Tag Archives: timple

Timple Virtuoso Germán López to Present Canela y Limón in Madrid

Germán López

Timple maestro Germán López is set to perform on July 1st at Sala Berlanga in Madrid. The artist from the Canary Islands (Spain) will present his new album titled Canela y Limón (cinnamon and lemon), recorded together with the prestigious guitarist Antonio Toledo from Cadiz.

Both musicians have toured together, showcasing the timple (small Spanish guitar) in the United States, Canada, Europe and China, an international tour that was forged after showcasing at the influential World Music Expo Womex 2014, with the support of the SGAE Foundation.


Artist Profiles: Germán López

Germán López

Germán López is an acclaimed timple player from the island of Gran Canaria, part of the Canary Islands (Spain). He’s a conservatory-trained musician who studied at Conservatory of Music of Las Palmas (Gran Canaria), where he graduated with a master’s degree in 2001.

Since the age of ten, Germán has been playing timple concerts. In 2014 he performed at the significant World Music Expo Womex, the largest international gathering of world music professionals. This concert led to several tours throughout the globe.

Germán López

Germán López has released several solo albums and also recorded on albums by bands such as Mestisay, Taburiente, Totoyo Millares, Luis Morera and various songwriters like Sergio Alzola, Diego Ojeda and Luis Quintana.

During his recent tours, he was accompanied by Spanish guitarist Antonio Toledo.


Timplissimo (2006)
Silencio Roto (2009)
Something Stupid (2011)
De Raíz (2013)
Canela y Limón (2016)


Superb World Music and Roots Programming at Savannah Music Festival 2017

Earls of Leicester
Earls of Leicester

The Savannah Music Festival 2017 will present an impressive set of world music and American roots sounds. The festival will take place from March 23 to April 8, 2017.

The lineup includes acclaimed Québécois traditional ensembles Le Vent du Nord and De Temps Antan; Canary Island timple (a small Spanish guitar) maestro Germán López; Dom Flemons; Foghorn Stringband; Caleb Klauder & Reeb Willms; cellist and vocalist Leyla McCalla; Haitian vodou drum and dance ensemble Chouk Bwa Libète; dobro maestro Jerry Douglas with celebrated bluegrass band the Earls of Leicester; Molsky’s Mountain Drifters; Irish accordionist Máirtín O’Connor; Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie; Holt & Coleman; banjo player Noam Pikelny; Sufi singer Sanam Marvi; 80-year-old virtuoso multi-instrumentalist Hermeto Pascoal; mandolinist Danilo Brito’s choro quintet; Edgar Meyer & Mike Marshall; and admired Ukrainian band DakhaBrakha with an original score for the 1930 Dovzhenko silent film, Earth.

Tickets to the 2017 festival are available online at savannahmusicfestival.org, by phone at 912-525-5050 and in person at 216 E. Broughton Street in Savannah.


Timple Maestro and Innovator José Antonio Ramos Dies at 38

José Antonio Ramos
José Antonio Ramos

The Spanish folk and world music community was in shock this morning when the Spanish press announced the death of timple virtuoso José Antonio Ramos. He was 38 years old and was found dead today (June 4) in the recording studio where he was finalizing his fifth album titled Very Jar. Ramos had been working out on a stationary bicycle and was found dead, apparently of a heart stroke.

The Canary Islander was one of the leading timple players in Spain. The extremely talented Ramos ventured into jazz, flamenco, Celtic music, and classical music, taking his small guitar to uncharted territories as a solo instrument.

José Antonio Ramos was born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Canary Islands) in November 10th, 1969. At the age of nine he started his timple studies with Totoyo Millares. Later, he continued his education at the Conservatorio Superior de Música de Las Palmas (Gran Canaria), studying classic guitar, but also interested in jazz and improvisation.

He won the Premio Nacional de Música Folk para Jóvenes Intérpretes (National Folk Music Award for young Performers) in 1998 in Santiago de Compostela. This prize triggered the development of his career, which started with the creation of a group called Trio Simple. He recorded two albums as leader of this group (Más que un sueño and Tanekra….) and travelled throughout every lost corner in the Canary Islands. During this stage of his work it is worth noticing the performance he gave in the Canary Islands Day (1996) called “Timple. El sonido de Canarias,” in which some of the most notable instrumentalists and singers of Spain were invited.

After Trio Timple, he started his career as a soloist with an intense activity, giving concerts, seminars, conferences…in places in and out the Canary Isles. In this new period, and for the first time in history of music, he made a name for an electro acoustic timple. It was a new project designed by himself and built up by luthiers Jesús Machín and Juan Molina.

As a soloist, Ramos recorded four albums. He also worked with many different artists, participating in over 30 albums and numerous live performances. Some of the musicians he worked with include leading Spanish, Irish, American and Cuban musicians such as Carlos Núñez, Kepa Junkera, Pedro Guerra, Rosana, Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria, Mestisay, los Sabadeños, The Chieftains, Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, Jorge Pardo, Juan Manuel Cañizares, Javier Krahe, Bau, Mari Carmen Mulet, Taburiente, Javier Ruibal, Pancho Amat, Polo Ortí, Jose Manuel Ramos, Camarón de Pitita, Andreas Prittwitz, and René Gonzalez.


José Antonio Ramos jamming with Bela Fleck
José Antonio Ramos jamming with Bela Fleck

Teaching career

During all his years as professional musician, José Antonio Ramos has combined his job as a performing and recording artist with his teaching career. Apart from the private classes in his own school of timple, he has also given several courses, conferences and seminars throughout many places of the Canary Isles (Las Palmas de GC, Mogán, San Nicolás de Toletino, Artenara, Telde, Guía, Las Breñas, Santa Cruz de la Palma, Puerto de la Cruz, Los Llanos de Aridane, Santa Brígida, Valsequillo, Arrecife…), also through several institutions such as the conservatorio superior de música de las Palmas, la Universidad de Las Palmas de GC.

One of his most celebrated works is the “Timple Imaginario”, a compilation book of specific scores for timple, written both in solfege and ciphered. In this book, José Antonio Ramos gathered the works he recorded throughout his long career.

About the timple

The timple is a small guitar with 5 nylon strings, which comes from the Canary Islands (Spain). Some timples in the northern part of the island of Tenerife only had four strings. Similar instruments are found in other parts of Spain and Spanish-speaking America under different names: tiple, guitarrillo, guitarrico. It is related to the Portuguese cavaquinho, which is the ancestor of the Hawaiian ukulele.

Web sites:

  • www.joseantonioramos.com
  • www.myspace.com/joseantonioramos
  • www.escueladetimple.com