I have been playing guitar since I was 10-1/2 years old. As a teen I had working bands which covered The Beatles, Top 40 and R&B, Hendrix, Cream, and Zappa. Zappa turned me on to composition and jazz. In college I pursued both, but not as a music major. I moved to NYC at 21 years. I had a jazz career for 6-7 years, during which I switched to bass to gig more, and also worked with salsa dance bands. Through my wife's involvement as a flamenco dancer, I came back to guitar through flamenco. I had the intention of bringing flamenco right hand and left hand techniques to jazz and salsa on nylon string guitar. I think it has taken me 45 years to do so confidently, pero ahora tengo las llaves. My wife and I formed a music and dance company called Flamenco Latino in late 1979, and have worked together with that company performing and teaching for 40 years. From 2006-2016 we ran a studio theater space in Midtown Manhattan which offered classes, workshops, recitals and performances.
How did you hear about us?
What is your profession (singer, rapper, songwriter, poet, dancer, model, music fan, etc.)?
Flamenco guitarist, singer and composer with early career background in jazz and salsa. I have extensive experience playing for flamenco dancers and singers.
How many members are in your band?
2-4, depending on budget. I am currently working with an unusual trio: guitar/singer, female singer, drums/cajon, and baritone saxophone. Budgets are a big factor. The bari sax can play the role of soloist or bass, and flamenco guitar fills both a strong rhythmic role, which sometimes has the density of bass or piano, as well as a melody instrument.
What is your style of music?
Flamenco with influence from jazz, salsa and blues. Flamenco itself was influenced in some styles by contact with Latin America starting in the 1790s, which is called La Ida y Vuelta (round trip). So this type of "fusion" has precedent. Paco de Lucia started opening flamenco to evolution in 1980. I had similar ideas at the same time, but, of course, was not so well-known, or from Spain.
Who are your influences in the music industry?
As a player, Moraito Chico, Paco de Lucia, Kenny Burrell, Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Israel "Cachao" Lopez, Arsenio Rodriguez, Thelonius Monk and Professor Longhair. As a composer, Manuel de Falla, Igor Stravinsky, Bela Bartok, Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington, and arrangers for Johnny Pacheco and Ray Baretto.
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