Tag Archives: Spanish music

Interview with Spanish Folk Music Band Aljibe about Agua, the Music of the Tagus River Basin

Spanish folk music band Aljibe has released a remarkable album titled Agua, Músicas tradicionales de la cuenca del Tajo (Water, the Music of the Tagus River Basin) that consists of an audio CD and a 144-page book. Aljibe has 33 years of experience in the Spanish traditional music scene.

The project highlights the value of the traditions that have developed around the Tagus (Tajo in Spanish), the most extensive river in the Iberian Peninsula. Aguat is a collective work that praises all that the Tagus River has contributed from different points of view: historical, artistic, literary, anthropological, musical.

 


Aljibe – Agua, Músicas tradicionales de la Cuenca del Tajo

 

Aljibe uses a combination of traditional Spanish musical instruments like the guitar and zanfona (hurdy gurdy) as well other instruments from other traditions. Regional instruments used by the band include the guitarro manchego, a small guitar from the La Mancha region of Spain; pito castellano, a high pitched Castilian flute; and the pandero cuadrado, a square frame drum from western Spain.

The lineup on Agua includes Teresa García Sierra on vocals, violin and nyckelharpa; Manuel Marcos Bardera on vocals, zanfona and keyboards; Luis Ramón Martín-Fuentes Palacios on guitar, guitarro manchego and Spanish lute; Domingo Martínez Martínez on acoustic and electric guitars and bouzouki; Luis Miguel Novas Morera on flute, pito castellano and clarinet; Pablo Rodríguez-Tembleco Guilabert on drums; Juan Rodríguez-Tembleco Yepes on vocals, pandero cuadrado, bottle and accordion; and José Manuel Rodríguez-Tembleco Yepes on bass, frying pan, guiro, horn and vocals.

 

Manuel Marcos Bardera

 

Teresa García Sierra – Photo by Paco Gómez

 

Guests musicians Benito Cabrera on timple (small guitar from the Canary Islands); Eliseo Parra on vocals and percussion; Miguel Afonso on accordion; Jamal el Auraoui on darbuka, bendir and karkebs;  Juan Manuel Sayán on palmas (flamenco handclap percussion), castanets; and Spain-based Argentine tango ensemble La Porteña Tango Trío: Alejandro Picciano on electric guitar, Federico Peuvrel on piano, and Matías Picciano on bandoneon.

The book features essays about the Tagus from writers José Luis Sampedro and Olga Lucas; history and legend by Almudena Cencerrado; nature and poetry by Joaquín Araújo; and the current state of the Tagus with the narration of José Ángel Gracía-Redondo.

Interview with Manuel Marcos Bardera:

How did the project of making a book and album about the music of the Tagus River Basin come about?

When we speak of traditional or roots music we usually limit it to that belonging to a country or a place, but we forget that the music moved with the people, being a common heritage of large areas. We think that the rivers and their valleys have always been the easiest roads for this communication, and we came up with the idea of ​​looking for and rescuing melodies along the basin of this great river that runs through Spain and Portugal.

 

Aljibe

 

How long did the development period last, from the idea to the final product?

Seven years have passed since our ninth album “Enea,”  and since then we  started working on new songs but it was approximately four years ago when we defined the idea that it was a work framed in the Tagus River and released in the form of a CD-book.

Who contributed to the 144-page book as writers?

There was much to tell, because the Tagus has seen through its shores the extensive history of the Iberian Peninsula and because the longest river in Spain at present is subject to serious problems like lack of water and pollution. That’s why we contacted the writer Olga Lucas, who gave us an unpublished text by the writer and philosopher José Luis Sampedro, author of the well-known bestseller “El río que nos lleva” (The river that takes us).

The naturalist Joaquín Araújo also collaborated. He was recognized with the Global 500 prize granted by the UN to the people who have done the most for the defense of the environment on the planet.

We also have texts by Almudena Cencerrado, president of the Association of Professional Tourism Guides of Spain and José Ángel García-Redondo, forestry engineer and member of the Tajo Research Group of the University of Castilla-La Mancha.

 

Casa Diamantista in Toledo 1922. The house was owned in the 1800s by Don José Navarro, jeweler and royal crown maker. Currently, it’s used as a hotel

 

The book has many fascinating historical photos. How did you get the material?

The truth is that it took a long time to contact so many friends who have collaborated in this project. Starting with Agustín Tomico, who provided us with many photos of the whole riverbed and through the Doce Calles publishing house, we had to look for the first historical photos of Talavera de la Reina thanks to Miguel Méndez-Cabezas, or old photos of Jean Laurent or by Otto Wunderlich, facilitated by Eduardo Sánchez Butragueño.

In terms of the photos of Aranjuez we mainly have the photos of Guirao Girada from the Doce Calles archive and vintage engravings from the Museo del Prado.

The book is very beautiful, with a hard cover. How was the project financed?

Like all Aljibe projects, it started being self-financed by the group itself. However, we called on many doors of institutions because we thought it was a beautiful and exciting project to defend the river through music and culture.

Fortunately, several institutions responded affirmatively and have supported us with the purchase of copies, facilitating the dissemination of the project. These institutions are the Junta de Castilla-La Mancha, the Diputación de Toledo and the municipalities of Aranjuez, Yepes, Madridejos, Chinchón and Toledo as well as private companies such as Anber-Fenienergía and El Rana Verde.

 

View of the Tagus from the castle in Monfragüe in the province of Cáceres.

 

Regarding the music, the Tagus basin includes several regions. How was the investigation process?

Well, through many sources, starting with a review of the songs that we recorded ourselves from villagers in the area, as well as reviewing other recordings in different archives, such as those made in Spain in the 50s of the last century by Allan Lomax or those of Kurt Schindler, Manuel García Matos and José Manuel Fraile Gil.

And how were the final songs chosen?

The songs have been chosen mainly for their musicality, their instrumentation and for their relationship with work or work related to the river, as well as geographically represent all the provinces and countries of the basin. So we can find the rogativas (prayers) of Valdelaguna, which is still sung in that town in Madrid to ask for rain in the dry season, or the Gancheros de Aranjuez, that tell us about the work of the men who came with the trunks down the river from the sierras of Guadalajara and Cuenca until arriving to Aranjuez.

We also remember the different cultures that inhabited our country with the inclusion of a Sephardic song, “Me dice la gente,” and of another song, “Tikchbila,” which talks about the expulsion of the Moriscos and that is still sung throughout the Maghreb.

 

The gancheros (river log drivers) of Aranjuez in 1900

 

A reenacting of the gancheros in 2016

 

 

What’s the situation of the traditional music of the Tagus basin?

Traditional music is gradually being claimed not only by veteran groups such as Aljibe but also by new groups that are coming up.

 

Tagus River, La Escaruela waterfall in Zaorejas, Guadalajara

 

What are the current environmental threats that the Tagus River is experiencing?

The main one, without a doubt, is the existence of the Tajo-Segura transfer that collects the water in the marshes of the headwaters of the river and, through its capture in the Bolarque reservoir, carries the water 300 kilometers away to the Segura River.

Up to 650 cubic meters per year can be extracted from the Tagus River, which logically means that the river lacks a large part of its natural flow with the damage that this causes to its flora and fauna. Additionally, it is also under pressure from the waters , better or worse filtered, poured into the Tagus by the  more than 10,000,000 people throughout its watershed and countless industries, including mines, nuclear power plants or paper mills.

 

Tagus River, Poveda waterfall in Guadalajara

 

How has Aljibe’s sound evolved since its inception?

We are now 33 years old and logically it would not make sense to sound like in our beginnings where the instrumentation was based on guitar, lute, bandurria and vocals. Little by little some musicians left the group and others joined. At the moment, Aljibe is made up of eight musicians from different origins as instrumentalists but with the bond of love for roots music.

In addition to using Spanish instruments, you also use the Greek bouzouki and the jembe of West Africa. What other instruments do you use or would like to use?

As we do not consider ourselves a “purist” group of research and exact interpretation of the music of our ancestors but a group that recreates these songs that allows us total freedom at the time of the instrumentation. That is why we combine traditional Spanish instruments such as the Spanish pito, the three-hole flute, the hurdy-gurdy, the guitar, the lute, the square tambourine … with others such as the bendir, the tar, the karkebs, the jembe, the ney, the bouzouki or the Swedish nyckelharpa.

Much of what is broadcast on the radio, internet and movies is pop and hip hop. How do you divulge your music?

Thanks to the publisher of the CD-book we have managed to spread the album better because they have a communication department that has allowed us to reach more radio and television stations. On the other hand we are also visible through the main virtual stores such as spotify, itunes, amazon prime music …

Is there any effort on your part to make folk or traditional music known to children and young people?

Most of the members of the group are music teachers in primary and secondary schools, which is why we have always spread this music among our students, as well as holding concert conferences about traditional instruments and music. In addition, even Aljibe’s first album was a collective work on Traditional Children’s Songs of Madrid.

If you could gather musicians or musical groups to collaborate, who would you call?

Well, we have been lucky enough to call them and they have come, because in Agua nine excellent musicians collaborate, starting with the great singer and percussionist Eliseo Parra, or the best timple player in the world, Benito Cabrera, or the accordionist Miguel Afonso, in addition to the three members of the prestigious group La Porteña Tango: Alejandro Picciano, Matías Picciano and Federico Peuvrel. Jamal el Auraoui, Josemi García and Juan Manuel Sayans have also helped us with the Arabic and Spanish percussion.

Are you preparing any new project?

At Aljibe we are always thinking about new topics for new projects, but before we expect this “Water” to flow for a long time.

Discography:

Temas Infantiles Tradicionales de la Comunidad de Madrid (Saga, 1987)
Surco arriba, surco abajo (Saga, 1987)
Felices Nusotros (Tecnosaga, 1989)
Gañanes, gancheros y otras faenas (Several Records, 1991)
La Marca del Oricuerno (Several Records, 1997)
El Motín de Aranjuez (Several Records, 1998)
Penas y Alegrías (Sonifolk, 2002)
Al lado del Mediodía (Galileo, 2002)
Enea (self-released, 2011)
Agua. Músicas Tradicionales de la cuenca del Tajo (Doce Calles. 2018

More about Aljibe: www.aljibefolk.org

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The Captivating Folk Music of the Tagus River Basin

Aljibe – Agua, Músicas tradicionales de la Cuenca del Tajo (Aljibe, 2018)

Innovative Spanish folk music band Aljibe has released a new album titled Agua, Músicas tradicionales de la Cuenca del Tajo. The CD comes along with a beautifully-packaged 144-page hard cover book. The set focuses on the traditional folk music of the Tagus (Tajo in Spanish) River basin. The Tagus is the lengthiest river in the Iberian Peninsula.

On Agua, Aljibe delivers lively traditional songs that are recreated using a mix of local and regional instruments together with instruments incorporated from other traditions. The arrangements are respectful to tradition and updated foro modern times.

The album begins with a spoken word introduction by Richard del Olmo based on a text by Góngora, one of Spain’s most famous writers from the late 1500s and early 1600s. The song selection includes: “Mazurca de Albarracin”, a September mazurka “tight dance” from the town of Albarracin in Teruel province; “La peregrina, a pilgrim song from Villaconejos de Trabaque in Cuenca“; and “Mar de Espigas” a harvest song from La Frontera in Cuenca.

Other songs include “Jotas de Guadalajara” from Guadalajara province, the jota is a very popular dance widely extended throughout Spain; “Rogativas de Valdelaguna,” a water prayer from the town of Valdelaguna in the Madrid region; “Gancheros,” a song about the men who transported logs from the Cuenca mountains on the Tagus river to the mills in Aranjuez (Madrid region); “Me ice la gente,” a Sephardic song from Toledo (Spain) and Rhodes (Greece); and “Tickchbila,” a wine test song to demonstrate conversion to Christianity from Toledo and Morocco.

The rest of the album includes “Llámale majo al toro,” a bullfighting and bull run song that combines versions from Lagartera in Toledo province and Candedela and Pedro Bernardo in Avila province; “Quita y pon” from Montehermoso and Plasencia in Cáceres; “Qué linda falúa,” a Portuguese children’s song about the boat men that connected both sides of the Tagus river mouth; and “Barco Negro,” a Brazilian song that became popular in Portugal.

 

 

The album ends with spoken word by Mércedes Cepeda who recites a poem by famed writer Garcilaso de la Vega, from the 1500s.

The lineup on the album includes Teresa García Sierra on vocals and violin; Manuel Marcos Bardera on vocals and keyboards; Luis Ramón Martín-Fuentes Palacios on guitar and Spanish lute; Domingo Martínez Martínez on guitars and bouzouki; Luis Miguel Novas Morera on flute and clarinet; Pablo Rodríguez-Tembleco Guilabert on drums; Juan Rodríguez-Tembleco Yepes on vocals and accordion; and José Manuel Rodríguez-Tembleco Yepes on bass and vocals.

The book includes descriptions of the songs, photos of the artists and insightful essays and rare, vintage photos describing the history and wildlife of the region.

Agua, Músicas tradicionales de la Cuenca del Tajo is masterful set that brings together the most beautiful melodies from the Tagus basin along with literature and photography.

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La Danza de Las Semillas, Best World Music Album in May 2018

La Danza de Las Semillas by Spanish folk music innovators El Naán is the number one album in May 2018 at the Transglobal World Music Chart.

On La Danza de Las Semillas, the seven multi-instrumentalists perform a remarkable intermingling of contemporary Spanish folk music, Afro-Cuban chants and rhythms, folk-rock, and beyond.

The rest of the list this month includes:

2. Monsieur Doumani – Angathin (Monsieur Doumani)
3. Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita – Soar (Bendigedig)
4. Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 – Black Times (Strut)
5. Djénéba & Fousco – Kayeba Khasso (Lusafrica)
6. Femi Kuti – One People One World (Knitting Factory)
7. Koum Tara – Koum Tara (Obradek)
8. Sara Tavares – Fitxadu (Sony Music Portugal)
9. Gabacho Maroc – Tawassol (10h10 / Cristal)
10. Kora Jazz Trio – Part IV (Cristal)

11. Toko Telo – Diavola – Anio
12. Eva Salina & Peter Stan – Sudbina: A Portrait of Vida Pavlović – Vogiton
13. Sonido Gallo Negro – Mambo Cósmico – Glitterbeat
14. Samurai Accordion – Te – Visage Music
15. V.A. – I’m Not Here to Hunt Rabbits – Piranha
16. Okra Playground – Ääneni Yli Vesien – Nordic Notes
17. Orquesta Akokán – Orquesta Akokán – Daptone
18. Goran Bregović – Three Letters from Sarajevo, Opus 1 – Decca / Wrasse
19. Sopa de Pedra – Ao Longe Já Se Ouvia – Turbina
20. Son Palenque – Kutu Prieta pa Saranguiá – Palenque

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Frame Drum Vitality

Xavier Diaz – Noró (Músicas de Salitre, 2018)

On Noró, vocalist and percussionist Xavier Diaz revisits and transforms the traditional folk songs and dances of Galicia (northwestern Spain). It’s a tribute to the musics of northern Galicia. He collaborates with a group of female percussionists and vocalists called Adufeiras de Salitre, who use square frame drums known as pandeiro cuadrado or adufe, as well as the Alvarez brothers who contribute zanfona (hurdy gurdy) and accordion.

The material on Noró includes a wide range of traditional genres: xota (a dance also known as jota), cantares, follón, pasodobre (pasodoble), agarrado, ribeirana, muiñeiras, aña, baile llano, ronda, mazurka, and carballesas.

Xavier Diaz is an innovator in terms of arrangements and follows the path of Eliseo Parra, who renovated Spanish folk music. It’s contemporary folk music deeply rooted in tradition.
The lineup on Noró includes Xavier Diaz on vocals and percussion; Gutier Álvarez on zanfona and fiddle; Javier Álvarez on diatonic accordion; Cristina Pico on vocals and percussion; Iria Penabad on vocals and percussion; Montse García on vocals and percussion; Patricia Gamallo on vocals and percussion; Maite López on vocals and percussion; Noemi Basanta on vocals and percussion; Carolina Vázquez on vocals and percussion; Bea Mariño on vocals and percussion; Lidia Sanmartín on vocals and percussion; Gisela Sanmartín on vocals and percussion; Icía Sanmartín (vocals and percussion); and Mariña García on vocals and percussion.

Noró features insistent frame drum energy and superbly expressive vocals.

Buy Noró

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El Naán: Spanish Folk Sensation

El Naán ‎– La Danza de Las Semillas

El Naán ‎– La Danza de Las Semillas (El Naán, 2017)

La Danza de Las Semillas (Dance of the Seeds) is the new crowdfunded album by Spanish band El Naán. The ensemble got together in 2009 inspired by the traditional music of the Iberian Peninsula as well as Cuban music and other global influences. El Naán is based in the Cerrato region of Palencia province, a depopulated area in northern Spain.

On La Danza de Las Semillas, the seven musicians deliver a superb mix of contemporary Spanish folk harvest songs and lullabies, Afro-Cuban chants and rhythms, folk-rock, and more.

El Naán uses a wide range of musical instruments, incorporating entrancing Spanish frame drums, numerous unconventional percussion instruments from various musical traditions, mesmerizing shepherd flutes, sound effects of wolves and storms, bouzouki, whistling, saxophones, electric guitar, and expressive male and female lead vocals and choruses. The band uses modern musical arrangements that borrow from jazz, world music and rock influenced by groundbreaking Spanish folk music artist Eliseo Parra.

The lineup includes Carlos Herrero on lead vocals, bouzouki, Cuban tres, and pandero (Spanish frame drum); César Díez on bass; Adal Pumarabín on drums and percussion; Javier Medíavilla on electric guitar and backing vocals; Héctor Castrillejo on flutes, backing vocals, percussion; César Tejero on alto, tenor and soprano saxophone; and María Alba on lead and backing vocals, percussion. Guest: Jorge Arribas on accordion.

Buy La Danza de Las Semillas

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The Spirited Asturian Folk Songs of Felpeyu

Felpeyu – Cerquina (Tierra Discos, 2017)

Cerquina is the latest by Felpeyu, the leading contemporary folk music band from the Asturias region in northern Spain. Felpeyu’s musicians collect traditional folk songs from various sources such as books, manuscripts, ethnographic research and their own field work. These songs are recreated using new arrangements that borrow from contemporary Irish folk music. Felpeyu also writes its own material. Cerquina features traditional songs from Asturias and neighboring Galicia as original material.

The album is split between songs featuring vocals and instrumentals that are based in traditional Asturian dance rhythms: pasucáis (pasacalles), muñeres, saltones, xotes, dances and alboraes
In terms of musical instruments, Felpeyo combines traditional Spanish musical instruments like the bagpipes and guitar with Irish bodhran and Greek bouzouki.

The CD booklet include credits and lyrics in credits and lyrics in Asturian and English. Ruma Barbero, Felpeyu’s percussionist, was also in charge of graphic design.

The lineup on Cerquina includes Ruma Barbero on bodhrán; Luis Senén Fernández on bass, lead and backing vocals and shaker; Elías García on bouzouki, mandolin and fiddle; Diego Pangua on gaitas (bagpipes) and flute; Lisardo Prieto on fiddle; and Moisés Suárez on acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bouzouki and backing vocals. Guests: Xuan Nel Expósito on accordion and Richard Garcia on keyboards.

Buy the digital edition of https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078GX4VX7?ie=UTF8&tag=musidelmund-20&camp=1789&linkCode=xm2&creativeASIN=B078GX4VX7

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Artist Profiles: Xuacu Amieva

Piper Xuacu Amieva was born October 12, 1954 in Llanes, Spain. He’s one of the acknowledged figures in the field of Asturian traditional music. His extended career as a much awarded piper, teacher of piping and multi-instrumentalist in several folk bands has garnered him an excellent reputation both in his native Asturias and the rest of Spain.

His repertoire runs a wide range of songs and melodies from the Asturian tradition including not only pipe tunes but also pieces originally played on the rebec, the hurdy-gurdy or the flute or coming from the vocal tradition.

Xuacu started his career in 1975 by doing ethnographic research and taking part in folk fairs together with bands such as Raigañu and Urogallos.

In 1980 he started to impart piping lessons in Oviedo, an activity which has taken him to other places in Asturias and continues to this day. In 1984 he and Francisco Ortega co-authored the first Asturian bagpipe method. In 1987 his piping school in Oviedo spawned a pipe band called Narancu for which he acts as musical director.

He was a founder member of folk groups Beleño (1983) and Ubiña (1985) until they disbanded in 1989. Either with these bands or as a soloist he took part in many festivals and traditional music gatherings both in Asturias and the rest of Spain and Europe.

Starting from 1990 he embarked on a solo career playing a lot of festivals in Europe with different accompanying line-ups.

He has been writing music for television documentaries and short films. He also wrote the script for a documentary on Asturian musical instruments. Xuacu Amieva is passionate about disseminating Asturian traditional music. He collaborates with several schools playing multi-instrument concerts with bagpipe, rebec, hurdy-gurdy, flutes, percussion and vocals.

Xuacu Amieva’s album Tiempo de mitos contains pieces based on some mythological figures from the Asturian folklore.

He collaborated with The Chieftains singing and playing rebec on a track of their Grammy-awarded album Santiago.

Discography:

Metodo de Gaita (Sociedad Fonografica Asturiana 1984)
Onde l’agua az (Sociedad Fonografica Asturiana 1986)
Ubiña (Fonoastur 1988)
Xostrando (Fonoastur 1989)
Lluna caldia (Gau Records 1992)
Tiempo de mitos (Ediciones Resistencia 1999)
Al Son del Fueu (Piraña Family Producciones 2003)

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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: 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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