Cádiz is a factory of art and creativity’

Interview with David Palomar

Cádiz in the blood. David Palomar has dedicated his second album to La Viña, the popular Cadiz gipsy quarter that has become for the occasion a Independent Canton where the characters of carnival mix with sailors and old tavern cantaores. Heir to the tradition of Chano Lobato and El Beni, Palomar guides us through hundred of the hurdles flamenco throws up, not necessarily tragic, that can be found in Cadiz. His road map: a fresh and free vision of flamenco cante.
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“Let everybody live flamenco the way they want!”

Interview with Las Migas

Las Migas, a Catalan, a Sevillian, a Frenchwoman and a German; Silvia Pérez Cruz, Marta Robles, Isabelle Laudenbach and Lisa Bause. A vocalist, two guitar players and a violinist. Four young women with different origins but with one nexus in common; a love for flamenco music. After nearly seven years performing live this band that refreshes flamenco with other sounds such as fado, tango, jazz and bolero, has just released “Reinas del Matute”, their debut album. Thirteen songs with a little bit of everything: new versions of “Tangos de La Repompa”, “Los cuatro muleros” and “La Tarara”, musical adaptations of verses by Lorca and Alberti, a beautiful recreation of “María La Portuguesa” by Carlos Cano and a couple of their own compositions. Flamenco, and something more tan flamenco, renewed and with a female essence. Continue reading

“My music comes from my respect for tradition but with a modern sound “

Interview with Cañizares

Cañizares has a calm and thoughtful presence. His words and his music, a reflection of his soul. In his last work, “Cuerdas del alma”, is the relaxation and peace of the essence of an eminently flamenco guitar. The Catalan musician, bolstered after his titanic and successful struggle to take the sonata to “Iberia” by Albéniz, returns to flamenco roots music. A calm call for simplicity in times of constant change. Continue reading

“”La leyenda del tiempo” didn’t revolutionise flamenco”

Interview with Kiko Veneno

So as to not miss out on precious time my conversation with Kiko Veneno started on the phone, from the taxi on his way to our interview. But suddenly, without warning and without hanging up the writer of “Volando voy” burst into the room with the hotel bed sheets still clinging to him and his ear to the phone. The situation is absurd, José María López Sanfeliu (the artist’s real name) and his interviewer speaking on the phone but face to face. Much laughter ensued, what started as a relaxed chat over the phone on the release of a new album, “Dice la gente”, becomes as if by magic a serious conversation about flamenco, purity, the “sonido venenoso” and his new idol, Israel Galván. Continue reading

“I think part of the impoverishment suffered by flamenco nowadays is thanks to the marginalization of light sounds”

Interview with Valderrama, "Maestros"

After opening at the Suma Flamenca in Madrid in June, Valderrama presented his show “Maestros” at the 16th Flamenco Biennial in Seville. At this event, the son of the legendary Juanito Valderrama dons, for the first time in his career, his flamenco cantaor suit to pay tribute to a generation of cantaores (Chacón, Vallejo, Caracol, Niña de los Peines, Marchena) that marked an era in flamenco. An elegant and carefully produced show, full of sweetness and sensibility, with cantes such as la farruca, la guajira, el garrotín, la vidalita and la colombiana. Continue reading

Raimundo Amador: “I have to play with other people or I get bored”

Interview with Raimundo Amador and Howe Gelb

A second-hand vinyl record shop in a central Madrid square. A unique guitar player, Raimundo Amador, searching amongst the hundreds of records ordered from “a” to “z” by music style. Raimundo confesses he suffers “vinylitis”. Among his purchases are old albums by Janis Joplin, Stray Cats, John Lee Hooker and Johnny “Guitar” Watson. But without a doubt the find that most excites him is the first album by Pata Negra and one by the Montoya family. He worked on both albums. And he has good memories of both. The situation is surreal, Raimundo Amador paying more than €20 for one of his first recordings. Proof of passion for music of this unique guitar player, something that he once again shows this in his latest work, a collaboration album with the US musician Howe Gelb. “Alegrías” fuses flamenco with Arizona frontier sounds. A meeting of two musicians with infinite horizons that met with us in a hotel lobby to talk about their joint experience, marked with quirks of fate and promoted by Fernando Vacas. Curiously, the producer and musician from Cordoba was also there. Continue reading

“We are united by our passion and freedom and the depth of our music “

Interview with Noa and Dorantes

A privileged voice and fingers full of magic. Two roots musicians, two renovators of tradition. The flamenco pianist Dorantes and the Israeli singer Noa embarked on an interesting tour which on 3 July arrived in Madrid ( Spain ) as part of the programme of the Veranos de la Villa 2010 summer festival. A mixture, a fusion, a dialogue between Mediterranean sounds which once again goes to show that music knows no frontiers. Noa, with her wide smile and easy words, shows her passion for flamenco. While Dorantes, silent, shy, listens attentively to the words of his partner and reaffirms his condition of a free and open musician. Continue reading

“The father of guitar is Paco de Lucía and the rest of us just do what we can “

Interview with Tomatito

Tomatito, despite being a veteran is still one of the most open and innovative performers on the modern flamenco scene. Let’s not forget that he had Camarón and Paco de Lucía as teachers. His latest feat is to get a whole symphony orchestra, the Spanish National Symphony Orchestra, to play his music. The result is, “Sonanta Suite”, that has already gone down in history as the first true symphonic flamenco guitar piece, and the first flamenco album to be released by the historic Deustche Grammophon label. Tomatito, modest, timid and speaking with simple, gipsy wisdom speaks about his latest work, his forthcoming projects and career … and insists time and again in encouraging young guitar players to study music. Continue reading

“El Discípulo”: flamenco soundtrack

The vocals of Paco del Pozo and the guitar of Daniel Casares make up the soundtrack of the first film on the life of Christ made in Spain

“El Discípulo” is the first Spanish film to tell the life of Jesus Christ. This feature film directed by Emilio Ruiz Borrachina, filmed in English and coproduced between Spain, Germany and the USA offers a different and humane vision of the figure of Jesus with a flamenco soundtrack. The lyrics have been written for the occasion by the poet Félix Grande, lyrics that reflect the deeper emotions and moods of the protagonist, based on the relation between the origins of flamenco as music and of the meek, humble and poor and Christ’s focus on them. The music is by the guitar player Daniel Casares. While the heart-wrenching and passionate vocals are by Paco del Pozo. The vocalist from Madrid, with whom we spoke to at the presentation of the soundtrack of “El Discípulo”, released by Universal Music, even braves singing Ave María by Schubert in Latin, the main theme of the film. Continue reading

“What they say is pure today won’t be pure tomorrow”

Interview with Rojas and Rodríguez (Nuevo Ballet Español)

Ángel Rojas and Carlos Rodríguez have spent the past 14 years dedicated body and soul to the renovation of Spanish dance. Now they change tack and return to flamenco with their new show, “Cambio de tercio”. With the modern vision that has always characterized their productions, Rojas and
Rodríguez (Nuevo Ballet Español) struggle against the purists to refresh flamenco dance roots and bring them to the 21st century. Polk-dots, flounces, ruffles, shawls and wide-brimmed hats for sevillanas, fandangos, rumbas, bamberas, bulerías, tanguillos and newly minted seguiriyas. Continue reading

“Flamenco is about fighting and freedom”

Interview with Israel Galván

Israel Galván is an unusual dancer, he is unpredictable, personal and unique. After living the hell of the Apocalypse in “El final de este estado de cosas, redux”, he gets out of the coffin and into the ring to star in four bouts, the latest and most important the production “La lucha libre vuelve al Price” (Boxing returns to the Price). Bare-chested and taking inspiration from the great Muhammad Ali, this Sevillian man of few words dodges blows and laments of the boxer-vocalist Cristian Guerrero over two intense rounds that make him spit out his mouth guard. The bells sounds. Last round. Galván, alias Zapatitos, puts on the Mexican wrestlers mask, like El Santo or Blue Demon, to face, by bulerías and rumbas, the natural grace of El Bobote, Eléctrico, Caracafé, El Turco and El Dientes, the 3,000. Blows, leaps and straight lines, right-hooks and foot-stamping, uppercuts, kicks, and angled arm movements. Boxing and circus. Fighting dance and flamenco wrestling. Continue reading

“Flamenco is an art form which is charged with dignity and that has an impact that goes beyond the immediate senses”

Interview with Lola Greco

She has just won the National Dance Award. An important award that has caught her playing the role of Fedra, that woman from Greek mythology who falls hopelessly in love with Hippolytus’s step-son. A classical tragedy that has been modernized and has returned once again to become a flamenco opera directed by Miguel Narros. Dance by Lola Greco, for which she shows her most flamenco side, music by Enrique Morente and choreographies by Javier Latorre are just some of the main attractions of this new version of the myth. Like Fedra, the daughter of José Greco and Lola de Ronda, is a passionate and brave lover, but not of her son, but of dance. A professional she has devoted body
and soul to and that now is finally seeing the rewards, with an award and a historical part. Continue reading

“Paco de Lucía is like a father for me”

Interview with Niño Josele

Niño Josele is on the crest of a creative wave. First of all he recovered some compositions he had kept in a draw and included them on the “La venta del alma” album. Which he followed straight away with the release of “Española”, one of the best flamenco guitar albums of the season. And, as if that weren’t enough, this year he will join Paco de Lucía on his stage comeback. Ever more open to new sounds, the young guitar player from Almeria looks to the future with a more personal style combining flamenco with jazz and Latin sounds, setting aside clichés and playing with established norms. Continue reading

“I don’t like to do the same as others”

Interview with Enrique Morente

He is one of the living legends of flamenco. At 67, Enrique Morente, has taken flamenco to incredible places. He has fused, against all odds, Lorca with Leonard Cohen in a flamenco rock lament. He has blown apart the classics. He has made the “pellizco” and tempo poetic. He stands, notwithstanding Camarón, as the main revolutionary and innovator of a music that some strive to maintain secluded permanently in the dusty old trunk. Now, after more than 40 years on stage, Morente releases the first official live album of his career. An essential collection of his best vocals, recorded live between 1992 and 2009. A return to the most traditional Morente that, as everything done by the master from Albaicín, holds a surprise or two and where nothing is what it seems. Continue reading

“Flamenco is a lesser style of rumba”

Interview with Peret

On his new album Peret states that “nothing has ever been written of cowards”. But who has been written about and at length, sometimes positively and others not is Peret. The legendary rumbero is back with a brave and risky album that reinterprets in his style cuplés, tangos and others songs that have marked his career such as “Rascayú” and “El muerto vivo”. Gone are the days of sideburns and frilly shirts. Bald with a white beard he gives off seriousness and wisdom, Peret confirms and shouts from the roof tops that “no estaba muerto, que estaba tomando cañas” (wasn’t dead, just out on the beers). A sod anyone who doesn’t like it. Continue reading

“The idea was to do a album for adults but with lyrics for kids”

Flamenco Kids Interview

“Flamenco Kids” is a project born from the imagination of the teacher Teresa del Pozo and the musical creativity of the guitar player José Luis Montón. They both work together extremely well, not for nothing are they a couple, and have given us a flamenco album for kids that tells the story of a series of characters from the bay of Cadiz to the tune of bulerías, alegrías, rumbas, tangos y tanguillos. A colour blind chameleon, a dancing sea urchin, an opaque shrimp, a Moroccan crab and a damaged progy are the real stars of this handcrafted musical piece that has been finished bit by bit, unhurriedly and without pressure. A very personal effort, with a lot of love and talent, with Teresa and José Luis’s son appearing on the cover of the album. A new and interesting album that brings out the most playful and fun side of flamenco to make it more accessible to children and adults that are still young at heart. Continue reading

“Really good flamenco is the one that joins Valderrama’s melody with La Paquera’s passion”

Interview with Mayte Martín

She herself assures us that her origins are in flamenco, but that she isn’t slave to it. The fact is that Mayte Martín discovered flamenco when she was a small child thanks to the Juanito Valderrama albums that her father used to listen to, and in them discovered her broader vocation, music. At just 10 years old she began to perform in different venues and peñas in her native Barcelona. She came in to her own in flamenco at just 21 when she won the Lámpara Minera Award at the Festival de Cante de la Minas. But Mayte Martín isn’t your usual flamenco artiste and she knows it. Woman, Catalan and non-gipsy, she has no qualms about defining herself as “rara avis” or a queer bird. She likes bolero as much as flamenco vocals. She is artistically free, elegant, sober, sensitive and honest, despite genres and styles. Every time she gets on stage she bares her soul, and with each new album she aims to surprise. Her latest album “Al cantar a Manuel”, she dons her flamenco trovador suit to write music to the poetry of Manuel Alcántara. Continue reading

Nueva Frontera del Cante de Jerez 2008

Ezequiel Benítez, Jesús Méndez and José Carpio "Mijita" talk about their new album that features the most traditional vocals from Jerez

The LP “Nueva frontera del cante de Jerez” was released in 1973, a historic album that brought together the best flamenco talent from Jerez of the time: Rubichi, Manuel Moneo, El Torta, Nano de Jerez, Moraíto Chico and Parrilla de Jerez, among others. 35 years on another group of young vocalists and guitar players, the direct heirs of the great La Plazuela and Santiago families, got together on the 26 and 27 December 2007 in the La Bodega de Jerez studios to celebrate an old-style flamenco vocals get together, each one performing whatever came to them “unscripted, unprepared, with no premeditation or forethought…” and recorded it live. Thus was born this “Nueva frontera del cante de Jerez 2008″. Continue reading

“I approach dance as a form of expression, through movement, through the lyrics and the emotion of the vocals”

Interview with Javier Barón

The latest National Dance Prize for performance, Javier Barón, is a serious and committed artist. However, and despite having worked in the world of flamenco dance for seven years, he is not as well-known and lauded as other dancers of his generation. He has represented flamenco on stages all around the world his entire life. He has danced orthodox flamenco without giving up avant garde creations. With his latest show (“Dos voces para un baile”), and two well deserved awards, he returns to his roots, to the essence of the barest flamenco dance. It stands on its own merits, with no need for glossy magazines or big headlines. Continue reading

“I have flamenco in my DNA and rock turns me on”

Interview with Tomasito

Tomasito is Jerez soniquete made rock. Singer, dancer and composer, Tomás Moreno Romero is pure spontaneous and surreal art. A human descendant of “a family of robots and Martians”, he is a male clone of Lola Flores and a personal and unique artist, of free and Cosmopolitan spirit as able to lead a flamenco rock band as he is inspire with his presence musicians of the likes of Wynton Marsalis, Chick Corea, Chano Domínguez and Jorge Pardo. Now, seven years after his latest recording (“Cositas de la realidad”) and despite “this very bad life” or maybe because of it, he’s back with a new album produced by Tino Di Geraldo. His album “Y de lo mío, ¿qué?” features blues, rock and roll, hip hop, ska, heavy metal and reggae hand in hand with flamenco resulting in one of the freshest and most fun productions of recent years. Continue reading