Tag Archives: Spain

Artist Profiles: Vicente Soto “Sordera”

Vicente Soto “Sordera”

Vicente Soto “Sordera” was born in Jerez de la Frontera (Spain). He belongs to one of the most important Flamenco families “Los Sordera”. He’s owner of one of the most significant legates from the Flamenco planet (Paco La Luz, Niño Gloria, Manuel Soto “Sordera,” his father).

Vicente Soto’s got the most important Flamenco awards (Premio Nacional de Cordoba, Premio Pastora Pavon, Premio Mairena del Alcor…) showing the old wisdom of Flamenco.

He’s joined Flamenco and poetry by singing some poems from the most universal Spanish and south American poets like Machado, Garcia Lorca or Ruben Dario.

Vicente Soto’s performed at the best Flamenco and Latin Festivals in the world and big world stages as: La Scala di Milan Theatre National de Paris Teatro Avenida de Buenos Aires Teatro Comunale di Roma Theatre Albeniz de Madrid Theatre Sao Luiz de Lisboa… and all over USA, Japan, South America, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Canada Austria etc.

“Latin Essentials” where Vicente Soto combines Flamenco with Latin rhythms has been released by Warner Music Latina on November 23. “Latin Essentials” represents the cultural hybrid that has come out of the clash between Spanish and American Cultures.

Vicente Soto’s 11th CD entitled “Estar Alegre” has been released on December 24. He’s accompanied by Moraito, Diego del Morao, Manuel Parrilla, Tomasito Juanares…

Vicente Soto ” Sordera” releases on April 25 his new show “Quixote Flamenco”. He sets himself the challenge of seeking out jondura in Don Quixote Cervantes’ masterpiece. The show consists of a selection of eight texts adapted to cante flamenco by writer Pedro Atienza and celebrates the 4-year book’s anniversary.

Discography

Pessoa Flamenco (RTVE, 1986)
Cuando canta el pasado (Warner Music, 1987)
El ritmo de la sangre (Warner Music, 1988)
Jondo espejo gitano (Discos Senador, 1990)
Tríptico Flamenco Cádiz (RTVE, 1994)
Tríptico Flamenco Jerez (RTVE, 1995)
Tríptico Flamenco Sevilla (RTVE,1996)
Verea del Camino (Sonifolk, 1997)
Entre dos mundos (Dro East West, 2000)
Latin Essentials (Warner Music, 2003)
Estar Alegre (Galileo-MC, 2005)
Colores Distintos (Romanó Sonor, 2012)

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Artist Profiles: Tomas de Perrate

Tomás de Perrate

Tomás Fernández Soto, better known as Tomás de Perrate, was born June 6th, 1964 in Utrera (Sevilla province), Spain into a gypsy family of traditional singers. He is the son of José Fernández Granados (Perrate de Utrera) and Tomasa Soto Loreto (daughter of the mythical cantaor Manuel Torres).

He always developed his art inside the family field but since the Christmas of the year 1999/2000 he began to externalize his feeling about the “cante” (flameno song). His first participation with other members of his family was embodied on a recording with the title Christmas in Utrera, where he sang the endearing song “Los Campanilleros” of Manuel Torres with this record he first stepped inside the “cante.”

Although he had never sung in front of an audience he went to a fiesta where among the artists was the dean of the flamenco’s journalism Miguel Acal. After he listened to Tomas, he wrote about him:

“He sang bulerias for four minutes. He’s inexperienced, very inexperienced, but he’s a lot of diamond carats, diamonds like his father and grandfather are assembled on his voice, the sweetness and the solemn, rhythm of the father and the enervated echo of the grandfather”

The opinion of Manuel Acal and some other artists such as Lebrijano, Pedro Peña, Miguel Funi, Antonio Moya, Dorantes and Gaspar de Utrera encouraged Tomas to investigate rehearse the cantes and put them into practice.

Tomas made his first important performance in the Mont de Marian’s Festival (France) with Pepa Benito and Manuel de Paula called “Raices de Luz, in year 2. He also participated in the “Potaje Gitano de Utrera” at the first ‘Feria Mundial de Flamenco de Sevilla.”

Apart from other recitals for some official entities of Andalusian flamenco like Casabermeja (Malaga) Sociedad del Cante Grande (Algeciras) El Taranto (Almeria) and El Piyayo (Malaga) he also participates in the flamenco series put together by the Diputacion de Sevilla (regional government office).

He was the artistic director of the tribute offered to Perrate de Utrera, successfully celebrated during the second Feria Mundial de Flamenco de Sevilla.

He received the award Giraldillo al artista revelacion at the Bienal de Flamenco 2002 for his performance in a show called “Campina;” this prize is offered by the specialized critics and an expert commission of the organization. This award promoted Tomas and allowed him to sing in a multitude of festivals and theatres.

Some years ago Tomas took part in the flamenco activities organized by the Andalusian Tourism Office for the visitors consisting of workshops courses and conferences besides recitals and concerts with other artists, though the collaboration with the distinguished pianist Dorantes stands out.

On July 2003 he added to his artistic talent the lecturer facet thanks to his profound knowledge of El Cante de Utrera de ayer y de hoy, and as a complete artist he illustrated his words with his songs accompanying himself with the guitar. He gave his first conference at the Mont de Marsan’s Festival,L’Ecole de musique et danse”.

In March 2004 he was invited by the Department of Romance languages and literatures at Harvard together with Antonio Moya, Ramon Soler and Pierre Lefranc.

In September 2007 he was invited to participate at the XIII Bienal de Flamenco de Sevilla, at the opening show of the Festival together with Chocolate, Bernarda de Utrera, Miguel Funi, Pepa de Benito and Angelita Vargas, where Tomas appeared as a key figure recovered for the cante and a consecrated new talent.

The same year he met a person that would undoubtedly be a fundamental pillar in his life and his artistic career, Ricardo Pachon and together with his inseparable companion Antonio Moya, they decided to pay homage to a poem of Carlos Lencero that says:

So fast in Jerez
That I could not
So slowly in Triana
Drunkard in Utrera
Came to me the will

And with the collaboration of great musicians and great friends they invented Perraterias, the first album of Tomas de Perrate and soon it was on sale on December 2005.

The 4 February 2006 Tomas received the Nacional Flamencos Hoy Revelacion al cante award for his Perraterias album.

Since then he has been spreading his art throughout the nation with his show named as his album Perraterias accompanied by flamenco guitars electric guitars bass drums claps and sometimes dance. Or offering recitals that are more classical with an ensemble composed by voice guitar and handclaps.

Discography:

Utrera Flamenca
Perraterias

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Artist Profiles: Tito Alcedo

Antonio Alcedo Gil, “Tito Alcedo” was born in 1958 in Barbate (Cádiz province), in southern Spain. He is a self-taught guitarist since the age of 12 when he started to play music. Alcedo never had a teacher nor did he attend a conservatory. His restless spirit led him to seek influences from many different artists and styles that have many stages of his professional career.

Alcedo began playing as a professional at the age of 15 as lead guitarist with rock bands and he soon discovered jazz and all that it meant. His eclectic guitar technique allows him to play pieces from all kinds of styles, ranging from rock or pop to jazz and Flamenco in addition to classical music. In addition to the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix (just to name a few) there is an exceptional musician that has influenced Alcedo’s style from the very beginning in a decisive way and that is Django Reinhardt, the brilliant Belgian Gypsy that demonstrated his astonishing creativity to the jazz community in the early 1930s. But Tito Alcedo is in constant evolution and that inevitably led him to Flamenco. And the result of all this mix is a very personal style where technique art and experience are combined to show audiences a new musical perspective.

Tito Alcedo has carried out several tours throughout Europe with different musicians such as Nono García and French group Rumeur Iberique. He has also headlined in international jazz festivals together with Larry Coryell, Chano Domínguez and Philippe Catherine.

In 1989 he released his first LP titled Memorias in which Alcedo shared the leading role with pianist and Cadiz native Chano Domínguez. Alcedo has also participated in the recording of several albums by Javier Ruibal. In the summer of 1997 Tito Alcedo participated in the Palabra de Guitarra Latina CD sharing the leading role with Larry Coryell, Tomatito, Raimundo Amador, Joan Bibiloni and Birelli Lagrene.

Since 1996, Alcedo has formed a duo with singer songwriter Javier Ruibal with whom he tours throughout Spain and other countries. He also works as a session musician and as guest in the recordings of many artists.

Discography:

Memorias (Matasellos, 1989)
Agüita Salá (Intuition Music Int 325-2 2001)
Janda (Surfonía, 2011)

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Artist Profiles: Tejedor

Tejedor

Tejedor is led by three siblings from Avilés, a town in the northernmost Spanish region of Asturias. The group members devoted their lives to Asturian traditional music and wrote their own compositions. They are José Manuel, his brother Javier and their sister Eva Tejedor.

Both brothers won MacCallan bagpipe awards at the Inter Celtic Festival in Lorient. José Manuel, who won this award three times played pipes with Spanish rock band Revólver in their unplugged 1998 tour. The brothers have also won all Asturian prizes as a bagpipe and drum partnership. Eva for her part is an exceptional singer and percussionist.

Texedores De Suaños was the debut album of the band and it also marked also the first time that Phil Cunningham produced a recording by Spanish musicians.

The CD, which was cut at Elkar studios in San Sebastian, features lullabies, polkas and waltzes, featuring Asturian bagpipes, dreamy melodies, accordions, fiddles and percussion.

Tejedor: José Manuel Tejedor: Asturian bagpipes, low whistle, flutes; Javier Tejedor: button accordion, percussion, bagpipe, flutes; and Eva Tejedor: percussion and vocals

Discography:

Texedores de Suaños (1999)
Llunáticos (Resistencia, 2003)
Música Na Maleta (2007)
Positivu (2011)

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Artist profiles: Susana Seivane

Susana Seivane

Susana Seivane Hoyo was born August 25, 1976 in in Barcelona, Spain. She is the legitimate heir of a lineage of bagpipe craftsmen: the Seivanes. Her father is a bagpipe maker and her grandfather Xosé Seivane is one of the remaining old pipers still alive who together with Ricardo Portela or Moxenas (both deceased) formed part of one of the most important generations of Galician pipers, becoming masters and guides for today’s finest pipers.

Susana’s father, Alvaro was living in Barcelona, studying and making bagpipes for people in Galicia, Madrid and abroad. After ten years in Barcelona, the Seivanes returned to their Galician homeland.

Seivane’s style of playing, typical of “inland” pipers – the prestigious pipers from Fonsagrada, won her the respect and admiration of the piping world and traditional musicians in Galicia. This brilliant “inland” style, a tempered playing style, present in her music, shows a woman who has synthesized the most modern interpretive techniques like no one else with the “enxebre” style of the old pipers.

Susana surrounded herself with a group of young musicians that brought freshness and energy to her live performances that reproduces her albums. Her first recording was produced by Rodrigo Romaní, one of the founders of the legendary Galician folk music group Milladoiro.

Her band is not a conventional one. She uses instruments like bouzouki and guitar. Seivane plays traditional material although she also composes a few originals.

 

Discography

Susana Seivane (Boa Music, 1999)
Alma de buxo (Boa Music, 2001)
Mares de tempo (Boa Music, 2004)
Os soños que volven (Enavies, 2009)

DVD

Susana Seivane e amigos (Enavies, 2015)

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Artist profiles: Son de la Frontera

Son de la Frontera – Photo by Paco Manzano

Son de la Frontera (Sound of the Frontier) was an unconventional Flamenco ensemble from southern Spain. The members of Son de la Frontera convey unbridled flamenco passion while also carving a wholly unique path in their personal tribute to Spain’s renowned guitar master and sonic innovator Diego del Gastor.

In performing the music of maestro Gastor, the great guitarist and musical visionary from Moron de la Frontera (in the province of Sevilla), Son de la Frontera was committed to exploring the cross-pollination of Spanish-based traditions with sounds from four other continents, revealing flamenco’s ancient Moorish and Middle Eastern heritage while also blending in rhythmic and melodic elements from Cuba Argentina Colombia and Venezuela.

Throughout his illustrious career Gastor (1908-1973) was known for his melding of Latin sounds with flamenco traditions. Son de la Frontera expands on his rich legacy by being the first flamenco group to prominently feature the Cuban tres (literally “three” in Spanish), a small guitar-like instrument with three sets of double metal strings.

Led by Raul Rodriguez on the tres, Son de la Frontera also included two of Gastor’s descendants: Spanish guitar virtuoso Paco De Amparo and flamenco dancer Pepe Torres (both grand-nephews of the maestro). The group was rounded out by vocalist Moi De Moron and percussionist Manuel Flores, both of whom were born and raised in the flamenco hotbed of Gastor’s beloved Moron de la Frontera. Together they created a scintillating chemistry on their United States debut.

Son de la Frontera

Their debut CD Son de la Frontera was full of stirring falsetas and precision unison lines between Rodriguez’s steel-stringed tres and Amparo’s nylon-stringed guitar exhilarating flurries of synchronized handclaps (compas) from Flores and Moron dramatic pulse-quickening taps from dancer Torres and intensely passionate vocals from Moron.
Gastor’s compositions illuminated the Middle Eastern influences on flamenco in the spirited zambra “Arabesco” while his soleas “Como El Agua Entre Las Piedras” and “Recuerdo” are laden with emotion.

Elsewhere Gastor’s joyful rumba “Tangos de mi Novia” uncovers an Argentine connection to flamenco – while the brisk interplay between Rodriguez’s tres and Amparo’s strummed guitar on that buoyant piece also adds the infectious spirit of a Cuban tumbao rhythm. The album’s 9-minute centerpiece “Cambiaron Los Tiempos,” is a stunning showcase for each individual in the ensemble to stretch out instrumentally on a danceable seguiriya form.

The members of Son de la Frontera met in 1998 while playing together in the band supporting Rodriguez’s mother, renowned Spanish singer Martirio. As he explains “All of the band’s members loved the legacy of Diego del Gastor and we began experimenting with his music incorporating the Cuban tres that my mother brought back for me from Havana. It was a special souvenir from her appearance at the 90th birthday celebration for the great Cuban guitarist Compay Segundo [of the Buena Vista Social Club] For me, bringing the Cuban tres to flamenco was a natural extension of Gastor’s creative vision.”

In 2001 Paco de Amparo formed a new band called SonAires de la Frontera.

Discography:

Son de la Frontera
Cal

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Artist Profiles: Rosa Zaragoza

Rosa Zaragoza

Rosa Zaragoza is a Sephardic music singers. She has performed at most Mediterranean music festivals and in Europe, the United States of America and Israel.

Rosa Zaragoza started her career in 1984 showcasing her talent at Gerona’s Call (The ancient Jewish quarter in this village) in the ancient Synagogue of Isaac el Cec.

Later, Zaragoza became interested in the coexistence period of the three main cultures present in the Iberian Peninsula: Jewish, Muslim and Christian. She added to her Sephardic repertory religious music and songs from the Arab and Christian traditions

Discography:

Canciones sefardies (Tecnosaga 1984)
Canciones de bodas de los judios catalanes (1986)
Canciones de cuna del Mediterraneo (1987)
Les nenes bones van al cel les dolentes a tot arreu (1989)
Galaneta ma Canciones de falda para cantar con el niño en el regazo (199)
Canciones de judios cristianos y musulmanes (1992)
El espiritu de Al-Andalus (1994)
Delicias zingaras (1997)
Mujeres del 36, with Grupo Makis (1998)
Erotica Mistica (2000)
Matria. Canciones de Sefarad, Al’Andalus y Cataluña (2003)
Nacer Renacer (2005)
Terra de jueus (2007)
La danza del alma (2008)
A la luz de la risa de las mujeres (2011)
Cuando se caen las alas del corazón (2014)

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Artist Profiles: Razón de Son

Raúl Rodriguez, Razón de Son – Photo by Oscar Romero

Razón de Son is a creative research project that investigates the intercultural origin of early flamenco music. The research uses a double method of investigation: on one side the anthropological background and on the other musical experimentation.

Razon de Son aims to expand the musical storyline by tracing back to the deeply mestizo culture heir of the cultural crossover that occurred in the Afro-Caribbean colonies and the Andalusian ports of Seville and Cadiz between 16th and 19th centuries.

Raul Rodriguez creates new tunes and reinterpretations of the ancient Afro-Hispanic dances. He also introduced a new musical instrument that he calls the tres flamenco, combining Cuban son and flamenco toque which opens the possibilities of a new language: Son Flamenco.

Razon de Son also applies the latest historical and musical studies around the multiple sources that influenced flamenco music. This idea was developed over the last few years by several authors such as Faustino Nuez, Jose Luis Ortiz-Nuevo. J. L. Navarro Garcia and Santiago Auseron offering some of the most interesting perspectives around the basic fundamentals of the flamenco culture.
This new perspective not only shows new origins of Flamencos most deeply rooted traditions but also highlights the importance of the contribution of black music from the Andalusian ports of the XVI to XVIII centuries to flamenco music. Detailed studies show that the African dances already existed in the Spanish Golden Age and had a decisive influence on the development of many of the modern Flamenco dances thus opening up a path to follow in order to continue to discover new tools of expression new sones for the future.

In 2003. Raul Rodriguez founded the celebrated band Son de la Frontera featuring for the first time the Cuban tres in Flamenco in an homage work to Diego del Gastor. He produced both albums of the band for Nuevos Medios: Son de la Frontera (2004) and Cal (2006). The band got international reputation receiving several awards as Flamenco Hoy 25 Best Instrumental Album, BBC Radio World Music Awards as Best European Album 2008. Son de la Frontera toured worldwide and played in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, La Habana Miami, Mexico DF, Montreal, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, etc. from 2003 to 2008.

Razon de Son is Raul Rodriguez’s continuation of his musical research of early flamenco.

Line-up: Raul Rodriguez – tres cubano; Mario Mas – Spanish guitar; Aleix Tobias on percussion; and Guillem Aguilar – bass

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Artist Profiles: Ray Heredia

Ray Heredia – Photo by Mario Pacheco

Ray Heredia was one of the most charismatic of the “young flamencos”. He combined Flamenco and Gypsy rumba with Caribbean salsa and jazz. He died prematurely in Madrid the 14th of July of 1991 at the age of 27 a month after his first solo album Quien no Corre Vuela was released.

Heredia was part of a Gypsy family from Madrid with a long musical tradition. Son of the dancer Josele, Ray started performing as a child. At 12 he registered his first recording at a studio and his career developed collaborating in recordings by Flamenco artists such as Camaron, El Chato de la Isla and Enrique de Melchor.

Notwithstanding that he grew up in a Flamenco environment he always showed a great interest in other kinds of music. He himself remembered that at the beginning of his musical career when he was not at a “tablao” (Flamenco nightclub) he spent hours with his ear glued to a radio trying to assimilate all kind of influences.

His anxiety lead him to be the real instigator of Ketama the band that he formed together with the Carmona brothers and Jose Soto Sorderita. Ketama’s debut album ignored at its time by the media showed the brilliance of New Flamenco and was praised by such different people as David Byrne, Jack Nicholson and Angelica Houston.

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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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