Tag Archives: Spain

Artist Profiles: Tündra

Tündra

Spanish progressive folk band Tündra was formed in Logroño, northern Spain, in late 2008 by four local musicians with backgrounds in folk music, rock and jazz.

The musical influences ranged from Swedish band Hedningarna and Spanish contemporary folk ensemble La Musgaña to progressive rock and jazz.

The early lineup included four multi-instrumentalists from Logroño. In 2012, Tündra won the first prize at the Gota Music competition, which gave them the opportunity to record their debut album titled “Folk Ancestro Sideral.”

One of Tündra’s members, Daniel Latorre is a highly esteemed instrument maker who handcrafts some of the ancient instruments used by the band.

In 2013, Rafa Martín, founder of the renowned folk band La Musgaña joined the band.

Band members in 2019 included Ignacio Benito on flutes, bagpipes, psaltery and drum; Jorge Garrido on drums, percussion and bass; Francisco González on electric guitar and samplers; and Rafa Martín on zanfona (hurdy gurdy) and nyckelharpa.

Discography:

Folk Ancestro Sideral (Nada Producciones, 2013)
Bastardüs (2017)

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Artist Profiles: Juan José Robles

Juan José Robles

Juan José Robles Mayol started his musical career as a child in rondallas (ensemble of stringed instruments) and folk bands in his his hometown, Alhama de Murcia, in southeastern Spain, playing the Spanish guitar, the lute and the bandurria.

At fifteen, he and his colleagues they founded the folk-rock group Malvariche, with whom he recorded three albums: “La Leyenda” (1992), “Que llueva, que llueva” (1995) and “En concierto” (1997).

From 2002 to 2008, he was part of the Camerata Aguilar orchestra, an ensemble with which he ventured into classical music. He participated in two of their recordings: “Scaramouche” (2003) and “Los Aguilar” (2008).

In 2007 he received the Professional Music Degree, in the specialty of plectrum instruments, at the Professional Conservatory of Music of Murcia.

In 2008, he became part of Manuel Luna’s Cuadrilla Maquilera. He participated in the band’s “Por Parrandas” (2010) and “Viajes Sonoros” (2016) recordings; and also performed with La Banda del Pepo, where he experimented with instruments such as saz, cümbüs and zanfona, among others.

In 2015, he founded with other colleagues, the traditional Murcian music group Mujeres con Raíz, with whom he recorded “Las edades de la vida” (2017).

Juan José Robles

His solo career began in 2016, with the self-release “Tiempo de espera”, focused on the instruments that always accompanied him in his long career. This first work was well received by the public and the media specialized in traditional and folk music. The lineup included Juan José Robles on various string instruments; Enrique González on percussion; Óscar Esteban on tambourine; Pablo Orenes on acoustic and electric bass; Constantino López on acoustic guitar and mandola; Jero Galián on Spanish guitar; Pepe Ludeña on violin; José Antonio Aarnoutse on flamenco guitar; Dani Valera on palmas; Carlos Beceiro on zanfona; Roberto Cubero on mandolin; and Carmen María Martínez Salazar and Jaime Lafuente on vocals.

“Tiempo de espera” was presented at the inaugural gala of the EXIB 2016 (Ibero-American Music Expo), in Évora (Portugal), sharing the stage with Portuguese artists Luís Peixoto, João Afonso and Celina Da Piedade, among others.

Juan José Robles at EXIB – Photo by Angel Romero

Between 2017 and 2018, he participated in the farewell tour of Paco Muñoz and in 2018 in Simfonic by Pep Botifarra & Pau Chafer.

In 2019, Juan José Robles released the album In-Quietud.

Discography:

La Leyenda, with Malvariche (1992)
Que llueva, que llueva, with Malvariche (1995)
En concierto, with Malvariche (1997)
Scaramouche, with Camerata Aguilar (2003)
Los Aguilar, with Camerata Aguilar (2008)
Por Parrandas, with Manuel Luna y la Cuadrilla Maquilera (2010)
Viajes Sonoros, with Manuel Luna y la Cuadrilla Maquilera (2016)
Tiempo de espera (Juan José Robles, 2016)
Las edades de la vida, with Mujeres con Raíz (2017)
In-Quietud (Juan José Robles, 2019)

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Artist Profiles: Rosalía

Rosalía

Rosalía Vila Tobella, better known as Rosalía, was born on 25 September 25, 1993 in San Esteban de Sasroviras, Spain.

The Spanish singer-songwriter is known for her trailblazing flamenco crossover sound, fusing flamenco with electronic beats, reguetón and other modern elements.

Her first album was the critically acclaimed “Los Ángeles ” released in 2016. It was followed by her groundbreaking “El Mal Querer ,” released in 2018.

Rosalía

Her song “Malamente” won Best Alternative Song and Best Urban Fusion/Performance at the 2018 Latin Grammy awards.

In 2019, Rosalía collaborated with James Blake on his new album, appeared in Pedro Almodóvar’s film “Dolor y Gloria”, and released a highly successful single titled “Con Altura (with J Balvin and El Guincho).”

Rosalía received the 2019 MTV European Music Award for Best Collaboration for her song “Con altura,” a joint effort with producer J Balvin (Spain) and El Guincho (Colombia). During her performance at the award ceremony in Seville, Rosalia put on an innovative, spectacular show, turning the stage into a tablao (flamenco nightclub) full of dancers and singers.

Discography:

Los Ángeles (Universal Spain, 2017)
El Mal Querer (Sony, 2018)

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Artist profiles: SonAires de la Frontera

SonAires de la Frontera

SonAires de la Frontera was the reincarnation of the critically acclaimed Andalusian band Son de la Frontera. Flamenco guitarist Paco de Amparo’s new musical project continued his combination of flamenco genres with world music elements.

Based in one of the cradles of flamenco, Moron de la Frontera (Spain), SonAires de la Frontera included young musicians who were deeply influenced by the legacy of the legendary guitarist Diego del Gastor. The debut album was titled Moroneando.

The band included three guitarists: Paco de Amparo, Ignacio de Amparo and Shimun Murk. The mandola played by Keko Baldomero wass added to the mix; it is an unconventional instrument in the world of flamenco and added an exotic element to the group’s sound.

David el Galli and Jesus Santiago provided the vocals. Isidro was on percussion. Luis Torres added palmas (handclap percussion) and vocals; and J. Gregorio Lovera played violin. The band included a dancer, Mercedes de Moron.

Discography:

Moroneando (Bujio, 2010)

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Artist Profiles: Esperanza Fernández

Esperanza Fernández – Photo by Luis Castilla

Esperanza Fernández Vargas was born in Sevilla in 1966. She has gypsy blood in her veins. Her family has long included guitarists, dancers and singers who have imbued her with the great heritage of Andalusian culture. She always wanted to be part of the flamenco world, and began her career at the age 16 as singer soloist with Mario Maya Amargo. She found success in 1994 when she played with Enrique Morente in A Oscuras, a show that was very successful in the 7th Bienal de Arte Flamenco at the Maestranza Theatre in Sevilla .

The following year, Esperanza immersed herself in the works of Manuel de Falla which have become associated with her career over the years. She has recorded all the works of this Spanish composer under the direction of Juan Udaeta (these recordings won the Premio Andalucia Joven de Flamenco awarded by the Culture Council of Andalucia).

In particular she is known for her performances of Manuel de Falla’s principal work, El Amor Brujo, with the Symphony Orchestras of Valencia, Galicia, the City of Granada, the National Orchestra of Brazil and the Spanish National Orchestra (directed by Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos). In 2004 she chose to sing El Sombrero de Tres Picos from Manuel de Falla’s repertoire on the occasion of the anniversary of the birth of Salvador Dali. Esperanza Fernández has also made recordings; for example in 2001 she released her first solo album (Esperanza Fernández) which remains to this day one of the most successful flamenco albums.

The versatility of her voice along with her delight in discovering other cultures and types of music combine to allow her to go beyond pure flamenco: in 1997 she was chosen to represent Spain at Pop Komm 97 in Cologne. That same year she was invited by Yehudi Menuhin to take part in the Voices for Peace concerts alongside stars from various countries (Noa, Miriam Makeba).

In 2003 Esperanza Fernández took part in several projects that fused flamenco with jazz, in particular with Jean-Marc Padovani. Recently she has premiered her show Almadia (in collaboration with Moroccan musicians) at the Cirque d’Hiver for the Ile de France Festival.

Her third album Mi Voz En Tu Palabra wads direceted by David Peña Dorantes.

In 2009 she received the Al Ándalus and XII Gitano Andaluz awards.

Discography:

Esperanza Fernández ‎(BMG Ariola España, 2001)
Recuerdos (2007)
Mi Voz En Tu Palabra – Canta A Saramago ‎(DiscMedi Blau, 2013)

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Artist Profiles: Juan Habichuela Nieto

Juan Habichuela Nieto

Juan Torres Fajardo, better known as Juan Habichuela Nieto was born in Granada, Spain on May 31, 1989. He is a renowned guitarist and composer who belongs to one of the most important flamenco dynasties. He is the grandson of Juan Carmona ‘Habichuela’, an indisputable maestro guitarist who passed away in 2016.

At the age of 15, Juan was already playing guitar, accompanying the late Enrique Morente, one of the finest singers of his generation, performing on the best stages in the world.

Juan Habichuela Nieto

Since then he has worked with great artists like Pitingo, Estrella Morente, Jose Enrique Morente, his uncle Antonio Carmona, Juan de Juan, Antonio Canales, Carlos Benavent and Jorge Pardo among others.

In 2011, he received the Bordón de Oro award from the Cante de las Minas Festival.

Juan Habichuela Nieto’s first solo album was “Mi alma a solas” (Universal Music Spain). It features well-known guest artists such as Estrella Morente, Marina Heredia, Antonio Carmona, Lolita, Rosario Flores, etc.

His second album “Sentimientos de mi ser” (Universal Music Spain) was released in July of 2017.

Discography:

Mi alma a solas (Universal Music Spain, 2014)
Sentimientos de mi ser (Universal Music Spain, 2017)

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Artist Profiles: Fabiola Perez ‘La Fabi’

Fabiola Pérez – “La Fabi”

Fabiola Pérez, better known as “La Fabi”, was born on May 25, in Arcos de la Frontera (Cádiz). She grew up in the Barrio Bajo neighborhood, began to sing to the public at 11 years old and has not stopped since.

Her mother discovered her vocal skill. Fabiola started singing at a young age, was always singing and did it well. Her parents supported her from the very beginning.  

La Fabi started singing in Festivals and Flamenco clubs when she was only eleven years old. She spent time with the Ballet Flamenco de Andalucia, an essential part of her career.

Fabiola Pérez – “La Fabi”

She collaborated with well-known dancers using a percussive vocal style and participated in several albums by noteworthy artists such as Enrique el Extremeño, Manuel Parrilla and Antonio Rey.

Her style is expressive, intense and energetic, one of the finest voices in the current flamenco scene.

 In late 2018, La Fabi released her album “Fruto y Flores“. The album features guitarists José Serrano, Paco Heredia and Tomatito, Israel Suárez “El Piraña” on percussion, Bernardo Parrilla on violin, Nene Maya on bass and Zambullo and Ezequiel “Nano” on backing vocals and palmas (handclap percussion).

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Artist Profiles: Diego Del Morao

Diego Del Morao

Diego Moreno Jiménez, better known as , was born September 20, 1978 in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.

He grew up as a member of the renowned dynasty of the Morao. Diego is the eldest son of Moraito Chico and he trained at home under the watchful eye of his father, although he also received training at the Carbonero school.

He appeared on stage at 14, accompanying artists at different clubs and festivals. Soon his guitar attracted the attention of flamenco stars such as José Mercé. Enrique Morente, Diego el Cigala, la Niña Pastori, Miguel Poveda, Pansequito, Diego Carrasco, Montse Cortés, Marina Heredia, and others.

Discography:

Del Manzanares Al Guadalquivir, with Israel Paz El Moñi ‎(Alía Discos, 1999)
Orate (Warner Music Spain, 2010)
Vuelve El Flamenco, with Diego El Cigala (Cigala Music, 2014)
Antonio Reyes / Diego Del Morao – Directo En El Círculo Flamenco De Madrid ‎(El Flamenco Vive, 2016)

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Artist Profiles: Pedro El Granaino

Pedro El Granaino – Photo by Leo Sánchez

Gypsy singer Pedro Heredia Reyes, better known as Pedro El Granaino, was born in Granada, Spain in 1973. Singing was part of his life from the day he was born.

He has worked with great flamenco artists such as Los Farruco, Vicente Amigo, Tomatito and Enrique Morente, among others.

In 2012 he began his solo career. Since then, he has won praise for his singing and his deep knowledge of the flamenco tradition. Pedro El Granaino is considered one of the best singers of the current scene.

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Artist Profiles: Antonio Reyes Montoya

Antonio Reyes Montoya

Antonio Reyes Montoya was born in Chiclana de la Frontera, Spain in 1975. He grew up in a family with deep flamenco roots. His maternal grandfather is Antonio Montoya and his uncle Roque Montoya “Jarrito.” Antonio Reyes is also related to José Cortés Jiménez, “Pansequito”.

He appeared on stage for the first time when he was 7 years old, at the Fiesta de la Parpuja de Chiclana. In 1984, he performed at the bullring in Jerez, on Flamenco Thursdays, organized by the guitarist Manuel Morao. At 10, he won the first prize in Fuengirola, in the youth category.

In 1988, at the age of 13, he was a finalist in the Mairena del Alcor competition and traveled throughout the United States with the Gitanos de Jerez Company directed by Manuel Morao and later in Europe with the Misa Flamenca show.

In 2009 he recorded his first album “Viento del Sur”. In 2014, he won the “Giraldillo al cante” of the Flamenco Biennial of Seville, as the jury appreciated “for incorporating his personality into the legacy of the great masters” and in 2015 he recorded his second album with guitarist Diego del Morao.

Discography:

Viento del Sur (Bujio, 2009)
Antonio Reyes / Diego Del Morao – Directo en el Círculo Flamenco de Madrid ‎(El Flamenco Vive, 2016)

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