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Statue of Niño Ricardo. Cristo de Burgos Square. Seville.
|Birth name||Manuel Serrapí Sánchez|
|Born||11 July 1904|
|Died||14 April 1972 (aged 67)|
Manuel Serrapí Sánchez (11 July 1904 – 14 April 1972), better known as Niño Ricardo, was a Flamenco composer, considered by some sources[ citation needed ] as the most accomplished flamenco player of his day. He played a significant part in the evolution of the flamenco guitar. He lived in the city center of Sevilla. A child guitar prodigy, his early audiences referred to him as the son of Ricardo, leading to his stage-name Niño [de] Ricardo.
He was born on 11 July 1904 on Almudena Street of the Plaza de Argüelles in Seville (today Plaza del Cristo de Burgos), in Spain, in a typical neighborhood at that time. Today visitors contemplate the facade of the hotel which is dedicated to Niño Ricardo with a commemorative plaque.
Ricardo Serrapí Torres, guitarist and father of Niño Ricardo along with Antonio Moreno, a friend of the father, taught and introduced young Ricardo to the world of flamenco when he was 13 years old. Like his father, he did not want to play professionally.
Javier Molina, guitarist born in Jerez, was the one who gave the first opportunity to Niño Ricardo, at 14 years of age, to perform in a flamenco show, where he met singers whom he later accompanied both in Spain and beyond, and concert performance continued uninterrupted for the rest of his life. His career began in 1924 by accompanying La Niña de los Peines and at the age of 20 he began recording on his own.
His fingernails grew in a peculiar upward curve, a fact that influenced his playing style and tone. After a throat operation in 1945, he acquired a deep, raspy voice that is audible on recordings in which he hums along and offers encouraging remarks to the singer.
His bright chord arrangements with the left hand together with his creative genius made for his own unique falsetas (improvisations). His right hand was unique in its constant manipulation of the strings and insistent rhythmic counterpoint. The Ricardo touch carried such musical motivation that many singers acknowledged they never sang better than with his accompaniment. He also loved accompaniment and was fond of singing before a concert with his guitar and because he sang to his guitar, he encouraged others to join in..[ citation needed ]
He was one of the wisest players in flamenco history, and gave each song form its rightful place. He claimed that the guitar was his religion. He said the guitar with singing, should carry on a dialogue: "Neither should the singing silence the guitar nor the guitar obscure the passage of the cante (singing)". Flamenco guitar would not be what it is, if it were not for the Master..[ citation needed ] The totally new style he developed revolutionized the guitar, creating a school called the 'Ricardismo' (very much Ricardo). He introduced a new challenge to the art of flamenco guitar playing at the time.
Ricardo was influenced by fellow flamenco players, including: Pinto, Torre, El Niño Gloria, Escacena, and Antonio Mairena. He spent his early years playing in the taverns and bars of Seville where he developed his own personal style and created much of his own material. He was inspired by the great threesome of flamenco guitar; Ramón Montoya, Manolo de Huelva, and Javier Molina, by whom he was guided at the start of his professional career in the Salon Variedades in Seville. Ricardo recorded with many singers, including Pastora, El Carbonerillo, Mazaco, Antonio and Manuel Mairena, Fernanda y Bernarda, Caracol and Talega.
He married Lola Siguenza in his early twenties and had two children with her. He reportedly had several affairs with other women while touring, thus there are two more children of whom he is considered to be the father.[ citation needed ]
In 1945 he underwent throat surgery that left him with a deep voice, although this did not prevent him from continuing his career; he is easily recognized in the recordings where one can hear him humming along as he plays.
Niño Ricardo died of cirrhosis of the liver in 1972 at the age of 67. A monument exists at his grave in the Cemetery San Fernando in Sevilla. It represents an angel lifting a guitar to Heaven. It is the work of sculptor Sandino and was funded with revenues from sales of a tribute album they recorded in 1972, in which a group of recording artists such as Paco de Lucia, Sabicas and Ricardo's son performed songs by Ricardo. In 2004, celebrations of the 100 years since the birth of Niño Ricardo were held in southern Spain. In 2005, they raised a monument and a plaque in the Plaza del Cristo de Burgos, near where Ricardo was born.
According to the book "Flamenco: Gypsy Dance and Music from Andalusia" by Claus Schreiner, the period after the Spanish Civil War and World War II flamenco guitar music was largely dominated by the style of performers like Niño Ricardo and Sabicas. Many modern flamenco guitarists were influenced by Ricardo such as Paco de Lucia, Paco Peña and Juan Martín.
He taught many guitarists of the era such as Paco de Lucía, Enrique de Melchor, and Serranito. Paco de Lucia said on several occasions that the Niño Ricardo "was the reigning master of the guitar of our generation. He represented the ultimate in flamenco guitar, the Godfather. We learned a lot from him and tried to copy it."[ citation needed ]
He recorded with some of the best known singers of the time, such as Porrina de Badajoz, la Niña de los Peines, Pastora, Tomás, Pepe Pinto, Gloria, Vallejo, El Carbonerillo, Mazaco, Antonio Chacón, Manuel Mairena, Fernanda y Bernarda, Caracol y Talega, although he considered Manuel Torre his favorite. He toured with them during the 1940s, and in concert with Sabicas in Mexico in 1949.
He created compositions for many singers like Juanito Valderrama, for whom he composed his biggest hit, "El emigrante" ("The Emigrant") and "El rey de la carretera" (King of the Road") among others.
Many LPs and slate recordings have disappeared; however, some CDs are still available, and one can hear Ricardo in the "Masters of flamenco guitar" collection. Many of the recordings from Ricardo's first period, which showed the growth of his musical personality, have been lost. Some existing copies belong to fans and collectors. Presently, there exists the following discs on solo guitar or accompanying singers.
|El genio de Niño Ricardo"|
|[[Grandes Figuras del Flamenco (Vol. 11). Niño Ricardo Niño Ricardo]]|
|[[Toques Flamencos de Guitarra. Historia del Flamenco Niño Ricardo]]|
|Recital de guitarra flamenca|
|Grandes maestros de la Guitarra Flamenca. Vol. 2|
|Maestros de la guitarra flamenca Vol. 2|
|Rito y geografía del toque. Vol.1|
|Pa saber de guitarra|
|Grandes maestros de la Guitarra Flamenca. Vol. 1|
|Cantes Gitanos, La Niña de los Peines|
|Cantaores de Época. Campanilleros y otros éxitos|
|Antología "La época dorada del flamenco". Vol. 42|
|Rito y geografía del toque. Colección completa.|
|Los cantes hispanoamericanos en el mundo del flamenco|
|Antología "la época dorada del flamenco". Vol. 21|
|Antología "La época dorada del flamenco". Vol. 39|
|Antología "La época dorada del flamenco". Vol. 40|
|Por Malagueñas, Granaínas y Media Granaína|
|Maestros de la guitarra flamenca Vol. 6|
|Rito y geografía del baile Vol 4.|
|Grabaciones discos pizarra. 1930 - 1940. La Niña de los Peines|
|Antología del cante flamenco. Flamencología Vol. 2|
|Maestros de la guitarra flamenca Vol. 8|
|Villancicos Flamencos. Grabaciones de Discos de Pizarra año 1930-50. Vol 1|
|Grandes Maestros del flamenco|
|Maestros del cante flamenco Vol. 2|
|Homenaje al Niño Ricardo in memoriam|
|Cantaores de Época Vol. 3|
|Grabaciones discos pizarra. 1930. Carbonillero|
|Grabaciones discos pizarra. 1930 - 1950. Niña de la Puebla|
|Antología "la época dorada del flamenco". Vol. 10|
|Antología del cante flamenco. Flamencología Vol. 4|
|Antología del cante Flamenco. Flamencología Vol. 7|
|Antología "la época dorada del flamenco". Vol. 23|
|Cinco guitarras históricas|
|Antología "la época dorada del flamenco". Vol. 4|
|Antología "la época dorada del flamenco". Vol. 24|
|Flamenco Histórico. Vol. 8|
|Antología "la época dorada del flamenco". Vol. 5|
|Los ases del flamenco. Vol. 1.|
|Grabaciones discos pizarra. 1930. Canalejas de Puerto Real|
|Arte Flamenco Vol. 13 Nostalgia (Años 30)|
|Grabaciones discos pizarra. 1935 - 1950. Juanito Valderrama|
|Grabaciones discos pizarra. 1930 - 1940. Pepe Pinto|
|Antología "la época dorada del flamenco". Vol. 8|
|Antología del cante flamenco. Flamencología Vol. 5|
|Antología "la época dorada del flamenco". Vol 17|
|Gabriel Moreno - Lo aflamencado. Flamencos en los archivos de RTVE. Vol. 11|
|Vol.1. Grabaciones de 1920-1940|
|Antología "La época dorada del flamenco". Vol. 3|
|Antología "la época dorada del flamenco". Vol. 9|
|Maestros del cante flamenco Vol. 1|
|Figuras del cante jondo, El Niño de Gloria|
|Antología "la época dorada del flamenco". Vol. 25|
|Cantes antiguos del flamenco, Enrique Morente|
|Antología del cante flamenco. Flamencología volumen 6|
|Copa Pavón y Llave de Oro del Cante Manuel Vallejo|
|Grabaciones discos pizarra. 1930 - 1940 - 1950. Manolo Caracol|
|El cante flamenco de Manolo Caracol|
|Primeras grabaciones 1924 - 1934 Niño de Marchena|
|Flamenco Histórico. Vol. 9|
|Antología "la época dorada del flamenco". Vol. 7|
|Copa Pavón y Llave de Oro del Cante. Vol. 2|
|Cantaores de época. Pepe Marchena. Vol 6|
|La Niña de los Peines y Manuel Vallejo|
|Antología Manolo Caracol|
|Early Cante Flamenco|
|Grabaciones discos pizarra. 1945 - 1950. Porrina de Badajoz|
|Flamenco viejo. Vol. III|
|El cante flamenco de Canalejas de Puerto Real|
|Cantaores de Época: Pepe Pinto / Niña de los Peines|
|Antología de guitarristas flamencos|
|La Perla de Triana y Familia. Grabaciones privadas 1964 - 1968|
|Niño de Marchena. Vol.1|
|El cante flamenco de Manuel Vallejo|
|Cátedra del Cante Vol. 38. El Chato de las Ventas|
|Cátedra del Cante Vol. 28. José Cepero|
|Cátedra del Cante Vol. 14. Niño Gloria|
Sabicas was a Spanish flamenco guitarist of Romani origin.
Antonio Fernández Díaz known as Fosforito, is a flamenco singer and winner of the fifth Golden Key of flamenco singing. Only five of these have been awarded since the award's inception in 1862. Its previous winners were Tomás "El Nitri," Manuel Vallejo, Antonio Mairena, and Camarón de la Isla (posthumous).
Francisco Gustavo Sánchez Gómez, known as Paco de Lucía, was a Spanish virtuoso flamenco guitarist, composer, and record producer. A leading proponent of the new flamenco style, he was one of the first flamenco guitarists to branch into classical and jazz. Richard Chapman and Eric Clapton, authors of Guitar: Music, History, Players, describe de Lucía as a "titanic figure in the world of flamenco guitar", and Dennis Koster, author of Guitar Atlas, Flamenco, has referred to de Lucía as "one of history's greatest guitarists".
Juan Peña Fernández, also known as Juan Peña "El Lebrijano" or simply El Lebrijano, was a Spanish Gitano (Roma) flamenco musician. As a flamenco-fusion musician he studied the musical relation and fusion of two cultures that coexisted in spain during Al-Andalus.
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Polo is the name of a flamenco palo or musical form. There is only one known song in this palo, which is extremely similar to another palo called caña, and its guitar accompaniment, like the caña, shares its rhythm and motifs with soleá. Both the caña and polo share the same musical mode. The polo has usually been considered as a derivation of the caña. To complete the singing of the polo, singers usually sing a stanza in the palo of soleá, generally in the style called soleá apolá.
Pastora Pavón Cruz, known as La Niña de los Peines, is considered the most important woman flamenco singer of the 20th century. She was a sister of singers Arturo Pavón and Tomás Pavón, also an important flamenco singer, and aunt to Arturo Pavón, the first flamenco pianist. Both brothers, Pastora and Tomás, together with singer Manuel Torre, were the inspiring models for the next generation of singers like Antonio Mairena, Pepe de la Matrona or Fosforito, who led the movement towards the revival of traditional forms in the decades of the 50s-70s.
Manuel Soto Loreto, known as Manuel Torre or Manuel Torres, was a Romani (Kalo) flamenco singer.
José Tejada Marín, known as Pepe Marchena and also as Niño de Marchena in the first years of his career, was a Spanish flamenco singer who achieved great success in the ópera flamenca period (1922–1956). Influenced by singers like Antonio Chacón, he carried to the extreme the tendency to a more mellow and ornamented style of flamenco singing. Owing to his particular vocal conditions and singing style, he excelled mainly in palos (styles) like fandangos, cantes de ida y vuelta and cantes libres, contributing to making them the most popular flamenco styles in the era of the ópera flamenca, and created a new cante de ida y vuelta, the colombiana, later recorded by many other artists like El Lebrijano or Enrique Morente. He was also the first flamenco singer to use an orchestra to accompany flamenco singing, though later he returned to the guitar.
Enrique Morente Cotelo, known as Enrique Morente, was a flamenco singer and a controversial figure within the world of contemporary flamenco. After his orthodox beginnings, he plunged into experimentalism, writing new melodies for cante and jamming with musicians of all styles, without renouncing his roots in traditional flamenco singing, which he kept on cultivating. In spite of severe criticism from the most "purist" amongst the critics and public,
"It hasn't been easy. First came the accusations of corruption of the music, of treachery in his struggle to disfigure what was already perfectly coded. When some albums and some categorical evidence of his knowledge of the classical approach laid these malicious comments bare, then came the most twisted condemnations. That the pace of the compás waned, that he didn't really make you feel and that kind of thing."
The cante flamenco, meaning "flamenco singing", is one of the three main components of flamenco, along with toque and baile (dance). Because the dancer is front and center in a flamenco performance, foreigners often assume the dance is the most important aspect of the art form - but in fact, it is the cante which is the heart and soul of the genre. A cante singer is a cantaor or cantaora.
Pepe Martínez was a Spanish flamenco guitarist born into a musical family, in the Seville quarter of Macarena. His mother, Isabel, was famous for her singing of religiously inspired Saetas, a vocal style which has since been incorporated into the flamenco palo.
Mario Escudero Valero Jiménez Valverde was one of a handful of Spanish flamenco guitar virtuosos who helped spread flamenco beyond their homeland when they migrated to the United States in the early 1950s. After completing his obligatory military service in Spain, he toured with the best known companies at the time. Eventually, his lifetime childhood friend, Juan Antonio Aguero, married Carmen Amaya, and Mario married her sister Maria, with whom he had a son. He soon travelled to the US as first soloist.
The discography of Spanish flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucía:
Ramón Sánchez Gómez, better known by his stage name Ramón de Algeciras, was a Spanish flamenco guitarist, composer and lyricist. He was the most prolific collaborator of Paco de Lucía, his younger brother, recording with him on most of his albums from the 1960s to 1980s and performing with him throughout much of his life as a rhythm guitarist, including the Paco de Lucía Sextet, formed in 1981, which also included his other brother Pepe de Lucía.
'Melchor de Marchena was a Spanish flamenco guitarist. Born in Marchena, Spain, he is considered to be one of the most representative artists with a "gypsy touch", along with Diego del Gastor. His love of flamenco comes from a family environment. His father, "El Lico" was a guitarist in his own right, while his mother "La Josefita", was a singer, as was one of his aunts,artistically known as "La Gilica de Marchena", who sang Soleá. Two of his brothers, Chicho Melchor and Miguel el Bizco, were also guitarists, like his son Enrique de Melchor (1950–2012), who continued the family tradition. Playing the guitar, he accompanied several singers of his time, such as Manolo Caracol, La Niña de los Peines, and Antonio Mairena. In 1966, he was awarded the National Prize Flamenco Guitar, the highest award of its kind. In 1974 he performed with Paco de Lucia at the flamenco festival of La Union on the coast of eastern Spain. He died in Madrid in 1980.
Juan Pinilla Martin is a flamenco singer from Granada (Spain), critic, writer and columnist. In August, 2007 he won the Festival del Cante de las Minas, with the prize Lámpara Minera 2007, considered the most important flamenco prize. He studied Translation and Interpretation. At present he studies Law. In 2014, he was nominated for the prestigious Latin Grammys Awards In 2016 he was awarded the title of favorite son of the province of Granada (Spain) He is an artist committed with the social reasons. The night he won the Lámpara Minera he dedicated the prize to the workers victims of the workplaces accidents.
Vicente Soto Sordera is a flamenco cantaor (singer) who belongs to one of the most important Flamenco families in history, "Los Sordera".
Antonio José Cortés Pantoja, better known by his artistic name Chiquetete, was a Spanish flamenco singer, cousin of the tonadillera Isabel Pantoja.