Tag Archives: Spanish music

The Remarkable Nyckelharpa of Toledo

Ana Alcaide

Spanish vocalist, nyckelharpa player and composer Ana Alcaide performed at the RaInforest World Music Festival on Saturday, July 13 at the Theatre Stage.

Ana Alcaide

Ana’s music encapsulates Spanish traditional music, Sephardic traditions and global music influences. She and some of her colleagues live in Toledo, an ancient city and UNESCO World Heritage that used to be the capital of Spain before it moved to nearby Madrid.

Three cultures lived in Toledo during the Middle Age: Christians, Jews and Muslim Moors. Ana Alcaide draws from this deep historic well and delighted the audience in Sarawak with her captivating vocals and enthralling nyckelharpa, a remarkable Swedish instrument that has adapted well to Spanish traditions.

The band featured Spain-based musicians from Germany and the United States: Rainer Seiferth on guitar and Bill Cooley on darbuka, frame drum and psaltery; and Spanish musician Bruno Duque on clarinet and ney.


SGAE Foundation and Flamenco Festival to Present FlamencoEñe and JazzEñe Rising Talent in London

Guitarist David Carmona at the most recent edition of ‘FlamencoEñe’. Photo by Jesús Domínguez / Fundación SGAE

The SGAE Foundation continues to collaborate with Flamenco Festival London as part of its FlamencoEñe and JazzEñe programs to internationalize Spanish music. Specifically, the Foundation will present performances by Spanish artists Kiki Morente and
David Carmona (July 12), participants in the most recent edition of FlamencoEñe; and Antonio Lizana (July 11), who was selected in the 4th JazzEñe showcase in 2017. Both showcases brought together a series of foreign performing arts presenters and promoters with a selection of flamenco musicians from Spain.

The initiative of the SGAE Foundation has opened the doors of the international circuit to these three artists who will export their talent within the official program of the Flamenco Festival London 2019, which will be held in London from July 2 to 14. Antonio Lizana, Kiki Morente and David Carmona will be part of the roster that the Flamenco Festival has designed for different stages throughout London. This is a privilege for these rising artists as they will perform alongside veteran and renowned artists such as Sara Baras, Miguel Poveda, Rocío Molina, Olga Pericet, Jesus Carmona and Maria Terremoto.

Renowned saxophonist and singer Antonio Lizana will open JazzEñe’s program in London on July 11 (8:00 pm) at the Cervantes Theater, 229 Union St, London. Lizana will present to the British public the songs of his most recent album: Oriente.

The FlamencoEñe showcase in London will begin on July 12, at 6:00 pm, at the Lilian Baylis Studio (183 Rosebery Ave, Clerkenwell, London) will be the debut of flamenco guitar virtuoso David Carmona and his show Un sueño de locura (A Dream of Madness).

Two hours later (8:30 pm) the youngest of the Morente dynasty, Kiki Morente will perform in the same space to present the Albayzín show, a tribute to his father, Enrique Morente, and the neighborhood of Granada where he grew up, in which he will be accompanied by dancer Irene Rueda.

More about the SGAE Foundation and Flamenco Festival London.


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).


Mara Aranda Releases Sefarad en el corazón de Turquía

Mara Aranda – Sefarad en el corazón de Turquía

Spanish singer Mara Aranda has released “Sefarad en el corazón de Turquía” , the second volume of a pentalogy titled “Diaspora”, dedicated to the Judeo-Spanish traditions of Morocco, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria and the former Yugoslavia. The first album of the series “Sefarad en el corazón de Marruecos” was awarded “Best of Europe 2017” by the Transglobal World Music Chart.

Sefarad en el corazón de Turquía” (Sefarad in the Heart of Turkey) reflects the common past of the cultures on the Iberian peninsula that traveled with the exiled communities to their new destinations, and now, with “Diaspora”, they return to their origin.


Heartfelt and Sorrowful Castilian Bluegrass

Los Hermanos Cubero – Quique dibuja la tristeza

Los Hermanos Cubero – Quique dibuja la tristeza (El Segell del Primavera, 2018)

Quique dibuja la tristeza (Quique draws sadness) is the winner of this year’s Best World Music and Fusion Album at Spain’s prestigious Premios MIN (the influential indie awards). Los Hermanos Cubero are brothers Enrique (Quique) Ruiz Cubero and Roberto Ruiz Cubero. For several years, they have been mixing Castilian folk music with American bluegrass.

Los Hermanos Cubero

This is a bittersweet album, a tribute to Quique’s wife, Olga, who died of cancer. The lyrics reflect the pain, memories, and grief that so deeply affected Quique. Musically, the bluegrass influences are clearly visible in the form of intimate acoustic arrangements with mandolin and guitar. Meanwhile, the guest fiddler adds a country and western element.

Quique dibuja la tristeza was recorded live at the end of 2017 with a mobile unit at LaVeguilla Winery in Olivares de Duero (Valladolid province). The lineup featured Enrique (Quique) Ruiz Cubero on guitar and vocals; Roberto Ruiz Cubero on mandolin and vocals; Jaime del Blanco on violin, baritone violin and viola; and Oriol Aguilar on acoustic bass.

Los Hermanos Cubero have released an intensely personal album with remarkably expressive vocals and a fascinating, stripped down bluegrass meets Spanish trad crossover sound.


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.


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.


Artist Profiles: Uxía


Uxía Domínguez Senlle, better known as Uxía, was born November 19, 1962 in Sanguiñeda, Spain. She took on singing at an early age and despite having access to all types of music, she has always felt most strongly drawn to the music characteristic of her region. Her first CD with traditional Galician songs was released in 1986, a collaboration with musicians who went on to become members of her band, Na Lua.

After two more albums with this line-up, Uxia shifted the focus of her activities to live performances. She toured throughout Spain and the rest of Europe, through Cuba and Argentina and was a celebrated guest at various festivals worldwide.

These experiences not only intensified Uxia’s insight into the culture she represents but also brought her into contact with many representatives of other related folk music traditions. “Estou Vivindo No Ceo” (I live in heaven) was her first international release.


Foliada de marzo (Edigal, 1986)
A estrela de maio, with Na Lúa (Edigal, 1987)
Ondas do mar de Vigo, with Na Lúa (GASA, 1989)
Entre cidades (Sons Galiza, 1991)
Estou vivindo no ceo (Nubenegra, 1995)
La sal de la vida (Nubenegra, 1997)
Danza das areas, (Virgin, 2000)
Cantos na maré (Nordesía, 2005)
Eterno navegar (World Village, 2008)
Meu canto (Fol Música, 2011)
Andando a terra (Fundación Manuel María, 2012)
Rosalía pequeniña (Galaxia/Sonárbore, 2013)
Baladas da Galiza imaxinaria (Edicións Damadriña, 2015)
Canta o cuco (Editorial Galaxia, 2015)
Uxía canta a Manuel María (Fundación Manuel María, 2015)
UXIA-O (Fundación Uxío Novoneyra, 2017)


Artist Profiles: Manuel Luna

Manuel Luna

Manuel Luna is an anthropologist and musician, researcher and performer, whose concern for traditional culture and particularly for its music, has led him to combine the rigor of research with the effort to rework and update its contents.

As a musician and singer, he has several albums, in which he manifests an evolution that leads him to combine elements of authenticity, with the most modern contributions in the field of arrangements and instrumentation. He has also directed folk music programs and has made more than thirty ethnomusical productions with compilations and studies of traditional music in Castilla-Mancha, Murcia, Cantabria and other regions.

His group, La Cuadrilla Maquilera, incuded Enrique Valiño: Violin and rabel; Raúl Frutos: Cajón, darbuka, jembé and small percussion; José Luis Yagüe: Double bass. Alfredo Valero: Piano and accordion.

Manuel Luna and Maquilera, have toured plazas and major festivals in many Spanish towns, as well as theatrical and cultural areas of Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, France, Italy and Norway. Similarly, his music has been present in various radio and television programs in Spain and abroad.


Que Arriba, Que Abajo ?(Movieplay, 1978)
II (Movieplay, 1980
El tío de la pita (1982)
En los jardines del sueño (Fonomusic, 1985)
Como Hablan Las Sabinas (RNE, 1987)
Los Gallos De Londres (Sonifolk, 1989)
Papelería Rocío (Objetos De Escritorio) (Resistencia, 2004)
Romper el Baile (Resistencia, 2006)
La Fiesta del Árbol (Trenti, 2005)
Por parrandas (2012)


Artist Profiles: Manuel Iman

Manuel Iman

Manuel Iman was born in Seville, Spain. He became involved in music at a very early age. His first recording came in 1975 when he made 14 de Abril with the group Goma. The album was one of the first fusion efforts of that time and has now become a collector’s item. Three of the pieces of this album were included in the soundtrack of the successful film Manuela in 1976.

In 1976 the first seeds of the Andalusian progressive rock group Iman were sown and by the following year, the full band was gaining ground with its live performances. They were signed by CBS for whom they recorded Iman, Califato Independiente. The critics raved over its innovative and subtle combination of Flamenco, Rock and Eastern roots.

In 1980, Camino del Aguila was released, incorporating tropical influences. One of Manuel’s compositions was included in the soundtrack of the French film Frigg force 9.

Iman became a legendary name in Spanish rock and its recordings were re-released on CD by Musea a French record company. In 1997 Sony Music, Spain reissued both albums.

After moving to Madrid in 1981, Manuel became a sought-after creative force in the recording industry and produced, performed and arranged works for artists as varied as Lole & Manuel, Paco and Pepe de Lucia, Pata Negra, Kiko Veneno, Ole-Ole, Los del Rio, Remedios Amaya, Emilio Aragon and many more. He also worked making music for commercials and documentaries.

In 1985, Manuel got involved in the creation of a commercial project, the pop band La Decada Prodigiosa, covering popular 1960s songs (EMI Hispavox), that had outstanding success. The first five albums released sold 2.5 million copies and the band toured Spain extensively for five years and appeared in many TV shows. One of the biggest live shows took place in the island of Tenerife island (1989) where Manuel performed with the band in front of more than 250.000 people.

In 1991 Manuel began work on a solo album, entitled La Danza del Espacio for Productora Andaluza, released in 1992. He worked on music for the video commissioned by Tele Expo (the TV station created for the 92 World Expo) Sevilla entre dos Exposiciones.

Manuel also coordinated and directed a large scale tour entitled Rock Andaluz- Ayer y Hoy in which important names from the past and present were brought together.

In 1995 he moved to Malibu, California, composing and producing music for video and preparing a new album. Called from Spain in 1996 for a new project, Manuel became the Musical Director and music composer of El Circo del Arte show, a successful new project produced by the show business mogul Emilio Aragon.

In 1997 he returned to Malibu and he worked as a producer and composer for Dunrite Productions. In 1998 the CD Reflections was released with Domo Records, an instrumental collection that includes three pieces by Manuel. His music was also included in Music for the Spirit, on Domo Records. Songs from a grateful heart, an instrumental Spanish guitar collection, was released in 1998 (Visions International).

For the same company, he also worked with more artists in the CD Live in Long Beach. In addition he produced another solo album Flowers in the desert (EverSound), released in October 1998, working with Grammy Award winner Roger Nichols and Paul Dieter.

In 1999 music by Manuel was included in the compilation CD Expressions (EverSound) and produced and performed three carols for the compilation CD Tidings of Joy (EverSound), one of them, Little drummer boy featuring his daughter Lucia Iman.

In 2000, Manuel worked on a new album titled Legacy, based and inspired in old Indian bhajans creating a fusion with blues, reggae, Flamenco, Brazilian and African music featuring the collaboration of outstanding musicians from around the world like Dan Moretti, Abraham Laboriel, Madan Gopal, Gita Jaiyaram, Bob Nichols, Jim Monahan, Scarlet Rivera, Nigel Holton, Windy Barnes, Sanjay Talwar and many more, with Nichols again in the mixing and mastering for this project.

In 2001 he produced and arranged Save the Day for Visions International, Untraveled Road, an alternative country CD for Steve Mc Peters and Rich beyond words for Rich Neel.

Manuel returned to Seville and continues to perform and produce recordings there.


With Imán, Califato Independiente

Imán, Califato Independiente (CBS, 1978)
Camino Del Águila (CBS, 1980)
Imán, Califato Independiente (1976 – 2006) (Aristillus, 2006)


La danza del espacio (Aspa Records, 1992)
Songs from a grateful heart (Visions International, 1998)
Flowers in the desert (EverSound, 1998)
Legacy (Collaboration Works, 2000)
Your love is my blessing (EverSound, 2003)
Sevilla Infinita (Manuel Iman Music, 2018)