[guest post by Rocio!! our resident flamenco expert]


Nowadays many of these kids are very popular in the flamenco world. Some have appeared in Tony Gatlif’s movies–like La Macanita, who made a brief performance in his Exils, at La Carbonería de Sevilla. You wouldn’t recognize her now, transformed into an older woman (although the broken voice style is practically the same). Here she sings bulerías, barely more than a toddler:

[La Macanita]

Then in Fiesta de Niños we have a brief performance of El Bobote, who plays one of the gangsters in Gatlif’s Vengo. Both his potato nose and his graceful traditional dancing style haven’t changed in years… Ok, he’s lost some hair and gained some barriga, but the art remains the same.

Remedios Amaya performs in Gatlif’s classic Latcho Drom in a similar scene as the Fiesta de Niños clip below, singing and dancing surrounded by family. Her voice is quite particular, easily recognizable like her puppy Sharpei’s face. Whenever Remedios sings the guitarist has to lower the tones and slow down the rhythm to cope with her warm beautiful voice.

[Flamenco Fiesta Ninos]

In a sad footnote, Remedios career was drowned early, after she competed at the Eurovision music festival in Münich, 1983. She gave an astonishing performance but the song was nulled for being considered too “ethnic”. Watch how the cameras follow her bare feet! She was blamed and severely criticized in Spain as a response, even though Remedios had been chosen to go to Germany and perform the song the way she did. I don’t think she has been given the place she deserves yet, the Eurovision shadow has followed Remedios way too long.

[Remedios Amaya: Eurovision 1983]





[Cecilia Barraza, foto from ceciliabarraza.com]

Living in Spain you hear flamenco go — or get pushed — in a lot of directions. Few are as enticing as what I’ve been hearing in Peru, via this compilation.

Cecilia Barraza – Canterurias (Songs)

This is beautiful music & I need to know more about it, este criollismo, this Peruvian music that sounds more like sweet, lightly funky flamenco than anything “Afro-“. ¿Alan?

You can buy Afro-Peruvian Classics: Black Soul from Peru as mp3s from Calabash.

“Authentic fun from start to finish– though the last cut, a vanity item from producer David Byrne, is a bit off– his Spanish is… not comfortable.” Thus notes an accurate Amazon reviewer…


Tonite’s radio show will be mostly gnaoua/gnawa/Maghrebi cassettes, inspired by Ron’s Morocco visit. Including styles i havent posted or talked about here on the blog. Spliced in with choice flamenco cuts? You never know how a show’s gonna go down until it happens.

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[insert Langston quote here]

I played this on my radio show a week ago today — not knowing what it was. A handful of listeners contacted me saying the tune was indeed amazing and asking if it’d been IDed yet. Yes indeed. I like The Dream’s radio-friendly R&B pop nuggets (Shawty is a Ten etc) but Ditch That is on a whole other level of magnitude and songwriterly flex. Yikes!

Let’s catch up with some of 2007’s best music in 2008, The Dream being a few steps ahead…

The Dream – Ditch That

& from this interview w/ The Dream: “I am very vocal when it comes to things I am passionate about. Very political, maybe more political than people would think as a Black, urban artist. Just real no nonsense, I got a lot of whippings when I was little. No nonsense, get your ass in a lot of trouble, do shit that makes sense, use the principles that were beat in you. So that’s me man, I’m just cool.”