Ashbourne Festival of the Artisan Flamenco Guitar

A total joy to have been invited to play flamenco guitar at the Ashbourne Festival of the Artisan.

Flamenco Guitar Player

First and foremost a huge thank you to the wise and perceptive sound engineers who provided me with an enviable sound system so that my flamenco guitar could be heard uniformly and brilliantly throughout the entire large church where the event was staged.

As soon as the sound engineer saw my guitar and realised that it had no pick up or any other form of microphone he immediately changed the microphone that he had been using for other performers and provided me with a microphone that was ultra responsive to each and every nuance of the flamenco guitar.

Flamenco Guitar Player

This is very important and a proper sound system can make a very significant contribution to how a musical performance works: both in terms of how the audience receives the music and in how the musician has the freedom and support to play the music exactly as they feel they need to.

Flamenco Guitar Player

Certainly I felt completely supported, was overjoyed with the sound and how I could hear it (monitor on stage) and frankly would have been delighted to play there all night.

The audience were very warm and appreciative and I loved playing for them.

Tomas Flamenco Guitarist

I did not select those pieces from the flamenco repertoire that are perhaps a little more accessible to non specialist listeners; quite the opposite, I decided which  pieces I wanted to play right there on stage in accordance with my mood at each moment.

If my memory serves me right I played: Soleares, Tientos, Farruca, Colombiana, Zambra Mora and Bulerias.

Tomas Flamenco Guitar Music

Great memories. Thank you everyone at Ashbourne Festival of the Artisan for making it such an enjoyable experience.

Update on the Flamenco Concert for Prostate Cancer UK

What an extraordinary success!

Sometimes everything comes together and the results are better than expected.

On this occasion I was working with the fabulous flamenco dancer and castanet player Rocio Gomez who is always very good but it felt like she was doing all she could to make it work.

It is very difficult to put into words here on a website but I know that the audience really were excited by  Rocio’s passion.

With the help of people at the St Michael at the Northgate Church, Oxford it was possible to lay a piece of  plywood and to fix it firmly to the ground.

You would be surprised what a good sound you can get from flamenco footwork on plywood.

The other thing to talk about is our totally wonderful engaged audience.

Yes, I play the guitar as well as I can and Rocio is an inspiration with her dance and castanets but the audience were with us the whole way, not just in their magnificent applause (thank you!) but also in their emotions and reactions throughout the performance.

The hour was fantastic and I loved every minute of performing flamenco for this cancer charity.

I have been informed that £246.45 has been donated and this money will go to Prostate Cancer UK.

The money is so useful and I will always be grateful but all the people on that day: Rachel who drove me there and back (this guitarist gets a chauffeur!), Rocio who gave all she had, an exceptionally beautiful young woman and her boyfriend (you guys know who you are!) the lovely church workers who supplied much needed refreshments (thank you, yes it did help) and help with laying wood on floor and very much all the people who came and listened and joined in spirit to save men from prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer Flamenco Charity Concert

I will play a concert of Flamenco guitar solos and duets of guitar and castanets with the wonderful flamenco dancer Rocío Gómez.

Date: Monday 25th June 2018

Time: 1 pm to 1.45 pm

Place: St Michael at the Northgate, Oxford, OX1 3EY

Price: Free, includes tea or coffee

Donations: all donations to:

Prostate Cancer UK  

Why? Prostate cancer either kills men or can often make their lives dreadful while they try to live with it.

The death is painful, agonising and traumatic both for the men and for those who love them.

What medical help you get depends on where you live.

Specifically, some hospitals can offer the most advanced diagnostic methods and treatment methods but most hospitals cannot.

Private hospitals and doctors can always offer more than NHS.

In every single case the urologists are working with an imperfect situation.

The tests that are currently available are far from perfect.

Once the doctors think that you do have prostate cancer and: wait a minute listen very carefully: false negative means that no cancer has been detected but in fact yes you do have cancer, false positive means the presence of cancer has been indicated but in fact you do not have cancer, then the treatments are not great.

Each treatment can and does have negative side effects.

Why are they called side effects?!!!

There is nothing on the side about these effects!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They are very present, very in the foreground, very real indeed.

You may well get incontinence which can be temporary but often is permament.

What does the word incontinence mean?

Well, it means maybe your daughter tells you that she is getting married and she wants her daddy to walk her down the aisle, or maybe she is graduating from her PhD and she wants daddy to be there.

OK so daddy puts on his best light grey suit which is a very bad idea because totally out of his control he pisses himself down his trouser leg, which kind of doesn’t look so great for his little girl on her big day.

Or maybe it is his son’s wedding or graduation and his wonderful son man has to say to all his friends sorry about my dad pissing himself, he is not drunk, just incontinent you know.

Of course, there is a way around it. Daddy can wear a huge nappy under his trousers which will have to be two sizes too big to accommodate it.

Are we beggining to get away from the polite after dinner chat and a bit closer to the reality of prostate cancer?

Then there is impotency or what nowadays people call erectile dysfunction.

What this means is that you cannot get an erection, not now, not tomorrow, not ever.

No sex please we have had prostate cancer treatments.

With the children off doing their own thing there is more time to spend intimately with your wife or girlfriend or boyfriend or whoever you spend your intimate time with.

The only problem is if they happen to be feeling rather romantic there will not be any love making any time soon.

For those of you reading this who are in your 20’s or 30’s let me tell you, making love is something that people want to do all their lives.

You don’t suddenly get bored with it over the age of 50.

Then of course there is the long list of infections that you can get from needle biopsies (they shoot a large needle through your anus at least 12 times into your prostate so as to take samples of prostate tissue). Do you fancy it?

You can get infections from the treatments as well.

The situation for men with prostate cancer is appalling.

That is why I will be giving the concert on Monday 25th June.

So as to try to get money and awareness so that we men can one day maybe have lives that are not so destroyed by prostate cancer.

 

 

 

 

Spanish Singer Weddings Events Celebrations

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

The beautiful voice of Yasmin Bokhari Friberg

 

 

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.

Spanish Singer Yasmin Bokhari Friberg with Flamenco Guitarist Tomas Jimenez

 

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.

The beautiful voice of Yasmin Bokhari Friberg

 

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.

Flamenco Guitarist

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.

Flamenco at wine tasting event

Spanish Guitar

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.

Tomás Jiménez shows chord

Flamenco Guitar Skill

 

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.

Flamenco at wine tasting event

Spanish Guitar

 

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 flamenco 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.

The joy of Flamenco

 

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.

Tomás Jiménez shows chord

Flamenco Guitar Skill

 

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.