Tomás and María José, Flamenco Guitar, Dance and Castanets
Tomás and María José met in their home town, Cartagena, in the region of Murcia on the South East Mediterranean Coast of Spain.
After gaining her title of Bailarina Profesional from the Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia in Madrid María José bought the flamenco dance academy where she had studied and contracted local flamenco guitarists including Tomás.
They found that they had very similar ideas about what they wanted to do with flamenco and their friendship grew and strengthened.
María José was especially interested in the traditional Spanish instrument: the castanets.
She felt that with really good pieces of concert standard flamenco guitar solos she could create duets which would be special both in terms of being entertaining for an audience and in terms of having substance and being challenging and satisfying to perform.
Tomás had a wealth of excellent flamenco compositions. and so they began to work together once again discussing as they went along and recreating music, finding their own path, their own personal form of expression.
A family inheritance
The love for flamenco has been passed down Tomás’s family throughout the generations.
Tomás had no formal conservatoire tuition as this is not available in Spain for flamenco.
Instead Tomás learned to play flamenco guitar from his father whose teaching instilled in Tomás a respect for flamenco together with the understanding that his playing should communicate the true meaning of each piece without using superfluous effects.
His father explained to him: “No florees el toque porque el flamenco ya comunica todas las emociones y todos los sentimientos humanos sin echarle ni quitarle nada”.
Translated to English: “Don’t make the playing flowery because flamenco by itself communicates every emotion and every human sentiment and you don’t have to add to or take anything away from it”.
María studied flamenco dance and gained the title of Bailarina Profesional (professional dancer) from the Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia, Madrid. Her castanet playing is phenomenal and her interaction with the guitar a delight. Her dancing is elegant and tasteful and expresses the true sentiment of each flamenco form.
Tomás and María: a Memorable Duet
Tomás and María have a palpable interaction on stage. María creates a dialogue with the guitar, interweaving her castanets with Tomás’s playing creating a range of charming and joyful compositions.
The following is a non exhaustive list of some of the venues that Tomás and María have performed at:
Abbey Theatre, St. Albans
All Saints Centre, Lewes, Sussex
Arts Depot, London
Canning House Concert Hall, London
Catedral de Santander, Spain
Centro Cultural, Cartagena, Spain
Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum
Compass Theatre, Ickenham
Cure Parkinson’s Trust, Sussex
Dumfries and Galloway Festival
Dundee International Guitar Festival
Ealing Guitar Society
Embassy Theatre, London
Embassy of Venezuela, London
Festival Nacional del Cante de Las Minas, La Unión, Spain
Festival Nacional de Cante por Cartageneras, Cartagena, Spain
Hampton Community College, London
Hebden Bridge Festival
Hull Truck Theatre
Little Theatre, Lewes, Sussex
Norwich Castle Museum, Francis Cheetham O.B.E Memorial Concert
Oxjam Festival, Oxfam
Queen Elizabeth Hall
Regis Recital Hall
Royal Albert Hall, London
Stantonbury Campus Theatre
Teatro Circo, Cartagena, Spain
Tsunami Relief Concert
West Sussex Guitar Club