Ketama was formed in 1985, taking the name from a Moroccan town famous for growing some of the best "grass." The band was initially formed by Juan Carmona, José Soto and Ray Heredia, all members of some of the finest Gypsy flamenco performersthe Habichuelas from Granada, the Sorderas from Jerez and the Heredias from Madrid.
In the early days, Ketama rehearsed in a chicken yard, preparing themselves for their nightly performances at the famous flamenco club in Granada. This allowed the group members to meet flamenco legends like Paco de Lucía, Enrique Morente and Camarón de la Isla
Ray Heredia left the group first. Antonio and José Miguel Carmona, Juan’s cousins, replaced him. Some time later, José Soto also left to pursue a solo career. The Carmonas then went to develop one of the most brilliant careers in Nuevo Flamenco.
Initially, Ketama kept to its Flamenco roots unlike most of the other young Gypsy groups. Later, the band started to combine roots flamenco with diverse influences such as Salsa, Reggae, Pop, Funk and Jazz. They went on to play with some of the world's greats: Celia Cruz, Paquito D'Rivera, Arturo Sandoval, Michel Camilo to mention a few.