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]
Acclaimed international guitar event Festival de la Guitarra de Córdoba will offer twelve courses and two master classes in 2018.
The festival includes concerts by some of the world’s finest guitarists, such as Vicente Amigo and Pat Metheny. Additionally, the festival regularly features workshops and master classes I the areas of flamenco, classical music and jazz.
Prestigious Cuban maestro Leo Brouwer returns to Córdoba to teach a classical guitar course on styles and articulation. It will be on July 6 and 7.
During July 6-8, the festival welcomes Polish renowned musician Marcin Dylla, who will work with his students on different and effective techniques to improve the interpretation.
Manuel Barrueco will offer an interpretation course on July 9 and 10; while David Russell will teach his technical workshop on July 10 and 11.
Paraguayan Berta Rojas will lead the final classical guitar educational program on July 12 and 13 with a course on the work of Barrios and Lauro, the classical guitar in Latin American music.
The flamenco guitar is the other great pillar of the training program. On this occasion, four of the most prestigious masters of the national and international scene will assemble in Cordoba. The series begins with Juan Manuel Cañizares, who will teach a workshop of flamenco guitar technical exercises to develop improvisation from July 5 to 7.
Maestro José Antonio Rodríguez will lead a course July 8-10 dedicated to the flamenco concert guitar.
Meanwhile, Paco Jarana will conduct a workshop July 8-9 dedicated to flamenco guitar accompaniment.
Legendary guitarist Manolo Sanlúcar will present his traditional flamenco guitar course which he has called “Architecture and pillars of flamenco.”
Each year, the Festival de la Guitarra de Córdoba reserves a section of its formative program to flamenco dancing. On this occasion, the instructors will be María Pagés, Eva Yerbabuena and Javier Latorre, who will teach their classes at the Teatro de la Axerquía.
Finally, the 38th Festival de la Guitarra de Córdoba will host two master classes. The first will feature jazz guitarist Mike Stern as the protagonist and will be held on July 9 at the Teatro de la Axerquía.
The second master class will take place on July 13 at the Góngora Theater, led by prestigious Brazilian guitarist João Bosco. Attendance at these master classes includes free admission to their respective concerts.