The new generation of flamenco: “Madrid will always be the world capital of the genre”

Time seems to have stopped inside Candela, Tablao which was the cradle of flamenco in Madrid. Upstairs still dusting, chairs to put away and beer in fridges ready to be served. He took down the blind in January 2022, It seemed like forever. Now, with its sure reopening on the horizon, it opens its doors in an exceptional way to be the venue for a photo report on 8 young flamenco stars.

Some stairs lead to the cellar. to the legendary cave. The place that served as a “VIP” for flamenco legends to sing, play and dance until sunrise. Camaron, Paco de Lucia, or Slash from Guns and Roses can meet in the cave. There he heard the purest. Now it’s in the dark and the walls are still peeling…but it keeps the essence of flamenco years and years.

The young artists descend in silence. They observe everything and respectfully touch the tiles on the wall where the real name of the cave says: “Crossroads Room”. On this chair, Enrique Morente played chess. In it there sang Ray Heredia. If you focus, you can still smell the tobacco and hear the applause. This is the euphoria that Kanaura has Angeles Toliano (Villanueva de la Reina, 1995) He suddenly broke the silence and admitted: “My poetry is ending.”


This thing about sensations is believable or a blast, but Candela has magic. And those who experience it at that moment are some of the Flemish youth who star in a second coming of this kind. Not all of them are in the picture, because this generation can also include names that are really facts of the kind, such as Israel Fernandez, Kiki Morente or Maria Teremoto. A new generation born in the nineties seeks, if not to emulate, then to pay homage to that flamenco movement of the eighties that Movida Madrileña in its own way rivaled in importance.

“This was unrepeatable. But hey, if only we couldn’t bring about a new golden age for flamenco… unless it was drenched in gold, right?” Jose Del Coro (Madrid, 1991), who started at the age of 11 singing for Camaron or for Chocolate. “Joy, Taranta…then I had a hiatus, but I came back 5 or 6 years ago and decided to improve and get my batteries back.” Now, after touring all the plates in D.C., he’s just released a single from his first solo project: “Vivir gitano.” It is the same logo engraved on a necklace around his neck.

Among these young talents are artists from different parts of Spain, however They met in Madrid. Some started in their teens, eg Yeari Curtis (Alicante, 1995), guitarist who started accompanying his father in the tabloos of Alicante and is now recording an album. “When I was 17, I met my wife and came to Madrid,” the place “where there is wicker, resources and a hobby to do interesting things.”

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Others, like the dancer Miguel Fernandez “El Yeo” (Badalona, ​​1996), she was earlier: “At the age of seven I started dancing, because I come from a family very fond of flamenco. And at the age of 11 I went on tour in Taiwan, for the sake of the manager who took me because he saw little promise in me. Today I have my own company and we perform Our business is all over the world.”

Then there are those who suckled leprosy from the cradle. how Johnny Jimenez (Madrid, 1990), born in the most flamenco area of ​​the capital, near Rastro and Candela. He is a nephew Diego L Cigalanephew Rafael Farina and the grandson of the guitarist known as Aracely Vargas. Johnny Jimenez represents the fifth generation of guitarists in her home. He started playing at the age of seven, jumped into tablaos at the age of fifteen to accompany the dance and now “I’m going to start recording an album in September. But, out of respect for the maestro, I’m going to do it slowly, without haste.”

Tiblau city

“Come to Madrid,” Ketama sang to their cousin Joselín (who had to live in Alicante) in a song from 1988. El Candela opened in 1982 and the group recorded their first video there. It was the decade of the emergence of the new flamenco. And Madrid is the promised land. Artists from all over Spain, and especially Andalusia, have turned the city into a global epicenter. Not only because of the quality, but also because of the amount of space he’s allocated to it. And for practical purposes, that hasn’t changed much: Madrid remains the city with the largest number of flamenco paintings in the world.

We have located at least fifteen. Las Carboneras, Torres Bermeja, Cardamomo, 1911 (Old Villa Rosa), Tablao de la Villa (Historic Café de Chinitas), Flamenco Cultural Center, Corral de la Moreria, Madrid Flamenco Theater (Alville Theatre), Los Porches, Café Ziriap and Las Tablas, Sala Temple, Flamenco de Leones, La Carmela and Tablao off Latina. All this without counting other spaces that sporadically host performances such as Café Berlín, a regular meeting point for young flamenco.

The error is missing. The birthplace of flamenco, Madrid. candle. There is still no confirmed date for its return, but its new owners have already confirmed that it will soon be used for some private performances. Argentines Alejandro Petachny and Martin Loeb They are “real estate developers of projects that have cultural value. We are not adding value; we are investing in something that has value and has great cultural value. It is a heritage that must be preserved, cared for and promoted”. And although they are open to including new genres and forms, they will always respect the tabla “and the enormous importance of the candela in the history of flamenco”.

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Because the drum is a guarantee of quality. It’s a quarry. confirm it Teo Sanchez, one of the journalists who knows the most about flamenco in Spain. Since 1996 he has been in charge of demon (Radio 3), Spanish Radio’s Flamenco Reference Program: “Madrid was and remains the capital. Among those artists that I mentioned and who appear in the report, many are from abroad. But they come because Madrid is the perfect place to grow. And to succeed. Flamenco in a moment Wonderful and her health is iron. The coexistence between the new and stable generations strengthens her. And this happens in the world of tablao. Because the tablao is the school where flamenco graduates. An artist. They don’t just act, they also learn.”

And the pianist agrees how competitive it is Andres Barrios (Utrera, 1997) With an anecdote: “I’m from the town of Dani Ceballos, Real Madrid player. He was always great, but he was lucky because the kids of his generation were so good. And even though they didn’t go that far, they served in Sparring and all of that made Danny better. This also happens in music. Surrounding yourself with talent forces you to improve yourself, it makes you better.”

Fusion yes or no?

The guys are cool again with flamenco. The merger also bears some responsibility for this. Rosalía, C. Tangana, or La Plazuela trendy. And all of them, albeit tangentially, pass through this genre. Camaron was attacked by the orthodox in 1979 when he published The legend of time and mixed styles. In the long run, the merger proved to be a good gateway to attracting new fans. And this is one of the keys to good health that flamenco is enjoying again.

In the eighties there was a record company (Nuevos Medios) that dared to bet on these fusions, to mix flamenco with pop, jazz or blues. Now, there’s a brand trying to follow that gist: Taste the floor. Artist management agency with names like Quevedo, Natos and War or Ajax and Brook It mainly combines rap or trap music artists.

lead the project Carlos cinnamon (Toledo, 1995). Singer, producer and manager who leads, with Unai Fresnedo, the new flamenco style of Taste the floor. “It all started after the collaboration I did with Ayax y Prok and their producer Blasfem, the main culprit behind all of this. A few months after we met, we started working together on recording José del Curro’s album.”

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Does this merger make sense? distortion? Almudena Palacios He is the manager of Ángeles Toledano. And despite representing pure flamenco vocals, she undoubtedly agrees: “Fusion is another way to get into the genre. I think it’s cool. People who would never be interested in flamenco, but hear something in Rosalía or La Plazuela and say ‘Hey, that’s it.'” Great, “and they began to care. This is the only way to achieve this merger.”

The journalist shares this vision Teo Sanchez, who believes that fusion “does a great job of bringing new audiences closer. Flamenco is pretty much unknown to a large part of the population and it’s essential to attract it. You just have to be very careful not to call it flamenco what it doesn’t not to confuse the audience.” But integration is necessary and has always happened.

the value

It also happens that flamenco seems to be more valued outside our borders than in Spain. illustrated by the guitarist Johnny Jimenez: “Times have changed; before there was more flamenco in society. More joy, more art. It was in the street. Now they don’t let you sing in the street. It’s a pity that we don’t appreciate our heritage.” I’ve been performing in Japan for a month now and I felt like Cristiano Ronaldo. I’m telling you out of humility, but they saw you flamenco and showed you a lot of respect. Here in Spain you put on a show and the four of you come and because you like it. We should value ourselves more.”

Matches the pianist Andres neighborhoodwho recently performed in Germany and will soon head to Brazil and Slovenia: “Abroad, it’s highly valued. People from abroad write to me and tell me that flamenco is their favorite style. In Spain it rarely happens. We have a lot of prejudices here. He thinks it’s something From a very specific part of society that does not happen abroad.

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However, as claimed by Alcantura Angeles Toliano“In the end, you can sing anywhere, but the concert that gets me most excited is the one I’m going to give in my city. With my party, with the people here. Those fans who call you ‘ole’ because there’s a real ‘ole.”

This is one of the challenges that this new generation faces: to get hold of flamenco, which was declared the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2010, to overcome any prejudice or cliché. The purest way or amalgamation. He’s cooking again in Madrid, the place in the world where the best “oles” are made.

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