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I am working with Yasmin Bokhari Friberg from Madrid Spain, who sings Flamenco as well as other Spanish songs.

For as long as I can remember I have loved to accompany flamenco singers and /or Spanish singers who sing other typical Spanish songs.

This is the case with Yasmin.

She is very versatile and as such can sing the most authentic Flamenco forms such as Tarantas or Tientos or Alegrias but then in absolute contrast can sing beautiful South American songs such as Sabor a Mi or Besame Mucho or Moliendo Cafe and then once again Yasmin can turn to some tender and passionate or joyful and energetic Spanish songs such as Los Cuatro Muleros or Los Peregrinitos or La Tarara, which in her interpretation begins very slowly and almost mysterious and gradually builds up to a stronger rhythmical expression.

This for me is most rewarding.

While it is true that I will always love playing solo flamenco guitar it is also very true that I gain my greatest inspiration from the working with other people.

We are already performed  in public a few times and audience members have been very complimentary about Yasmin’s exceptional voice.

It is difficult to describe but I will try:

Sometimes she sings so softly, almost as if she is holding the feeling in, other times her voice becomes profound and then quite unexpectedly there is a sudden outburst of emotion.

Her accent is from her native Madrid but with just a touch of Andalucia and I find this to be absolutely perfect and  ideal for many of her songs. Indeed I will be brave enough to say that in Spanish songs sometimes I think singers overdo the Andaluz accent or intonation to such an extent that there is a risk that the song becomes a parody of Spanish sentiment.

No chance of this with Yasmin. It is crystal clear to me that she is absolutely sincere and her singing whether flamenco or other Spanish is the manifestation of that honest approach.

I look forward to giving many more performances with Yasmin Bokhari Friberg.

 

 

Flamenco Guitarist for Wine Tasting Event

I played Flamenco guitar music for a wine tasting event where the organisers wanted the mood of the music to match the character of each wine.

I understood the idea and wanted to play flamenco music that really did suit the event and that helped to create the Spanish atmosphere.

Thus, for a very robust red wine I chose a strong and serious piece such as Soleares.

For a lighter red wine with more fruit I thought that Bulerias might be appropriate.

The white wines were more complicated because certainly one of them has a lot of body and quite a rich colour and in this case, I considered Granianas or Alegrias de Cordoba.

While for the brighter and lighter white wine I played a rather fast and fun Alegrias de Cadiz.

When Alegrias is played in the style of Cadiz it is always in  a major key but in the style of Cordoba it is almost always in E minor.

For the Rose wines I felt that the flamenco pieces of South American origin such as Guajira and Colombiana really accompanied the delightful Rose wine.

I thought it was important to explain that Flamenco comes from Andalucia and many wines come from other regions of Spain and as such there could not always be a geographical paring between wine and music.

Nonetheless some of the flamenco pieces came to Andalucia as pieces from other regions in their original form.

Farruca from Galicia, Garrotin quiet possibly from Asturias and of course I also play the classical piece called Asturias by Isaac Albeniz.

Then we have Caracoles from Madrid, Sevillanas almost certainly originally from Castilla and all of the mining laments such as Tarantas, Mineras, Cartagenera, Levantica from the eastern levante region.

Thus, by understanding the wines themselves and then thinking about my flamenco repertoire I was able to provide flamenco guitar music that was entirely in character with the event.

It is sometimes said that back in the late 19th Century flamenco was used at events to promote wines and foods typically at places called ‘ventas’.

It was very good in the early 21st Century to play for a similar event.

Flamenco at wine tasting event

Book a Flamenco Guitarist for wine tasting event

 

Rugby School Spanish Themed Event with Flamenco Guitar and Dance

I provided a performance of solo flamenco guitar compositions as well as accompanying a flamenco dancer for a Spanish event at Rugby School.

The dinner was provided by Chef Graham Ogden who created many dishes that expressed events in Spanish history.

Because of this I decided to select flaamenco pieces that I felt were in accordance with the theme that Chef was building.

Sometimes when performing for Spanish themed dinners I anticipate that those present will be primarily fascinated with the flamenco dancer, the exciting footwork, graceful arms and intricate castanet playing and indeed the highly skilled flamenco dancer Samantha most certainly got a lot of attention.

I have worked several times with Samantha and every single time she completely thows herself into the dance.

It is hardly surprising that I imagined that perhaps people would be  a little less interested in my flamenco guitar playing; after all a man seated and intently obsessed with the tone and every nuance of his guitar would not normally be  as spectacular as the dancer’s energetic presence on stage.

Once again what a joy for me to receive such genuine applause and frankly complimentary comments about my playing.

I wonder if a thing is developing.

By now people have heard quite a lot of flamenco and I think that people are coming to understand and connect to the way flamenco music is expressed; not just the emotion which of course will always be able to touch people but also increasingly with the structure of the pieces. People are becoming more and more familiar with how flamenco is put together and are both more discerning and more appreciative.

Certainly I am finding that my clients are booking me especially because I do not water down, sugar up or modify authentic flamenco and neither do I make it unnecessarily inaccessible. That is to say not excessively hard just for the sake of it or pretenciosly complicated just to score points, just to somehow prove that flamenco is not simple.

I think people already get that and as such do not need the flamenco guitar player to labour the point.

I am so very happy that I can play as I think is right and have my playing appreciated and valued.

 

Gerundino Flamenco Guitar for Sale

I have a Gerundino Flamenco Guitar for Sale.

spanish version

I do not buy and sell guitars but if you feel that you would like to own a Gerundino I may be able to help you.

This guitar is:

Cypress back and sides (blanca)

Spruce face

Machine heads

1996 bought directly from Gerundino at his house in Almería

I have read all the opinions on the Internet from people who seem to have their own agenda. To the very best of my knowledge this guitar which I bought directly from Gerundino is absolutely authentic.

It sounds like a Gerundino, big loud powerful, kind of metalic and woody at the same time with sweet but sharp trebles and growling lamenting basses. You can feel it moving. It has all the signs with the typical Gerundino stamp cut into the back of the head/neck.

Condition: Very good with minor signs of playing

Youtube: if you visit my YouTube page which is linked from my videos page you can see a solo called Colombiana. That is this guitar. The guitar on other videos is different as is the guitar in the sound clips on this site.

Available: collect only from within UK

Price: Enquire

But please be aware that I have no special interest in selling this guitar and the price is quite high. I would respectfully ask you to refrain from enquiring if you are just curious or you wish to buy and sell. I am very sure that I want this Gerundino to go to a good home and to be played by a flamenco guitarist.

 

Guitarra Gerundino en Venta

Tengo una guitarra de Gerundino en venta.

versión en inglés

Es flamenca, blanca de ciprés y del año 1999.

Tengo un Vídeo en YouTube donde toco una Colombiana con esta guitarra.

Yo no compro guitarras para luego venderlas y no tengo un interés especial en vender esta guitarra pero si eres un guitarrista flamenco y realmente te gustan las guitarras de Gerundino podemos hablar.

Esta guitarra tiene:

Tapa de pino abeto alemán

Aros y fondo de ciprés

Clavijas mecánicas de tornillo

Todas las contraseñas, por así decirlo, de las guitarras de Gerundino.

Aparte de las firmas que aparecen dentro de la boca de la guitarra en la cabeza donde se junta con el mango aparece Gerundino como tallado en la madera.

Compré esta guitarra directamente de Gerundino en el añ0 1996 en su casa en Quemadero, Almería. Entonces vivía en Cartagena y no me pillaba demasado lejos y de cualquier modo creo que era más usual comprar directamente de los guitarreros en esos tiempos.

No pongo las dimensiones de la guitarra, en primer lugar porque no se me da muy bien el tomar medidas con precisión. Por otra parte sinceramente no sé hasta donde nos ayuda el conocer toda la matemática de la guitarra. Esta tendencia de ofrecer estas medidas, si no me equivoco, es relativamente reciente.

Para mí hay que probar una guitarra un rato antes de comprar. Si nos resulta cómoda y nos gusta el sonido pues entonces nos podemos plantear seguir adelante.

Para mí esta guitarra es comodísima entre otras cosas porque la tensión de las cuerdas no me resulta ni muy dura ni blanda con lo cual no tengo que ir buscando las cuerdas cuando toco un picado o un arpegio, por ejemplo. Las cuerdas siempre están en su sitio.

No me da la sensación de que sea una guitarra grande aunque a mí me parece que es algo más grande que la otra de Gerundino que tengo del año 1977.

Creo haber leído en algún sitio que Gerundino paulatinamente iba haciendo las guitarras más grandes.

Con respecto al sonido, pues la verdad no creo yo que los medios de reproducción que tenemos en Internet sea YouTube u otros nos ofrezcan la misma experiencia sonora que podemos tener cuando tocamos la guitarra en una sala normal sin especiales condiciones acústicas.

Yo personalmente esta guitarra la encuentro agresiva con más pegada que otras. Tiene mucho volumen y me acuerdo del día que la compré que Gerundino la clasificó como un cañón, pero claro, qué iba a decir. Yo veo que tiene también ese quejido que asociamos con las guitarras de Gerundino.

No envío la guitarra. La única manera de verla es de quedar aquí un día que se esté en el Reino Unido.

El precio no lo publico aquí pero puedo adelantar que será de los precios más altos.

 

Paco Castillo 214 F Flamenco Guitar for sale

Paco Castillo 214 F Flamenco Guitar for Sale

Brand New, Played once only. Perfect condition.

Solid Spruce top

Solid Cypres (US) back and sides, ebony fingerboard, inlaid rosette, gold plated machine heads, golpeador

Fishman blend tune pick up , with blend microphone and electronic tuner, fitted.

Retail price ( in UK pounds sterling as follows:

Paco castillo 214 F Flamenco guitar: 577.00 plus VAT at 20%

Fitted Fishman Pick up: 120.00 plus VAT at 20%

Total retail price: 836.40

My price: 625.00 or nearest offer.

Additionally there is a Protection Plus Ortola case bought separately at: 50.00 plus VAT at 20% Total: 60.00

If you buy the guitar my price is: 20.00

Additionally there is a guitar cable with gold ends to plug in when using the pick up. Shop price was about 14.00

If you buy the guitar this cable is free.

Reason for sale: I thought I might use this instead of one of my very expensive concert guitars for certain jobs but the truth is I only receive offers for wonderful jobs where my concert guitars are totally safe so I realise that I do not need another guitar and in the end will not play it.

Either come to Aylesbury Buckinghamshire to try this guitar or meet me in any town that I am performing that is more convenient for you.

Please contact me for further details.

 

Paco Castillo 214 F Flamenco Guitar for Sale

Paco Castillo 214 F Flamenco Guitar for Sale

Fishman Blend Tune Pick up Fitted to Paco Castillo

Fishman Blend Tune Pick up Fitted to Paco Castillo

Ortola Protection Plus Guitar Case

Ortola Protection Plus Guitar Case

Guitar Cable Gold ends

Guitar Cable Gold ends

 

 

Pablo Requena Flamenco Guitar for Sale

I have a Pablo Requena Flamenco Guitar for sale.

You can hear this gutsy guitar on my videos and you may like to watch the Guajira to see how well this guitar keeps its volume against 3 castanet players or perhaps the Buleria where in the introduction the guitar is delicate and mysterious but then develops full energy in the alzapua.

This guitar is typically just a fraction small which is the tradition for flamenco guitars and perhaps that helps to provide the kind of immediacy and energy that this guitar has.

It shows the signs in the finish of a great deal of playing but in sound and playability it is as strong as the first day but with more depth and greater character.

Contact me for more details.

For Sale Gerundino 1990 Machine Heads

I have a flamenco guitar by Gerundino from 1990 with machine heads for sale.

As with all my flamenco guitars this is Cipres with spruce face or what people call blanca.

You can hear this guitar on all the sound clips on this web site and you can see a video of me playing the slow section from Zapateado en Re  by Sabicas which I think allows us to really appreciate the quality of tone of this beautiful flamenco guitar.

It has the very typical Gerundino sound and with just a little warmth which I think that you can hear in the video and especially in my Rondeña and maybe Rumba on this site but it also has full power which can be heard in the Bulería and the Soleares.

It is incredibly comfortable with just the right string tension so that the strings are always where you want them and never difficult to play.

I can play it for hours and never get tired.

 

 

Gerundino 1977 Pegs for Sale

I have a Gerundino 1977 Peg Head Flamenco Guitar for sale.

You may like to see this video of me playing this guitar at the Festival Nacional del Cante de Las Minas, La Union, Murcia.

This is a very helpful video for you the potential buyer. The sound quality is appallingly bad, the video breaks up and the visual quality is also very poor. I am not the best flamenco guitarist in the world

And with all that this Gerundino sounds so good it is almost unbelievable.

This guitar is a part of a history that is finished perhaps for ever. Gerundino is no longer with us and as far as I know flamenco guitars are not being made like this anymore.

This sound is deep, profound, dark, lamenting, forceful like there is something pushing out from the inside.

This Gerundino Flamenco guitar will not be sold by post. You will have to meet me and play the guitar for some time to decide if it is right for you. Not to decide if it is good or how good.

I do not think that we are going to find a better flamenco guitar in these times that we now live.

Contact me by e mail if you are genuinly interested and able to buy such a flamenco guitar.

 

 

Non Spanish People in Flamenco

Non Spanish people have been involved in Flamenco one way or another for a very long time, perhaps not from the very beginning but certainly from about 1950.

The subject of non- Spanish flamenco can be rather sensitive and I therefore woud like to approach the discussion sensitively.

Here in Britain where I am currently living there is still a very strong feeling that flamenco belongs to Spanish people and that performers of flamenco need to be Spanish.

I have repeatedly witnessed people ask performers if in fact they are Spanish and this has not been simply out of curiosity; it has been because the people posing the question have thought that if the performers were British for example, somehow they would be less worthy, less authentic.

I would like to first consider authenticity in Spanish flamenco performers.

There is a generally accepted and not very accurate or complete idea that flamenco comes from Spain. Yes it does but not from all over Spain.

Flamenco originated in Andalucia in the South of Spain and as it grew it became popular throughout much but not all of Spain.

Notably: Madrid, mainly because flamenco performers from Andalucia moved to Madrid for flamenco work opportunities and stayed there and set up their own schools of flamenco.

Flamenco also became very popular and developed in neighbouring regions such as Extremadura and Murcia, especially La Union and Cartagena. Again partly due to people from Andalucia moving to those regions for work, although that said the many of the people from those regions are not so very different from Andalusians.

However, it would be somewhat inaccurate to think that the majority of people from Andalusia are interested in flamenco and are active participants of flamenco. The reverse is closer to the truth. Flamenco has always been a minority cultural expression and although it has been so very popular all over the world it still originates in a particular Andalusian sub culture.

So, I am saying that flamenco is not a generally Spanish art form and as such simply being Spanish does not mean that one has an interest in this kind of music.

But what of the people who are Spanish and are interested in flamenco? Are they any better than non- Spanish flamenco practitioners and if so how to they acquire and develop the ability?

The short answer is yes, the Spanish and especially the Andalusians are the very best flamenco performers in the world. This has always been the case and always will be.

This leads people to use the expression: it is in the blood. It is not and ability at flamenco cannot be transferred genetically. There is no genetic component.

People acquire flamenco as a consequence of their interaction with their surroundings. So, when we hear so much about flamenco performers being the children of other much respected flamenco artistes the family connection is very important culturally but not genetically.

If this is true then it would seem that all the non- Spanish flamenco performer would need to do is move to Andalucia, surround themselves in Flamenco culture and they could be just as good as the Andalusians. Actually in my opinion this has never been the case and I think that it is very obvious why.

People who follow that path do so as adults when they can.

An adult is already a part of the culture where they were brought up and has already not had that time in a flamenco environment. Even if a non-Spanish person we taken to Andalucia as a baby by their parents they still would to a certain extent receive cultural influence from their parents.

This could lead to I think an incorrect conclusion.

Based on what I have said above an organisation here in Britain wanting to book a flamenco act for an event might think that they would be on safe ground in they insist on booking only proven Spanish performers. It may be so but not necessarily.

Spanish people are coming to Britain nowadays and looking for work. In many cases they have never had much interest in flamenco.

To be precise parents in Spain have often looked for after school activities for their children, as much as anything to help to keep them in a positive and safe environment if they had to be at work and because in Spain we think it is good for children to have a hobby or activity apart from their academic school life. Oh, and we can show off to our friends about how much we spend each month on our children!

The local dance academy is one option that is available, usually has enough space to take many students and organisesd a couple of performances a year so it is a popular choice. Flamenco or more exactly Spanish dance is taught at these academies as well as classical ballet. The dance classes alone are not enough to acquire a real deep knowledge of flamenco.

Once the aforementioned ‘flamenco dance students‘ become adults they may travel to a country such as Britain looking for work. Sooner or later someone tells them that they might get a little pocket money from flamenco and they cannot resist the offer. They have black hair and look very Spanish and know how to behave on stage in a certain charismatic way. All good but that is not being a professional flamenco performer.

Does that mean that all Spanish flamenco performers in Britain for example are just amateurs? Absolutely not! Many of them are exceptionally good and I am eternally grateful that they are happy to work with me.

Are any of the British of other non- Spanish flamenco performers in Britain any good? Oh yes they are and I am  most certainly happy  work with them.

My conclusion is the old expression that we should not judge a book by its cover.

We should judge people by how they do their work. In this case we should judge flamenco performers by their flamenco performances and nothing else.