio ‘El Negro’ Hernandez to bring his rich Cuban roots and spirit, which he expresses unlike any other drummer. The 1997 Grammy Award winner performed and recorded with legends such as McCoy Tyner, Carlos Santana, and as a member of renowned Latin ensembles like Tito Puente’s Tropi-Jazz All Stars, El Negro has earned a renowned reputation as one of the most powerful and versatile players in the current musical scene.

Bassist Charles Flores played and inspired the best, while continuing to challenge himself and his peers in new artistic directions. A graduate of Cuba’s prestigious Escuela Nacional de Arte, Flores has performed and recorded with Juan Pablo Torres, Steve Turre, Jane Bunnett and the BBC Orchestra in London masters. While in Cuba, Charles was recruited by one of the most important figures in the history of Cuban jazz, pianist Emiliano Salvador. In addition, Flores was also the bassist for the groundbreaking Cuban fusion group AfroCuba and for Salsa sensation Isaac Delgado.

Discography:

French Toast (Electric Bird, 1984)
Why Not? (Electric Bird, 1985)
Suntan/In Trio (Electric Bird, 1986)
Michel Camilo (CBS Portrait, 1988)
On Fire (Portrait, 1989)
On the Other Hand (Epic, 1990)
Amo Tu Cama Rica (1991?)
Rendezvous (Columbia, 1993)
One More Once (Columbia, 1994)
Two Much (1996)
Thru My Eyes (Columbia, 1997)
Spain (Verve, 1999)
Piano Concerto, Suite & Caribe (Decca, 2001)
Triangulo (Telarc, 2002)
Live at the Blue Note (Telarc, 2003)
Solo (Telarc, 2004)
Rhapsody in Blue (Telarc, 2006)
Spain Again (Emarcy, 2006)
Spirit of the Moment (Telarc, 2006)
Mano a Mano (Emarcy, 2011)
What’s Up? (Okeh, 2013)
Live in London (Redondo Music, 2015)
Spain Forever (Universal, 2016)

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Awards Ceremony for the Alcobendas Flamenco New Talents 2018 on May 25

The Premios Alcobendas Flamenca Nuevos Talentos 2018 (Alcobendas Flamenco New Talents) Gala will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 25th at the Paco de Lucía Auditorium at the Alcobendas Art Center in Alcobendas, Madrid.

The event will feature the winners of the 2018 edition: Paco Soto (guitar), Ángeles Toledano (cante/vocals) and Ángel Reyes (dance). Macarena Ramírez, the winning dancer of the previous edition in 2017, will be the guest performer.

 

Macarena Ramírez

 

Ángeles Toledano – Photo by Manu

 

Vocalist María de los Ángeles Martínez Toledano, better known as Ángeles Toledano, was born in the town of Villanueva de la Reina in Jaen. At 22 years old, she exhibits sensitivity and technique with the makings of a young talent.

 

 

The desire to excel and perseverance have rewarded dancer Angel Reyes and guitarist Paco Soto, who have previously tried their luck in previous editions.

 

Paco Soto

 

Paco Soto, born in Águilas, Murcia in 1991, shows originality and a good sense of rhythm.

 

 

Ángel Reyes – Photo by Toni Blanco

 

Angel Reyes, from Cordoba, was selected because of his footwork, clarity, spotlessness and good dynamics.

 

 

The three winners will also receive a video of their performance as a prize awarded by AIE, Society of Performing Artists. The Audience Award with votes through Facebook goes to young Huelva-born cantaora Beatriz Romero.

The gala will be presented by Teo Sánchez, director of the radio program Duendeando on Radio 3.

Alcobendas Flamenca Nuevos Talentos is part of the program of the Alcobendas Flamenca week, May 21 to 26 that brings together different activities around the world of flamenco and closes with the performance of Carmen Linares.

Friday, May 25 – 7:30 p.m.
Auditorio Paco de Lucía
Centro de Arte Alcobendas
Calle Mariano Sebastián Izuel 9
Metro (subway) station: Marqués de la Valdavia
Tickets at box office and ticketea.com
More information at www.alcobendasFlamencaNuevosTalentos.org

Macarena Ramírez

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The 3rd Flamenco Showcase for International Presenters Flamenco Eñe to be Held in Malaga from May 17 to 19

The third edition of Flamenco Eñe, the acclaimed showcase of new flamenco talent for performing arts presenters will take place May 17-19 in Malaga, Spain. This initiative, organized by the SGAE Foundation, with the collaboration of the Picasso Museum Malaga, the Andalusian Institute of Flamenco – Ministry of Culture of the Junta de Andalucía and Radio 3, seeks the internationalization of flamenco abroad.

For three days, the Picasso Malaga Museum Auditorium will host a total of 12 showcase concerts with some of the most significant flamenco projects performed in Spain today. The program combines well-known acts with young talents and varied styles: Alba Molina, David Carmona, Diego Guerrero, Juan Parrilla, El Amir, María Terremoto, Ezequiel Benítez, Gipsy Rappers, Laura Vital, Lorenzo Moya trio, Miguel Ángel Cortés and Kiki Morente.

Along with the audience, Flamenco Eñe will be attended by representatives of 12 festivals and presenters from Europe and the United States, invited by the SGAE Foundation to come into direct contact with the participating musicians and thus promote new avenues of collaboration among them. The guests this year include Fundarte and Old Town School (United States); Flamenco Biënnale (Holland); Toulouse Flamenco Festival and Viavox Production (France); Flamenco Festival (United States / United Kingdom); La Barraca (Belgium); Flamenco Festival Esch (Luxembourg); Dice (Austria), and Flamenco Colors Olomouc and Festival Ibérica (Czech Republic).

For this third edition of Flamenco Eñe, the SGAE Foundation convened an artistic committee in charge of designing the showcase program, including José Lebrero, director of the Picasso Museum in Málaga; María Ángeles Carrasco, from the Andalusian Institute of Flamenco; Teo Sánchez, director of the Duendeando radio show on Radio 3; José Manuel Gamboa, journalist, writer and music producer; and Juan Carmona, institutional director of Music of the SGAE Foundation. This committee has selected the 12 proposals out of a total of 113.

The program also includes a series of professional meetings between the participating groups, managers and the directors of festivals and guest presenters.

Full Program:

Thursday, May 17
19:00
Alba Molina Alba Molina “Canta a Lole y Manuel” con la guitarra de Joselito Acedo
20:00
Juan Parrilla Herencia
22:30
David Carmona Un sueño de locura
23:30
Diego Guerrero Vengo caminando

Friday, May 18
19:00
María Terremoto La huella de mi sentío
20:00
Lorenzo Moya Flamencos, Clásicos y otras Influencias
22:30 h
Laura Vital Flamenco con nombre de mujer
23:30 h
Miguel Ángel Cortés Sonantas en tres movimientos

Saturday, May 19
19:00
Ezequiel Benítez Quimeras del tiempo “Recuer2”
20:00
Gipsy Rappers Dame la mano
22:30 h
El Amir Flamenco Andalucía
23:30 h
Kiki Morente Albayzín

Sessions: 19:00 (7:00 p.m.) and at 22:30 (10:30 p.m.)s
Location: Auditorio Museo Picasso Málaga, Plaza de la higuera. Accessed from Calle Alcazabilla, 29015 Málaga.
Tickets: 6€ per session
Tickets on sale at www.museopicassomalaga.org and museum box office.

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The SGAE Foundation to Present Spring 2018 Edition of its Effective Flamencos y Mestizos Series

The SGAE Foundation has put together a spring 2018 edition of the Flamencos y Mestizos showcase series, starting tomorrow, April 12 through April 15. Shows start at 9:00 pm at Sala Berlanga Room in Madrid. The artist featured include María Terremoto, Beatriz Morales, Arturo Pareja Obregón, Esther Weekes, Pepe El Boleco, Marina Valiente, Diego Guerrero and Pepe Luis Carmona.

Flamencos y mestizos will kick off on April 12 with two of the youngest acts: first, the latest flamenco sensation María Terremoto, who at just 18 years old has already become an indispensable artist within the genre. She will be accompanied by the idiosyncratic personal style of Beatriz Morales who runs her own flamenco troupe, and fuses styles and instruments that escape tradition.

The next day, April 13, the Sala Berlanga will host the art and prodigious voice of Arturo Pareja Obregón at the piano, who will perform a tribute to his father in the form of the Sevillanas genre. Arturo Pareja Obregón recently released Como tú me Enseña. The April 13 showcase also includes the mestizaje (hybridization) of Esther Weekes, a Londoner who has created her own genre that fuses flamenco and blues.

Young flamenco singer Pepe El Boleco and Seville dancer Marina Valiente will dive into the flamenco roots to give them new meanings on Saturday, April 14.

Closing the series on Sunday, April 15, two leading artists within current flamenco scene, Diego Guerrero, recently nominated for Latin Grammy, and Pepe Luis Carmona, founder of the new flamenco group La Barbería del Sur.

Flamencos y mestizos is a showcase series created to provide a space to emerging artists who explore the border between deep flamenco and mestizo flamenco through compositions, dance and cante (flamenco singing). This is the first installment of this series in 2018 that started in 2015, directed by producer, composer and singer Paco Ortega.

Program

Thursday, April 12

María María Terremoto (cante)
Beatriz Morales (Dance)

Friday, April 13

Arturo Pareja Obregón
Esther Weekes

Saturday, April 14

Pepe El Boleco (Cante)
Marina Valiente (Dance)

Sunday, April 15

Diego Guerrero
Pepe Luis Carmona

Sala Berlanga Room
Calle Andrés Mellado Street 53.
Price: 5.50 euros.
Tickets at the box office and at ticketea.com

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Romance, Passion and Vigorous Salsa: Diego El Cigala at the Carolina Theatre

Perched on a stool center stage with a cloth covered table to his left upon which rests a bottle of water and a glass of pale orange liquid while light glints off bracelets, rings and an earring as he smooths back long curling locks and an equally long goatee, he waits. He cuts a fine figure in a sleek grey suit and a snowy white shirt as he pauses to let the crowd settle. There’s a brief moment of anticipation as we wait like the eager, greedy souls we all know we are. We wait for him to cajole us, romance us and entrance us with a voice that’s equal parts ferocious and aches of a thousand sorrows. That voice belongs to El Cigala.

Stepping away from his familiar flamenco fare, Diego El Cigala’s current salsa project and songbook from Indestructible takes fans on musical landscape from El Cigala’s native Spain to his adoptive home in the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico, Cuba and Colombia, garnering a whole new enthusiastic fan base.

Backed by a razor-sharp salsa group that includes pianist Jaime Calabuch, trumpeters Cristian David Muñoz and Edison Muñoz, trombonists Richard Stella and Bernardo Aguirre, percussionist Denilson Ibarguen, timbalero Diego Mayorga, bassist Julio Valdes and backing vocalists Diego Galindo and Andres Gonzales, El Cigala takes fans through salsa favorites, emotive ballads and a few more intimate songs with only piano to accompany El Cigala’s roughed over vocals.

Tapping, clapping and finger snapping his way through the Duke Performances Saturday, March 31st concert at Durham’s Carolina Theatre, El Cigala and band had the joint jumping. Fans get doses of “Moreno Soy,” “Indestructible,” “Hacha y Machete” and “El Raton,” as well as some nicely done romantic songs, but I think the more intimate songs with just pianist were perhaps my favorite bits and those places where El Cigala’s voice really comes through in fine flamenco jazz fashion. But then again it’s El Cigala and any song is worth the price.

related stories: Highly Successful Black Atlantic 2018 from Duke Performances

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Legendary Flamenco and Cuban Dynasties to Perform in the USA

Pepe Habichuela and Josemi Carmona – Photo by Jose Torres

Familia habichuela: Legendary Dynasties featuring flamenco guitar maestro Pepe Habichuela and his son Josemi Carmona (founder of seminal “New Flamenco” band Ketama) are set to perform in New York city on March 24th at 8pm. Pepe Habichuela and vocalist Kiki Morente will perform today, March 21st at Instituto Cervantes in Chicago.

The New York performance by Pepe Habichuela and Josemi Carmona also features special guest artists: Latin Jazz pianist and composer Arturo O’Farrill, award-winning leader of New York’s Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra and his son Adam O’Farrill. They will also be joined by vocalist Kiki Morente; Javier Colina, one of the finest bass players in Spain; José Manuel Ruiz, “Bandolero,” a leading percussionist in flamenco; and flamenco dancer Alba Heredia, a member of the Maya family, another celebrated flamenco gypsy dynasty.

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Flamenco guitarist Daniel Casares to Showcase Picassares in the United States

Daniel Casares performing ‘Picassares’ at Flamenco Eñe – Photo by Jesús Domínguez

Acclaimed Spanish flamenco guitarist and composer Daniel Casares is set to perform in New York on March 24, 2018 at Joe’s Pub. Casares will present his latest work, Picassares, inspired by the paintings of the Malaga-born genius Picasso. “To me it is an opportunity to show instrumental flamenco and to claim the sound of the guitar, initiatives like Flamenco Eñe give us life,” said Daniel Casares. The next day, Casares will also participate in the Flamenco Rave in Miami.

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