Paco y Yo


The Maestro gave me permission to publish my own version of this flamenco standard; it’s currently in production, and it will be called “Entre Dos Mundos”, (the photos are from the Guitar Art Festival, February 2010, the concert after-party). This song more than any other popularized flamenco, so let’s remember once more how it all started…
Paco y YoPaco y Yo2Paco De Lucia Nicolas Maya Antonio
El Maestro me ha dado el permiso de publicar mi propia version de este flamenco estandard; esta en produccion de momento, y se llamara “Entre Dos Mundos”, (las fotos son del Guitar Art Festival, Febrero 2010, de la fiesta despues del concierto). Esta cancion mas que ninguna ha popularizado el flamenco, recordemos una vez mas como ha empiezado todo…


The pianist that brought so much to the art of flamenco, playing on the piano many guitar phrases… David inevitably brings many great artists around, and during the last decade some of the concerts in Spain, with some of the best contemporary flamenco artists, were really impressive…
El pianista que ha contribuido tanto al arte de flamenco, tocando en el piano muchas frases guitarristas… David inevitablemente atrae muchos artistas grandes a su alrededor, y durante la ultima decada algunos conciertos en España, con algunos de los mejores artistas contemporaneos, fueron realmente impresionante…


I had a chance to meet probably the best guitarist of today, Vicente Amigo, in Cordoba, in 1996, at a mutual friend’s home, Igor. Than he was just a talented young man, who was just noted by some great artists at the beginning of his career. Today, after 20 years of work, with his talent and aspirations, he became one of the greatest musicians on the planet. Respecting the given tempo of his creative being, publishing and composing just as the inspiration comes, almost all his albums turned up to be pure masterpieces. He is very careful about what to put on a CD, and knows how to unify and finalize all the material recorded into a good product. Being very well aware of the importance of the quality of the audio production from the beginning of his career, Vicente gave us so much good music, that we can just thank the Lord for having him. This buleria is orchestrated by Leo Brower, the conductor of Cordoba Symphonic Orchestra, and one of the most prominent composers for classical guitar today…
Tuve la poprtunidad de conocer probablemente el mejor guitarrista de hoy, Vicente Amigo, en Cordoba, en el 1996, en casa del amigo mutual, Igor. Entonces fue solo un joven con talento, quien solo fue notado por unos artistas grandes contemporaneos en el comienzo de su carrera. Hoy, despues de 20 años del trabajo, con su talento e aspiraciones, se convertio en uno de los musicos mas grande del planeta. Respetando el tiempo dado de su ser creativo, publicando y componiendo solo cuando la inspiration venia, casi todos sus discos salieron puras obras del arte. Tiene mucho cuidado a lo que poner en el disco, y sabe como unificar todo el material grabado en un producto bueno. Siendo muy consciente de la importancia de la calidad de la audio produccion desde el principio de su carrera, Vicente nos ha dado tanta musica buena, que solamente podemos darle gracias al Señor por tenerle. Esta buleria fue orquestada por Leo Brower, el director de la Orquesta Simfonica De Cordoba, y uno de los compositores para la guitarra clasica mas destacados de hoy…


On a Gypsy party, the energy flowing around is just beyond description. I remember having some of the most beautiful moments of my life on a party like this, during Semana Santa in Malaga, Andaluzia. Just spontaneously on the street, and expressing happiness just because you are alive. The dancing, the singing, the energy around Ketama band is always unbelievable, and the Spanish Gypsy party is totally a unique thing, and a “must live” experience…
En una fiesta Gitana, la energia flotando en alrededor esta fuera de descripcion. Me acuerdo teniendo algunos de los mas bellos momentos de mi vida en una fiesta como esta durante la Semana Santa en Malaga, Andaluzia. Espontaneamente en la calle, y expresando la felicidad por ser vivo. El baile, el cante, la energia que alrededora la banda Ketama es siempre increible, y la fiesta Gitana Española es una cosa totalmente unica, y una “deber de vivir” experiencia…


I graduated on Conservatorio De Liceo De Barcelona with this concert, from the second attempt. First I tried to present it in March 2000 and failed. I played terrible, so they did the only thing possible. Then I tried again in June, got a 6.2, and I said “great”…! It was so difficult, that I never thought of repeating this exam, to perhaps get a higher note. I should also mention that I had the best tutoring that can exist – composer Joaquin was a good friend with a famous Spanish guitarist Graciano Tarrago during the 50’s, who was my professor Jaume Torrent’s teacher. I heard stuff “directly” from Rodrigo, that were “third hand” information in fact, Rodrigo to Tarrago, Tarrago to Jaume, and Jaume to me. Rodrigo was blind, of course, but he wrote this piece like he was mad. First, his orchestration is just terrible. You can’t hear the guitar properly, because the arrangement is completely crowded in some places. Then the guitar part itself, it’s so “un-guitaristic”, and the left hand fingering is just plain – impossible. Don’t get me wrong, I love this concert, but these notes can not be played properly the way they are written. The challenge here was to make it sound playable and easy, despite of the completely impossible arrangement. This masterpiece was best played by Paco De Lucia, definitely. That’s because the first and the third movement are in “tempus perfectum”, and three-quarters rhythm, like any buleria flamenca…
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Tomatito (a small tomato) is a Gypsy guitarist, a Paco’s colleague and a pupil at the same time. Being just like Paco, “el monstruo” (the monster) on the guitar, during the 90’s they took the flamenco guitar playing to new levels. Trying to “outplay” one another, writing crazy arrangements for two guitars, they raised the bar so high, that now an average flamenco guitarist has to practice for 20 years, at least. This is one of the old Gypsy style bulerias from Tomatito, it’s a killer…:
Tomatito es el guitarrista Gitano, el colega y el alumno de Paco a la vez. Siendo igual como Paco, “el monstruo” de la guitarra, durante los ’90 han llevado el toque flamenco a nuevos niveles. Intentando a sobrepasar uno al otro, escribiendo arreglos locos para dos guitarras, han subido la barra tan alto, que ahora un guitarrista mediano de flamenco tiene que practicar 20 años, como minimo. Esto es una de las bulerias viejas estilo gitano de Tomatito, que mata…:


After the concert on Guitar Art Festival, where I played as an opening act for Paco De Lucia Band, Maestro Paco went to bed around 09:00, and we stayed until 14:00 in his hotel room, playing and playing and also fixing nails… Josele’s nails were completely destroyed from the continuous touring, and Paco sent me to bring the lamp and UV gel. The experience exchanged with one of the best guitarists on the planet has no price, Josele, thank you once more…
Despues del concierto en el Guitar Art Festival, donde he tocado como la banda talonera para la banda de Paco De Lucia, el Maestro Paco se ha ido a acostar a las 09:00, y nosotros nos quedamos hasta las 14:00 en su habitacion del hotel, tocando y tocando, y arreglando las uñas… Josele tuvo las uñas completamente destrozadas de giras continuas, y Paco me mando para traer la lampara y el UV gel. La experiencia intercambiada con uno de los mejores guitarrisrtas en el planeta no tiene precio, Josele, gracias una vez mas…
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The continuous evolution of flamenco throughout the second half of the 20th century, was probably most felt with this album and this tangos, produced in 1981. With Carles Benavent on fretless bass, and Jorge Pardo on flute, (maestro’s brother Pepe, Ramon and Rubem also) Paco established a whole new standard in flamenco music production. The nomadic philosophy of the “Solo Quiero Caminar”, (I Just Wanna Walk), inevitably reminds on “Always On The Run” in Rock’N’Roll… (this is in fact a wrong album cover, the photo is actually from “El Duende Flamenco” album, from 1972)
La evolucion continua del flamenco durante la segunda mitad fel siglo 20, se ha sentido mas con este album y este tangos, producido en 1981. Con Carles Benavent con el bajo fretless, y Jorge Pardo con la flauta, (el hermano del maestro Pepe, Ramon y Rubem tambien) Paco establecio un nuevo estandard en la produccion musical del flamenco. La filosofia nomadica de “Solo Quiero Caminar”, inevitablemente recuerda a “Always On The Run” (Siempre En La Marcha) del “Rock’N’Roll”… (esto es el diseño erroneo, la foto es del “El Duende Flamenco” album, del 1972)
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Unbelievable, but the best guitarist for Spanish classics is an Englishman. Such precision and massive tone, just like the Ramirez guitar he plays. The majority of famous guitar pieces are in fact, transcriptions from piano score. John Williams is so great at it, that it sounds like the music was written for the guitar in the first place…
Increible, pero el mejor guitarrista para las obras Españolas clasicas es un Ingles. Esa precision y el tono masivo, igual como la guitarra que toca. La majoria de las piezas famosas para la guitarra son en realidad, transcriptiones de las partituras para el piano. John Williams se tan bueno en ello, que suena como si la musica fuera escrita para la guitarra desde el principio…


This is one old style buleria from Paco De Lucia, from the beginning of the seventies. Many of the falsetas played here appeared for the first time, creating the flamenco guitar legacy we have today. The atmosphere is so typical, all gathered around the table, holding “el compas” by knocking. But what’s really astonishing is Paco’s playing, it’s so elaborated, unbelievable that he reached these levels in those conditions. The economic situation then was terrible, poverty and hunger all over. With all foreign influences band, the flamenco culture turned inwards, leaning on it’s own harmony from the beginning of the century. Paco managed to fully exploit Spanish impressionist’s and romanticist’s legacy in modern day flamenco. He composed flamenco “falsetas” (phrases) for “palos” (styles), basing on music of Lobos, Falla, Granados, Albeniz, and other composers from the first half of the twentieth century, that first defined Iberian national heritage…
Esto es una de las bulerias antiguas de Paco De Lucia, de los principios de los setenta. Muchas de las falsetas tocadas aparecieron por primera vez, creando la herrencia de la guitarra flamenca que tenemos hoy. La atmosfera es muy tipica, todos juntados sobre la mesa, manteniendo el compas con los puños. Pero lo que realmente es impresionante es el toque de Paco, es tan elaborado, increible que llego a estos niveles en estas condiciones. La situacion economica entonces fue terrible, la pobreza y el hambre por todos los lados. Con toda la influencia extranjera prohibida, la cultura flamenca giro hacia si misma, apoyando a su propia armonia del principio del siglo. Paco consegio a exploatar completamente la herrencia de los impresionistas y los romanticistas en el flamenco moderno. Compuso falsetas para los palos, basadas en la musica de Lobos, Falla, Granados, Albeniz, e otros compositores de la primera mitad del siglo veinte, que primeros definieron la herrencia nacional Iberica…