We would like to inform you about this short web documentary with unpublished material about the last concert of Camaron de la Isla, paying tribute to the celebration of his 60th birthday, next December 5. Flamenco critics and the promoters of the concert helped on this project: Juan Verdu and José Manuel Gamboa, his friend Tomatito and his son José Monje.
Lole y Manuel, el ‘nuevo flamenco’
Aunque ahora se han convertido en clásicos de este arte, en los años 70, cuando la pareja comenzó su andadura profesional, fueron precursores del conocido como ‘nuevo flamenco’. Su toque y su cante comenzaban a expandirse más allá de los aficionados estrictamente al flamenco, abarcando un público más heterogéneo.
Iniciaron la senda del flamenco fusión que luego otros muchos seguirían alcanzando grandes éxitos. Los aires hippies que llegaban desde Estados Unidos y recorrían Europa fueron una de las mayores influencias para esta pareja, afectando tanto a la música como a las letras. De hecho, las letras dejaban de lado la amargura y la pena que caracterizan a numerosos palos flamencos, dedicándose a la paz, las flores y el amor. Todo ello de la mano del poeta Juan Manuel Flores.
Lole (Dolores Montoya Rodríguez) procede de familia de gran arraigo y tradición flamenca, hija de La Negra, comenzó en el baile hasta dedicarse al cante junto a Manuel. Por su parte Manuel Molina llevaba desde niño en el mundo del flamenco y a los doce años ya formaba parte del trío ‘Los gitanillos del Tardón’ junto a Chiquetete y El Rubio.
La Niña de la Puebla
Dolores Jiménez Alcántara es una de las voces femeninas del flamenco más representativa de la historia del siglo XX. Reconocida nacional e internacionalmente debe su nombre artístico a su lugar de nacimiento, La Puebla de Cazalla (Sevilla), en 1909.
Su vida estuvo marcada por su ceguera, provocada por un colirio apenas tres días después de nacer. Sin embargo, su salud permitió a los amantes de este género disfrutar de su voz durante casi un siglo, ya que falleció en Málaga en 1999, apenas una semana antes de la fecha prevista para entregarle a la cantaora la Medalla de Oro al Mérito de las Bellas Artes.
Su amor al flamenco y al trabajo queda patente, no solamente por su prolífica carrera y su talento extraordinario, sino porque, la muerte la sorprendió sobre las tablas, el único lugar donde la Parca pudo encontrarla. Así lo contaba la prensa: “…La Niña de la Puebla se ha despedido cantando por soleá. Estuvo el pasado sábado dando un recital en Huelva y, nada más arrojar luz sobre las oscuras melodías lebrijanas, cayó al suelo y hubo de ser trasladada a un centro hospi¬talario. De ahí a Sevilla y, ante el empeora¬miento, urgente traslado al Hospital Carlos Haya de Málaga, donde falleció…”
Antonio Fernández Díaz, Fosforito
As we mentioned previously, the Posada del Potro, an emblematic building in the historic quarters of Córdoba, has recently been restored and openned to the public as the Flamenco Performance Center and Fosforito Museum.
This news is the ideal excuse to remember this great singer from Puente Genil, and the adoptive son of the City of Córdoba. Fosforito’s talent began to appear when he was only six years old and made his first incursion into singing. Born in 1932, he was the fifth of eight siblings and from his crib he soaked in the flamenco atmosphere as his maternal grandfather was ‘Juanillo el Cantaor’ and his uncle was ‘El Niño del Genil’, to whom the garrotín palo is attributed...
Paco de Lucía, Doctor Honoris Causa
It’s a landmark in maestro guitarist Paco de Lucía’s personal history, and also for flamenco history. On May 8th, this internationally renowned artist will be vested as Doctor Honoris Causa by the Berklee Collage of Music, a private university in Boston, Massachussets (USA). Those responsible for awarding this great academic distinction believe that “his music and artistic vision has influenced several generations of musicians and have contributed to the transmission of flamenco to an international public”.
Francisco Sánchez Gómes, known artistically as Paco de Lucía, was born in Algeciras (Cádiz) in 1947, where his internationally renowned career began decades ago, when flamenco was no longer a music for private parties and began to be performed in tablaos around Spain and throughout the world.
Paco de Lucía’s tremendous success isn’t due solely to his work as a flamenco guitarist, but also because he has influenced other styles of music, and this award in particular has expanded his sphere of influence from the purely musical and comercial to the academic, wrapping this flamenco musician’s work in a nimbus of respect even more grandiose than before.
The son of a Spanish father and a Portuguese mother, this is not the first distinction De Lucía has received. In Spain, he has received every award an artista could deesire: National Flamenco Art Prize for Guitar, Gold Medal for Merit in the Fine Arts, Honorary Distinction in the Music Awards, Prince of Asturias Prize for the Arts and Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Cádiz.
Day 14 of the Jerez Festival: Encarnación Marín, Rafael Estévez, Nani Paños, Antonio Reyes & Rancapino
To close the Con Nombre Propio: Vivencias cycle, Encarnación Marín “La Sallago” was interviewed by the journalist Alberto García Reyes, a flamenco writer for the ABC newspaper. Marín is one of flamenco’s living legends. At the age of 91, she has no problem showing off her jovial side as a singer who has lived unforgettable artistic experiences.
From an early age, Marín exhibited an innate artistic talent, which let her to tour Spain with her prodigious voice and share stages with the biggest names in flamenco history: Pepe Pinto, Nina de los Peines, Caracol, El Perrate, La Paquera and Camarón. Her career is one of the longest lasting in flamenco history.
Rafael Estévez and Nani Paños, return to Jerez with their company Dos Pormedio and the show “Sonata,” a production that debuted two years ago with which their intention is to recuperate this modality, danced for the first time in 1952, like the Escuela Bolera solo, by Antonio el Bailarín in the film “Duende y Misterio del Flamenco” by Edgar Neville.
Sara Baras: The essence of art from Cádiz
Pie de imagen
The dancer Sara Baras has spent over a decade headlining successful shows thanks to her magnificent work on stage. Her racial, profound and elegant dancing is topped off by exquisite staging making her deserving of her numerous recognitions, amongst which some of the most important include the National Dance Prize, The Max Performing Arts Prize in the Best Female Dancer, Best Dance Performance and Best Choreography categories, as well as the Gold Medal of Andalucía.
However, the most important of all of her recognitions is the loyalty of her public, who show after show, have packed the theatres that the dancer from Cadiz has graced and from which she has no announced she will now retire temporarily. The young Baras has decided to take a break to become a mother, as the doctors have recommended that she take a professional break in order to seek motherhood.
Sara Baras is saying her goodbyes to the stage with ‘Esencia’ a collection of her most brilliant and unforgettable moments, a sort of anthology of her career. Twelve years ago, Baras founded her own company and has since traveled the world with nine shows characterized by their excellent quality, making her a reference in the dance world and a part of flamenco history.
In ‘Esencia,’ audiences will enjoy the Works from Baras’ Juana la Loca, Mariana Pineda and Carmen. Baras combines her own personal presence with that of these historical women.
Day 11 of the Jerez Festival: Silvia Durán, El Londro & Belén Maya
Silvia Durán, another legend of dance, was the third protagonist of the Con Nombre Propio: Vivencias cycle. Silvia Durán, whose interview was moderated by the journalist Rosalía Gómez, is an internationally renowned artist who was trained by the best...
The Sad Loss of Dancer “Rafael el Negro”
The flamenco world mourns the loss of the dancer Rafael García Rodríguez, known as ‘Rafael El Negro,’ at the age of 74. Rafael passed away this morning at Seville’s Infanta Luisa Hospital, where he was receiving treatment since Christmas. His wife, dancer Matilde Coral, with whom he had three children, was with him.
Born in Triana, he made history in the flamenco world thanks to his purity of dance, as he was considered one of the most elegant bailaores of his generation...
Day 7 of the Jerez Festival: Karen Lugo, Saray García, Antonio Canales & Mixtolobo
On the seventh day of the festival, the Mexican Dancer Karen Lugo and the dancer from Jerez Saray García graced the stage of Jerez’s Sala Compañía as part of the Los Novismos cycle. Lugo began studying flamenco in her home country and later perfected her craft in Madrid with the teachers at the famed Amor de Dios academy. García began dancing at seven years of age and studied at the Academia de Ana María López. Both dancers offered festival goers two solo numbers each. Of the two, Lugo’s elegance and style was most impressive, although García had such powerful footwork that it is worthy of mention.
On the stage of the Villamarta Theatre, the legendary dancer from Seville Antonio Canales and the Japanese pianist Mie Matsumura collaborated in the presentation of “Serenata Andaluza” (Andalusian Serenade) with a musical score by Falla, Albéniz and Granados. The show wasn’t an exercise in flamenco fusion, but rather “a true and respectful meeting of the flamenco world – dance, song and guitar – with the music composed by these geniuses of Spanish classical music history.”
Day 6 of the Jerez Festival: Victoria Eugenia, David Lagos, Andrés Marín & Ana Morales
The Con Nombre Propio/Vivencias cycle continued with Marta Carrasco’s interview of Victoria Eugenia. Victoria Eugenia was a key figure in the Ballet Nacional de España (BNE) and a renowned star in the world of Spanish dance. On top of being a teacher at the BNE, between 1993 and 1998 she created such well known choreographies as “Solo”, “Danza IX”, “Chacona” and “La oración al torero.”
Day 5 of the Jerez Festival: Matilde Coral, Ramón Trujillo & Niño de la Fragua
Matilde Coral began a new cycle at the Jerez Festival: Con Nombre Propio/Vivencias. This cycle, which is open to the public and free, presents interviews with flamenco legends.
This event is similar to when maestro Juan de la Plata interviewed Matilde Coral at La Compañía on the 50th anniversary of the Cátedra de Flamencología, but this time, the legendary dancer from Seville and the “godmother” of the festival was interviewed by Jesús Vigorra...
Camarón de la Isla: Song made Legend
Camarón de la Isla
His thin frame, pale skin and light colored hair made him worthy of the nickname Camarón (shrimp). José Monge Cruz, born in San Fernando, in the province of Cádiz, was born to become a living flamenco legend thanks to a powerful voice that made up for his apparently fragile physique.
As a child his singing was heard in the streets of Cádiz, especially in the Venta de Vargas, where the best known flamencos, Lola Flores, Juanito Valderrama and Manolo Caracol, performed. There, amongst shrimp omelets and fish from the Bay, the singer from San Fernando grew as an artist, working side by side with important musicians and dancers of the day and earning his room and board at the same time.
Orphaned by age seven, the need to work was compensated with a talent for singing, and at the age of 12, he is awarded First Prize at the Flamenco Contest at the Montilla Festival (Córdoba). From that moment on, his fame begins to spread, and in 1966, his professional career begins in the companies of flamencos such as Dolores Vargas, Miguel de los Reyes and Juanito Valderrama, with whom he tours America and Europe. The young Camarón tours the world and decides to settle in Madrid, but not before to receiving awards such as the first prize at the Festival del Cante Jondo de Mairena del Alcor in 1966.
Just a few hours after publishing notification of the cancellation of Fernando Terremoto’s performance at the 2010 Jerez Festival, I learned from a French friend and flamenco lover that the famous flamenco singer from Jerez had passed away from a heart attack on February 13, 2010. He was only 40 years old.
Over 20 years ago, Fernando Fernández Pantoja, son of the also legendary Teremoto de Jerez, began his flamenco career as a guitarist, but debuted as a singer accompanied by the master guitarist Moraíto Chico at the Peña Don Antonio Chacón in Jerez in 1989.
Among the prizes Fernando won over the years, the most important include the first prize for singing in the Young Performers Contest at the IX Bienal de Flamenco in 1996 and the three National Prizes for Song (Manuel Torres for seguiriya and martinete; Niña de los Peines for soleá por bulería and bulería; and Antonio Chacón for malagueña and tarantos) awarded at the XV Concurso Nacional de Córdoba in 1998.
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