Tag Archives: Flamenco

Artist Profiles: Amir-John Haddad

Amir-John Haddad

German-Spanish musician Amir-John Haddad, better known as El Amir, was born in 1975 in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. He moved to Spain in 1997.

El Amir is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, musical director, and producer. He‘s considered one of the best concert guitarists in today‘s Spanish scene, defined by his personality, maturity, sound and style.

El Amir has been playing flamenco guitar and the Arabic oud since he was seven years old, and has been performing on stage for 30 years. In addition to his extensive career, he has learned how to play traditional Mediterranean instruments including the Greek bouzouki and Turkish saz, being a virtuoso in all of them.

Amir-John Haddad

El Amir has collaborated with a long list of artists including Radio Tarifa, Chambao, Marcus Miller and Juno Reactor.

In 2010, Amir-John presented his show “From East to West,” combining all the instruments he plays, Arabic lute, Turkish saz, Greek bouzouki, flamenco guitar and the triple-necked electric guitar to expose a wide range of traditional music. A trip through several regions of the Mediterranean, through different instruments and original compositions mixed with modern and contemporary sounds, fired through effects processors.

Amir-John Haddad

Amir-John Haddad was part of a Madrid-based world music superband called Zoobazar. Group members included El Amir on oud and saz; La Musgaña’s fiddler, Diego Galaz on fiddle and mandolin; La Shica’s and Eliseo Parra’s drummer and percussionist, Pablo Martin Jones on drums and percussion; and the bassist of rock band GN3, Hector Tellini.

Zoobazar

Zoobazar’s debut album, Uno (2011), was a mesmerizing journey across the musics of the Mediterranean countries, including Iberian folk music, Turkish, Balkan, Greek, Middle Eastern and North African grooves and tunes combined with rock, funk and jazz.

Zoobazar’s second album, Dos, came out in 2014.

In 2017, Amir John Haddad played Vivaldi’s Concerto in C major for Mandolin for the first time on Greek bouzouki. The debut took place on the 6th of November at the National Auditorium of Music in Madrid accompanied by outstanding musicians from the Spanish National Orchestra.

José María Bandera and Amir John Haddad

Another project in 2017 was a collaboration with Paco de Lucia’s nephew, José María Bandera. The two guitarists performed material from Paco’s last album, Canción Andaluza, including María de la O, Señorita, I have to love you while you live, Chiquita Piconera, Romance of Valentía and Ojos Verdes, by Quintero, León and Quiroga and other great composers. The show also featured Josemi Garzón on double bass and Israel Katumba on percussion.

Amir John Haddad

El Amir was one the featured solo artists of the Hans Zimmer’s Tour performing flamenco guitar, electric guitar, Greek buzuki and ukulele. “The World of Hans Zimmer – A Symphonic Celebration” presents the composer’s works arranged for a live symphony orchestra. Zimmer spent months working on transforming his soundtracks into opulent concert suites. interpreting a very special selection of soundtracks from the most famous films such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Gladiator, Mission Impossible, The Holiday or Madagascar.

Discography:

Pasando Por Tabernas ‎(Double Moon Records, 2005)
Uno, with Zoobazar (Santa Fe / Ojo! Records, 2011)
9 Guitarras ‎(Zoomusic, 2013)
Dos, with Zoobazar (Galileo Music, 2014)

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Guitarist Cañizares Wins Best Flamenco Album Award at Spanish Independent Music Awards 2019

The album “El mito de la caverna” by acclaimed flamenco guitarist Cañizares is the winner of the Best Flamenco Album Award at Premios MIN 2019, Spain’s independent music awards.

El mito de la caverna is Cañizares’ 14th album and he describes it as a heartfelt tribute to his roots and traditions.

Cañizares is a classically-trained flamenco guitarist who bridges the worlds of flamenco and classical music.

More about Cañizares.

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Top Spanish Artists to Perform at Flamenco Festival at Joe’s Pub in New York

María Terremoto

The Flamenco Festival Festival returns March 7 through March 17, 2019 to expose this World Heritage artistic expression with eight performances on the intimate stage of the eclectic downtown New York club Joe’s Pub.

Following a 2018 season that reached 45,000 spectators, the 2019 edition of Flamenco Festival USA further develops the Festival and its partners’ commitment to flamenco music’s many different expressions. The piano of Chano Domínguez, the guitars of Antonio Rey and Miguel Ángel Cortés, the flute of Sergio de Lope, and the voices of María Terremoto and Ismael Fernández showcase flamenco’s unique colors across the spectrum.

Sergio de Lope

The Jerez-born cantaora María Terremoto is set to perform on March 9 at 9:30 p.m. and the Toledan cantaor Israel Fernández on March 7 and March 10 at 7:00 p.m. They are both excellent examples of traditional flamenco. Terremoto will present La Huella de mi Sentío accompanied by Nono Jero (guitar) and José “El Pechuguita” (voice). Fernández will present Universo Pastora accompanied by Keko Baldomero (guitar).

For his 9:30 p.m. March 8 show, co-produced by the Instituto Cervantes, Sergio de Lope, the winner of the 2017 International Competition of Cante de las Minas de la Unión, presents Ser de Luz, an exhibition of how dialogue with multiple genres of music can fill flamenco expression with nuance and light.

Antonio Rey and Mara Rey

One of the greatest flamenco guitarists of his generation, Antonio Rey, will arrive to New York on March 9 at 9:30p.m. with his show Two Parts of Me, accompanied by the dancer and cantaora Mara Rey. On March 10 at 9:30 p.m., Diego Guerrero will celebrate his New York debut with selections from his first album Vengo Caminando, nominated “Best Flamenco Album” for the 2019 Grammy Awards.

Diego Guerrero

In collaboration with the World Music Insitute, on March 7 at 7:00 p.m., Sevillian cantaor Ismael Fernández will premiere songs from his latest album, Trato. That same evening, at 9:30 p.m., guitar maestro Miguel Ángel Cortés will play his first New York headliner performance, Sonantas en tres Movimientos, alongside Dani Bonilla (chorus and percussion) and Lucía “La Piñona” Álvarez (dance).

Chano Dominguez

On March 8 at 7:00 p.m., acclaimed musician and composer Chano Dominguez will present his integration of flamenco and piano jazz.

As in past years, Flamenco Festival is additionally complemented with activities in New York City outside of Joe’s Pub, including the free-to-attend exhibition Garabatos Flamencos by Ándrés Mérida (running March 5 to 18 at La Nacional); the presentation of the book Sonidos Negros: On the Blackness of Flamenco by K. Meira Goldberg at Martin Segal Theater at the CUNY Graduate Center on March 5; and Ballet Flamenco de Sara Baras at New York City Center on March 7 through 10. Concurrent with these New York events, Flamenco Festival will continue in Miami, Chicago, and Washington DC with additional performances.

For further information on Flamenco Festival, visit www.flamencofestival.org

For the complete Flamenco Festival at Joe’s Pub lineup, visit:publictheater.org/en/Programs–Events/Joes-Pub/Flamenco-Festival-NY-2019-at-Joes-Pub/

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Artist Profiles: María Toro

María Toro

Spanish musician María Toro was born in 1979 in La Coruña, Spain. She is a respected flutist and flamenco-jazz composer whose career path has taken her across many countries in different continents over the years. Seven years after moving from her native Galicia to Madrid, in 2009, she joined an international flamenco company in Zurich, Switzerland.

Afterwards, she crossed the Atlantic to form part of the flamenco and jazz movement in New York City. Later, she settled in Rio de Janeiro in order to integrate her music with the effervescent musical sounds of the city.

In Switzerland, she started to compose her first album, A Contraluz, finally recorded in the United States in 2014 with renowned jazz performers in New York City. In 2016, while living in Rio de Janeiro, she recorded her second album, Araras, accompanied by great performers such as Hermeto Pascoal, who provided Brazilian rhythm to her proposal.

In 2017, Maria Toro returned to Madrid, where she continues composing and performing her musical repertoire throughout Spain and Europe.

Discography:

Jose Romero Project (2012)
A Contraluz (Jazz Activist, 2014)
Araras (Jazz Activist, 2018)

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Artist Profiles: María Terremoto

María Terremoto

María Fernández Benítez, better known as María Terremoto, was born in Jerez de la Frontera in 2000. She is part of a famous family of flamenco artists; her grandfather was Fernando Fernández Monge “Terremoto de Jerez” and her father is singer Fernando Fernández Pantoja “Terremoto.”

Since she was a child, María Terremoto has participated in many flamenco zambombas (Flamenco Christmas carols performed during Christmas in Jeerz) with her family, in which she unexpectedly became the central character of each performance. At nine years old, Maria was responsible for a crucial moment in her father’s life, the great Fernando Terremoto, when she performed on stage in the flamenco nightclub (tablao) that bears his name. That day will be evoked forever by all who were there, because unsuspectingly, Fernando passed the artistic torch to his daughter Maria in what would be his final farewell to the stage.

In mid-2014, at just fourteen years old, Maria began to make infrequent performances in Jerez. Progressively, she began to perform more often and traveled outside of Jerez, making her mark in the jondo (flamenco deep roots) scene.

Her big opportunity came in February 2016, during the significant Festival de Jerez. María gave a flamenco performance at the Palacio de Villavicencio that left everyone astonished. That moment generated unparalleled press acclaim for such a young artist. She was just sixteen years old.

This performance was the beginning of a tour of flamenco clubs and major festivals, such as the peñas de Huelva, Torres Macarena de Sevilla, La Niña de los Peines de Arahal, Casabermeja de Málaga , Pozoblanco, Baeza…and festivals such as Grazalema, Pedrera, Casariche, Pruna, La Caracolá Lebrijana and the Flamenco Fridays of Jerez, among many others.

María Terremoto – Photo by Paco Barroso

On September 22, 2016, Maria performed a concert at Seville’s Flamenco biennial that many have called historic. After numerous positive reviews, she was the youngest artist to ever be awarded the high-status ‘Giraldillo Revelación 2016’ prize, which catapulted her to the vanguard of the flamenco scene. In 2018 she received the prestigious ‘Venencia Flamenca’, an award given by the Flamenco community ‘El pozo de las penas’. After receiving this recognition, María made the rounds on the most prestigious stages throughout Spain.

María Terremoto released her first album: “La huella de mi sentío” (IR Music, 2018). The album was officially debuted at La Bienal de Flamenco de Sevilla.

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Chicago Flamenco Festival 2019 to Present Diego Guerrero

Diego Guerrero

Singer, composer and guitarist Diego Guerrero is set to perform on Wednesday, March 6, 2019 at the Gary and Laura Maurer Concert Hall at Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. This concert is part of the Flamenco Eñe series, Chicago Flamenco Festival 2019.

Diego Guerrero is an acclaimed flamenco singer, prolific musical producer, arranger, composer and guitarist. He studied in the conservatories of Seville, Granada, and Cordoba. By day he worked on majoring in composition and orchestral music, and by night, he immersed himself in the oral tradition of Flamenco, gathered around a fire with a guitar coupled with the characteristic sounds of the palmas (handclap percussion) and Flamenco singing. This duality marked the birth of his daring proposal to bring Flamenco closer to other musical styles.

His debut album, “Vengo Caminando“, is an eclectic work rooted in Flamenco, yet tastefully opens doors into other styles of music. Its release immediately achieved him status as one of the most important artists of the genre and received international recognition being nominated for the Latin Grammy Awards in the category of “Best Flamenco Album”. After 60 concerts in Spain in the last 12 months, he will be touring the USA for the first time, with performances at festivals in New York, Miami, Chicago and Austin.

4544 N Lincoln Ave
Gary and Laura Maurer Concert Hall at Old Town School of Folk Music , 773-728-6000.

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The Better Musical Paradises of Javier Ruibal

Javier Ruibal – “Paraísos mejores” (Nuba Records, 2018)

Javier Ruibal, one of Spain’s finest musical poets delivers another gem titled Paraísos mejores (better paradises). Ruibal has a highly expressive, captivating vocal style that matches his poetic lyrics perfectly. His lyrics talk about love, flamenco dreams, recent historical events, the hopes of African migrants, Egypt travels, imaginary places and the aspiration of humanity despite war mongering. All songs are in Spanish except one in which Ruibal sings in Arabic.

Musically, Javier Ruibal, takes you on a fantastic musical trip around the globe, incorporating flamenco, Cuban music, Middle Eastern music, bolero, contemporary jazz, rock, and chamber classical music.

The album was produced by Javier’s son, percussionist Javi (Javier Jr.) Ruibal. Paraísos mejores includes two high profile singers, Dominican star Juan Luis Guerra and the great Brazilian artist Chico Cesar.

The line-up includes Javier Ruibal on vocals and guitar together with some of Spain’s best players: Jose Recacha on electric and acoustic guitars, ud, bouzouki, Portuguese guitar, electric bass and keyboards; Javi Ruibal on drums and percussion; Manuel Machado on trumpet; Federico Lechner on piano; Victor Merlo on acoustic bass; Diego Villegas on saxophone, flute, clarinet and harmonica; Frederick Hogue on trombone; Daniel Escortell on bass; Jorge Arribas on accordion; Diego Galaz on violin, mandolin and saw; Laure Gaudrom on viola; José Inés Guerrero on cello;  Faiçal Kourrich on violin and viola; and José Carlos Roca on cello.

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Chicago flamenco Festival 2019 Kick off with Guitarist Antonia Jiménez

Antonia Jiménez

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 and romance.

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Artist Profiles: Lela Soto


Lela Soto

Lela Soto Heredia was born in 1992 in Madrid. She is one of the young flamenco voices with more projection of the current flamenco scene, heir to the legacy of La Casa de Los Sordera. Her father is Vicente Soto ‘Sordera’, and her mother, Luisa Heredia, is a dancer.

In addition to her orthodox flamenco roots, Lela Soto imbues her music with a more avant-garde flamenco and in her voice you can also appreciate influences from jazz, blues, salsa or R & B. She has collaborated with artists such as Alejandro Sanz, Pitingo, Navajita Plateá or Diego del Morao.

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Artist Profiles: Israel Fernández

Israel Fernández

Israel Fernández was born into a gypsy family in Corral de Almaguer (Toledo province, Spain).

He performs flamenco in its purest form. His passion, his art and his freshness have dazzled everyone, young and orthodox.

At 11 years old he began to take his first steps on stage, both in popular parties and on television. His flamenco is enriched by other types of music and styles.

His first record, recorded at 18, was produced by pianist Pedro Ojesto. At 21 years he had already collaborated with artists such as Raimundo Amador, José Mercé, Arcángel, and Tomasito; and performed in theaters and festivals around the world.

Discography:

Con Hilo De Oro Fino ‎(Universal Music, 2014)
Universo Pastora ‎(Universal Music, 2018)

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