Her full name was Josefa Peña Reyes (Utrera, 1937-11/7/2016), she was part of a deeply rooted Utrera and Lebrija gypsy family. Her grandfather was Fernando Peña Soto, the legendary “Pinini”, who is mentioned in many stanzas of the traditional flamenco styles originated in this area of Andalusia. He himself is attributed the creation of a form of cantiñas. Pepa is also first cousins with the great Fernanda and Bernarda de Utrera, and the siblings Pedro and Inés Bacán, guitarist and singer respectively, from…Read more
Alonso Núñez “Rancapino Chico” y Manuel Jero (Seguiriya).
(English translation below)
Alonso Núñez “Rancapino Chico” es hijo del gran cantaor de Chiclana de la Frontera, Cádiz, Alonso Núñez “Rancapino”. Siendo así, es poseedor de una herencia cantaora de raigambre. Su padre era gran amigo del legendario Camarón de la Isla y compañero suyo de correrías juveniles y flamencas, especialmente en la Venta Vargas, en San Fernando, donde comenzaron sus primeras experiencias como cantaores.
Estas son las…Read more
Flamenco is a music and dance form that originated in Andalusia, in the south of Spain about 200 years ago. It's an art form that reflects the actual melting pot Andalusia is, a land in which we historically can find, Celtic, Iberian, Tartessian, Greek, Roman, Visigothic, Arab, Moorish, Castillian, Jewish, Black-African, Latin-American and Gypsy influences. It encompasses a great number of styles with different origins, melodies, rhythms and types of verses or stanzas.
Each flamenco style is called a…Read more
"What are they singing here? What type of bulerías are these?" That is what a friend and flamenco dancer asked me the other day. It turned out that finding an answer led me into a far deeper analysis than she was asking for. My research inspired me to write this article. First, let’s have a look at the video she was talking about.
This is a very enjoyable number by dancer Pastora Galván (http://www.pastoragalvan.com/) with ¡mucho arte! You should also note that there is not a single…Read more
Why Flamenco does not come from India.
“Flamenco comes from India”. I have heard this said so many times over the years. Every time I hear it I think it is such a simplistic statement. It shows how little information there is about the origin of this beautiful art form we all love so much.
We all know that Indian Kathak and Bharatanatyam dances have footwork, very different footwork technique to flamenco, but footwork. Despite that, Kathak as we know it today was developed in the courts of the…Read more
Manuel Torre. The singer of the black sounds.
(Manuel Soto Loreto. Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz), 1878-Sevilla, 1933)
I’m going through a phase in which I can only listen to Manuel Torre. Every time I listen to his recordings I find a new reason to go back to him, a new turn of his voice that I didn’t notice before. The lack of high fidelity in those recordings doesn’t bother me at all because Manuel Torre was one of the most enigmatic figures of flamenco history and that is clear in those sounds…Read more
(First published in Phillyflamenco.com on September of 2007)
After eleven years living away from Spain I can’t help thinking about peñas flamencas with nostalgia. When I first started going to a peña flamenca, I was twenty years younger than I am now and falling in love with that pristine and innocent love that is the first one. If you add to this picture the dazzling streets and parks of Sevilla where my friends and I used to hang out, then you have right there the whole set up to get…Read more