Famous Gypsies
Flamenco Artists

In this page we present some famous Flamenco artists who are/were Roma. Flamenco is the typical expression of the Spanish Gitanos, therefore, most of the personalities here were born in Spain, except those indicated otherwise. There are many outstanding performers of this genre, and here we do not intend to show a complete list of these artists, but some of the best known representatives at international level, as a complement to the Famous Gypsies webpage.
The order in which they are presented here is according to their artistic profession: Tocaores (Guitarists), Cantaores (Male Singers), Cantaoras (Female Singers), Bailaores (Male Dancers), Bailaoras (Female Dancers). In addition, we also present artists and ensembles that have a Flamenco heritage and inspiration but perform New Genres that are not Flamenco. We include them here because the main purpose of this page regards famous Romany artists rather than exposing about Flamenco culture.

 

Tocaores
Guitarists


Sabicas
Agustín Castellón Campos

(Pamplona, 1912 - New York, 14/4/1990)
 

Sabicas was one of the greatest guitarists ever known, and is credited for having been the first musician who has played Flamenco guitar outside Spain and promoted this genre in the American Continent. He began playing in his childhood and completed his formation in Madrid. He developed his personal style of performing solo guitar, with his particular and unique right-hand technique. The Civil War led him to exile and settled in Buenos Aires, where he met the dancer Carmen Amaya and played for her throughout the continent for about a decade. In 1955 Sabicas moved to New York to perform solo concerts. His influence is acknowledged by subsequent generations and great masters like Paco de Lucía, Tomatito, Serranito, Vicente Amigo and others.

 

Ramón Montoya Salazar
(Madrid, 2/11/1880 - 20/7/1949)
 

Ramón Montoya is credited as the first musician who promoted Flamenco guitar as a solo instrument instead of its traditional role of accompaniment to song and dance. He is also thought to be who introduced the arpegio techniques into Flamenco instrumental music, as well as the creator of the rondeña guitar solo style. He toured Europe and America as concertist, and it is after his contribution that guitar concerts are performed.

 
 

Parrilla de Jerez
Manuel Fernández Molina
(Jerez, 21/9/1945 - Jerez, 6/9/2009)
 

   

He is the son of Manuel Fernández Moreno, “Tío Parrilla”, a patriarch of Flamenco culture, and belongs to a family of famous artists, his sister was the bailaora Ana Parrilla and many of the most notable personalities of Flamenco in Jerez are his relatives. His first official performance was at the age of thirteen in the Feria de Sevilla, and since then he played in tablaos in Andalusia and later throughout Spain. In 1963 he toured with Lola Flores, then he has played with the most renowned Flamenco artists as Rafael Farina, Manolo Caracol, Chocolate, Antonio Mairena, Enrique Morente, la Paquera, la Macanita and others. With some of them he has performed in international stages worldwide, often with his sister Ana. He is also a literary author, having written songs and poems, and also composes all the music that he plays. He has received many awards and honorary titles in performing arts.

 
 

Enrique de Melchor
Enrique Jiménez Ramírez
(Marchena, Sevilla, 15/7/1950 - Madrid, 3/1/2012)
 

He learnt to play from his father, the great guitarist Melchor de Marchena. For many years he specialized in accompaniment and has featured with many of the most famous cantaores. His first recording was done with Antonio Mairena. He accomplished his career becoming a composer and solo concertist, having performed with great international figures of classic repertoire in audiences as the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Carnegie Hall and the UNO.

 

 
 

Tomatito
José Fernández Torres
(Almería, 1958)
 

He is the son and grandson of well-known Flamenco guitarists, but his popularity was accomplished for having accompanied Camaron for two decades. After his friend's death, he has continued his brilliant career and has played for great artists as José Mercé, Montse Cortés, Remedios Amaya, Carmen Linares, Enrique Morente and others. He is a virtuoso of rhythm, a master of compás; he plays with naturality the most demanding styles and his talent is that of the best guitarists. Although he is a genuine Flamenco tocaor, he is also open to new styles and fusion of Flamenco with other genres as Jazz, Argentine Tango and other modern musical expressions.

 
 

Cantaores
Male Singers


Camarón de la Isla
José Monge Cruz

(Isla del León, S.Fernando, Cádiz, 5/1271950 - Badalona, Barcelona, 2/7/1992)
 

   

Camarón is the legend of Flamenco. Considered the greatest cantaor of all times, he was born in a humble and numerous Gypsy family. He was given the nickname “Camarón” (Shrimp) because of his blond hair and thin body. Known as a gifted cantaor since his childhood, he performed in some companies and tablaos in Andalusia, but was recognized as a great singer after several years of giving concerts in Madrid. He represented both the classical tradition of the Cante Jondo and the renewal of Flamenco with a new personal style. He has recorded every kind of palos and has published 19 albums, the first one in 1969, with the instrumental accompaniment of the guitarists Paco de Lucía and Tomatito. His album La Leyenda del Tiempo (1979), in which he introduced a new revolutionary style including electric instruments, has become a true legend. Soy Gitano (1989), recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, is the most sold album in the history of Flamenco. Camarón represented the connection between the old, traditional Cante Jondo and the modern interpretation of Flamenco.

 
 

El Lebrijano
Juan Peña Fernández
(Lebrija, Sevilla, 1941)
 

El Lebrijano is undoubtedly a genius of both innovation and conservation of Flamenco culture, which he presents as a lifestyle and a global conception of unity through his unique interpretation. He has enlarged the range of expression of Flamenco to a world dimension, outstandingly performing different folk styles exquisitely assembled with the most traditional cante. His music is not fusion of genres, but a careful combination of cultures interacting with Flamenco without altering its essence and spirit. He has been the first cantaor that brought Flamenco to the Teatro Real de Madrid (1979) and into the Universities of Andalusia. His album Persecución is a true academic lesson of history of the Gypsy People in Spain, and all his works present an educative profile. His recordings with Manolo Sanlúcar are masterpieces, the result of the association of two great representatives of contemporary Flamenco. In 1997 he was awarded with the Gold Medal to Work by the Ministry of Culture of Spain. See his official website.

   

 
 

Agujetas
Manuel de los Santos Pastor
(Jerez, 17/5/1946 ?)
 

Being an ironsmith by family tradition, he learnt cante jondo from his father, “el Viejo Agujetas“, and in 1970 he became a professional cantaor, recording his first album with Manolo Sanlúcar. His style is authentic jondo even when singing the softer palos, with a marked Jerezan character, in which expression is more important than lyrics. He became popular in the United States, where he lived for many years; then he moved to Paris conquering the French audience. He has won many awards and is acknowledged as one of the great representatives of Flamenco song.

 
 

Porrina de Badajoz
José Salazar Molina
(Badajoz, 1924 - Madrid, 1977)
 

The most famous cantaor of Extremadura, many of the singers of that region belong to his family. Heterodox and elegant, pride of his Gypsy lineage, he had a magnificent voice and a particular way of interpretation. He settled in Madrid, where he became very popular and contributed to the promotion of the typical style of cante of the Gitanos Extremeños. He had a personal style of singing fandangos. There is a monument of him in the centre of the city of Badajoz.

 
 

Manolo Caracol
Manuel Ortega Juárez
(Sevilla, 9/7/1909 - Madrid, 24/2/1973)
 

Manolo Caracol is among the great masters of Flamenco, belonging to a dynasty of artists. His originality was considered heterodox because he used to sing with accompaniment of piano or orchestra, which has not been usual in Flamenco until recent times. The years when he worked with Lola Flores were his most successful ones. After that period, in 1963, he opened his own tablao in Madrid, “Los Canasteros”, where many of the greatest figures of Flamenco have performed.

 
 

El Chocolate
Antonio Núñez Montoya
(Jerez, 4/5/1930 - Sevilla, 20/7/2005)
 

Although born in Jerez, his artistic career began in Sevilla, where he lived since his childhood. He used to sing on the trains at the age of nine, and his talent was noticed in the tablaos where he learnt from other great cantaores. His best performances were fandangos. In Sevilla he joined different companies with which he toured in Europe and America, and more than once, in Japan, where he is popular among Flamenco artists. In the sixties he was often singing in festivals as soloist. El Chocolate has won many of the most important prizes, as the Gold Medal of Andalusia (2003) and a Latin Grammy (2002). He has also participated in the films “Los Tarantos” and “Flamenco”.

 
 

Terremoto de Jerez
Fernando Fernández Monje
(Jerez, 1934 - 1981)
 

A representative of the purest cante jondo generation and related with most of the Flamenco artists of Jerez, he dedicated his life to singing. His art was the expression of the deepest feelings, pure inspiration and passion, without established rules. He realized his first recording in 1958, with which he reached popularity. His best performances were the siguiriyas. He was acknowledged as a genius by the greatest figures of Flamenco and received several prizes. In Jerez there is a street with his name, as well as a monument to him.

 
 

Diego el Cigala
Diego Ramón Jiménez Salazar
(Madrid, 1968)
 

Born into a family of cantaores, his father is José de Córdoba and his mother is Aurora Salazar Motos, the sister of Rafael Farina. His nickname “Cigala” was given to him by the Losada brothers, Flamenco guitarists. At the beginning of his career he was requested as an excellent background singer for bailaores for his mastery in keeping the right compás, but in 1994 he decided to become a cantaor on his own. He performs traditional Flamenco with mastery, but is also open to other musical expressions and has worked with professionals of other genres as well as with the most renowned contemporary Flamenco artists. He is currently touring sucessfully around the world.

 
 

José Mercé
José Soto Soto
(Jerez, 1955)
 

He began his career singing in tablaos since his youth. In the seventies he moved to Madrid, where he recorded his first songs and worked in the company of Antonio Gades for ten years, featuring in the film “Bodas de Sangre”, presented in many theatres in Europe and America. He masters a wide range of styles and, although he has kept himself within mainstream Flamenco, is open to innovations and new interpretation waves.

 
 

Duquende
Juan Rafael Cortés Santiago
(Sabadell, Barcelona, 1965)
 

Discovered by the legendary Camarón when he was a child, Duquende is often considered his successor. He is the first cantaor who has been invited to sing in the Champs Elysées theatre in Paris (1995). Duquende is often associated in performances with celebrities as the guitarists Paco de Lucía and Tomatito and the cantaoras Montse Cortés and La Tana.

 
 

Cantaoras
Female Singers


La Niña de los Peines
Pastora María Pavón Cruz
(Sevilla, 10/2/1890 - 26/11/1969)
 

Pastora Pavón is considered the best female Flamenco singer of all times. She was a professional cantaora since the age of eight, performing for an audience in the Feria de Sevilla. It was in Madrid that she was given the nickname “La Niña de los Peines” (The Girl of the Combs), after having become popular for her interpretation of a tango composed on coplas, poetic verses, mentioning combs. She was a complete singer; having sung all Flamenco styles and interpreting all of them as Cante Jondo, even those palos which are usually not performed as “Deep Song” like bulerías, tangos and fandangos. She excelled in difficult styles as siguiriya, soleá, saeta, and became famous for her peteneras, the cante that Gitanos usually do not sing because it is considered to bring bad luck. She also introduced a new palo: the bambera, an Andalusian folk style that she converted into Flamenco. She has also recorded some softer genres in the fashion of the ópera flamenca, and performed in theatre shows.

   

 

 

La Paquera de Jerez
Francisca Méndez Garrido
(Jerez, 20/5/1934 - 26/4/2004)
 

She is an emblem of cante Flamenco, and the first professional singer in her family. Her song was characterized for the strict respect of compás (musical meter). She recorded her first album in 1953 and since then she was conquering her place among the great voices of Flamenco. She achieved in conveying the best of her expressiveness in the interpretation of bulerías and fandangos, which she sang with a deep Jerezan character. She has performed with many great figures of Flamenco, mainly with the guitarist Parrilla de Jerez, and has won many important prizes.

 
 

Fernanda and Bernarda de Utrera
Fernanda Jiménez Peña
(Utrera, Sevilla, 9/2/1923 - 24/8/2006)
Bernarda Jiménez Peña
(Utrera, Sevilla, 23/3/1926 - 28/10/2009)
 

Fernanda and Bernarda de Utrera began their career in 1957. Since then, both sisters have always participated together in festivals and tours. Fernanda, an outstanding singer, in performing soleás she is considered the best of all times. Bernarda is better known as performer of bulerías. The sisters have worked in tablaos for many years, but have also sung in many important events in Europe, America and Africa, together with many prestigious Flamenco guitarists. In 1986 Fernanda achieved a great success in New York, taking part in the show “Flamenco Puro” with other great figures of this genre. She has won many prizes and awards of the most prestigious ones that are given to Flamenco artists. In 2005 the Town of Utrera has dedicated a monument to the sisters.

 
 
 

Montse Cortés
(Barcelona, 1963)
 

 

She is considered one of the best contemporary Flamenco voices. Born in Barcelona from Andalusian Gypsy family, she began performing in tablaos in her early youth. She has worked in co-operation with several artists and her career is still in the rising stage, recording albums as soloist singer. Her first solo album, “Alabanza”, was released in 2001.

 
 

Estrella Morente
(Las Gabias, Granada, 14/6/1980)
 

 

Estrella de la Aurora Morente Carbonell is the daughter of a cantaor and a bailaora and belongs to a family of Flamenco artists. She was taught to sing by her father, and at the age of eight, she recorded with the guitarist Sabicas. She has been singing in different events and her voice has been appreciated by experts and great artists. She recorded her first album in 2001. She is a pure Flamenco singer and at the same time an excellent performer of new styles.

 
 

Esperanza Fernández
(Sevilla, 1966)
 

Esperanza Fernández Vargas is an outstanding singer of every style of traditional Flamenco, from cante jondo like siguiriyas to softer palos like tangos and bulerías. She performed as main voice in a play at the age of sixteen, and her career has been linked with the representation of “El Amor Brujo”, in which she featured various versions. She has shared the stage with the greatest figures of contemporary Flamenco as well as international artists, in many countries worldwide.

 
 

La Susi
Susana Amador Santiago

(Alicante, 1955)
 

She began her career in Madrid as bailaora at the age of fourteen, and for her beautiful dancing style she soon acquired popularity in the most famous tablaos. Yet, when she was heard singing by Paco de Lucía, at seventeen, she was encouraged to become a cantaora and since then she changed her professional way from dance into song. La Susi worked some years with Camarón and Tomatito, but subsequently she continued on her own, participating in festivals and recording albums as soloist.

 
 

Aurora Vargas
(Sevilla, 1956)
 

She is both cantaora and bailaora, performing either one or the other role separately. She began to dance since her childhood and although she prefers singing, it was not until 1997 that she recorded her first album. She belonged to the company of Antonio Gades, featuring in the opera “Carmen”, and has also participated in the film “Flamenco”. She is a well known artist throughout Europe as well as in American and Japan.

 
 

La Tana
Victoria Santiago Borja

(Sevilla, 1976)
 

La Tana has been singing for the companies of the bailaores Farruquito and Joaquín Cortés, but she was actually introduced into success by the guitarist Paco de Lucía, who included her in his album “Cositas Buenas”, and he is also the producer of her first solo album, “Tú ven a mí”.

 
 

 

Bailaores
Male Dancers


Los Farrucos
 

They are a Gypsy dynasty of Flamenco dancers, founded by Farruco with two of his daughters, Farruquita and Faraona, in 1977. Their performances have been recorded in the film “Bodas de Gloria” (Glorious Weddings) in 1996, featuring the whole family, wich is the most complete motion picture of Flamenco dance, showing a variety of palos with excellent interpretation, as well as the traditional lifestyle of the Gitanos Canasteros. The film was an original idea of the patriarch, Farruco.

 

Farruco
Antonio Montoya Flores
(Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madrid, 1936 - Sevilla, 1997)
 

El Farruco, founder of the dynasty, was a great-nephew of the guitarist Ramón Montoya Salazar. He was known by his independent character and his concern for keeping the Gypsyhood. Respected by his contemporaries and considered the master of Flamenco dance, has performed with outstanding artists and featured in shows and films. In 1986 he established his own dance school and has taught his art to his five daughters.

 

Other bailaores of this family are:
Farruquito, Juan Manuel Fernández Montoya (Sevilla, 1982) , son of the cantaor Juan Fernández Flores, el Moreno, and the bailaora Rosario Montoya Manzano, la Farruca. He is credited as the legitimate successor of his grandfather as the leader of the dynasty.
Farruco, Antonio Fernández Montoya (Sevilla, 1988), his brother, adopted his granfather's stage name.
Barullo, Juan Fernández Montoya (Sevilla, 1990), son of la Faraona and cousin of the two bailaores mentioned above.

 
 

Mario Maya
(Córdoba, 1937)
 

Mario Maya Fajardo was grown-up in the caves of Sacromonte, Granada, being still a child he used to dance for tourists. Then he was financially supported to study his art at a professional level, and moved to Madrid. There he met important artists and began to work with them in tablaos and companies. In 1959 he danced in couple with La Chunga and both toured throughout the American Continent from Argentina to the United States. Later, in couple with the bailaora Carmen Mora he moves to New York, where they were engaged by the Columbia Artists Management. In New York they had a daughter, the bailaora Belén Maya. Back in Spain, he participated in many festivals and won several prizes. In 1976 he interpreted the theatre play “Camelamos Naquerar”, written by the Gypsy poet José Heredia Maya, a show with which he toured in many countries. In 1994 he founded and directed the Andalusian Dance Company.

 
 

El Güito
Eduardo Serrano Iglesias
(Madrid, 1942)
 

One of the great contemporary representatives of jondo dance, has shared the stages with many of the most famous Flamenco dancers and singers. He is considered a master in the interpretaion of the soleá, his best achieved dance. He has won important prizes, as the Sarah Bernhardt award from the Theater of the Nations in Paris, when he was only sixteen years old.

 
 

Joaquín Cortés
Joaquín Pedraja Reyes

(Córdoba, 22/2/1969)
 

Bailaor, classic dancer and choreographer, he began his dance studies in Madrid at the age of twelve. Three years later he is included as a member of the National Ballet of Spain, and later as soloist dancer. He is at present the most famous Spanish dancer, having performed in the most prestigious theatres worldwide. He has founded his own Flamenco dance company.

 
 

Bailaoras
Female Dancers


Carmen Amaya
(Barcelona, 2/11/1913 - 19/11/1963)
 

Carmen Amaya is regarded as the best Flamenco dancer of all times. She began performing her art since her childhood, and being still very young she was successful in Spain and France. The Civil War led her to choose the audiences of the American Continent, and became a myth from Argentina to the United States. Being only 19 years old, she was acclaimed as astar in Buenos Aires, and since then her career was a continuous and successful tour throughout the continent and also in Europe. She was always faithful to her Gypsyhood and travelled with all her family, that composed her Flamenco company, in the typical Gypsy style. She has marked a change in the dancing interpretation of Flamenco. She has also acted in Hollywood and performed for important personalities, even in the White House in Washington.

   

 
 

Tibu la Tormenta
Henriette Yedid-Halevi Lubart
(Poughkeepsie, New York, 1974 - Jerez, Spain, 26/9/2003)
 

She was a Sephardi Gypsy, born in a family of musicians and dancers, although not Flamenco artists. At the age of four she saw Carmen Amaya dance and at five she began taking dance and piano lessons in the United States and Spain. In her youth she danced in the most popular tablaos in Madrid, Barcelona, Andalusia and Canarias. She married the cantaor Agujetas and performed with him for many years throughout Spain, in tablaos, theatres and universities, and in the United States, at Carnegie Hall, Columbia University and many other prestigious theatres and institutions. After her younger son became deaf, she devoted herself to teaching Flamenco art and dance to deaf children and opened academies and schools. In her last years she was working with the guitarist Parrilla de Jerez in festivals and workshops in Europe and America. She was killed in a hit-and-run car accident.

 
 
   

Ana Parrilla
Ana Fernández Molina
(Jerez, died on 11/7/2004)
 

Born in Jerez in a Gypsy family with a long Flamenco tradition and many renowned artists, she was the sister of the guitar players Parrilla de Jerez and Juan Parrilla (see above). Her dance was performed with elegance and refined interpretation style, and was considered one of the great contemporary artists. She has performed in many important festivals in all Europe as well as in Israel, Turkey and the American Continent, and has toured in Asia and Africa. She was still in activity in spite of her health conditions that caused her death.

 
 

La Faraona and la Farruca
Pilar Montoya Manzano
(Sevilla, 1960) and Rosario Montoya Manzano (Sevilla, 1962)
 

These two daughters of Farruco and co-founders with him of the company Los Farrucos have been introduced into the most genuine Flamenco dancing culture since their childhood. Both have shared the stage with the greatest artists of contemporary Flamenco in several plays like Flamenco Puro, Bodas de Gloria, Persecución, Andalucía Flamenca. They participate in the company of Farruquito, who is son of Rosario (Farruca).

 
 

Manuela Carrasco Salazar
(Sevilla, 1958)
 

A self-taught dancer, she is one of the best bailaoras ever seen on stage and her art is an expression of the old roots of Flamenco. Her first performance was at the age of ten and along her career she has worked with the greatest artists of this genre. Her singular style recalls the ancestral traditions of Flamenco dance, reaching her best accomplishment in the show “Jondo Adonai”, an original idea of her husband, the guitarist Joaquín Amador Santiago. She has won many important awards.

 
 

Angelita Vargas
Ángela Vargas Vega
(Sevilla, 1949)
 

Her career began in her childhood; since the age of eight she was performing in festivals allover Spain, known as “La Gitanilla”. She has worked in several plays in Paris and New York, and after having achieved a great success in the Queen Elisabeth Hall of London and the National Concert Hall of Dublín, she toured in Japan with her company. She has performed in prestigious festivals in Europe, presenting the pure Flamenco dancing style.

 
 

Lola Flores
María Flores Ruiz
(Jerez, 21/1/1923 - Madrid, 16/5/1995)
 

 

An heterodox but quite popular dancer, singer and actress, she does not represent the pure Flamenco culture nor the Gypsy lifestyle, but rather the Andalusian folklore. Anyway, she was one of the figures that has contributed with the promotion of Flamenco among the general public. Her success arose when she worked in couple with Manolo Caracol. Later she toured Latin America as solo artist and achieved great popularity. She has also acted in many films and TV productions. There is a monument of her in Jerez. Her daughters Lolita and Rosario Flores are also artists, as well as her son Antonio (14/11/1961-30/5/1995) was a musician, although not within Flamenco genre.

 
 

 

New Genres

Genuine Flamenco artists have a definite professional activity: guitarist, singer or dancer. However, there are new fashions and generations of artists who have learnt from the Flamenco school and promote new genres as Flamenco fusion and other styles, heavily mixed with various ethnic and folk traditions, in which this sharp definition of roles is not relevant. These genres are usually classified as “Flamenco”, although they are not. Nevertheless, we present here also these artists because of their Gypsy ethnicity and their formation within the Flamenco culture, in which they were born and grown-up and from which they departed to follow modern and more commercial styles, still not properly classified.
Within this complex range of styles, we can attempt to distinguish between the “New Flamenco” and Ethnic fusion.
 

New Flamenco

This is the conventional name given to a modern interpretation of Flamenco, which is far away from the traditional cante jondo, but still keeps some characteristics of the softer palos and is commonly defined in Spanish as “flamenco jóven” or “nuevas tendencias”. The new generations of artists are following this trend, although still educated in the traditional school for their professional formation.
 

Remedios Amaya
María Dolores Amaya Vega

(Sevilla, 1/5/1962)
 

Although she began singing traditional Flamenco in her youth, she was promoted by her mentors as a rising star of the so-called “flamenco rock” or “flamenco pop”, modern hybrids which share with Flamenco only the name, and recorded her first albums in this genre, which caused her subsequent withdrawal from the stage. Only many years later she took back her professional career and in 1997 she recorded an album performing in a more traditional Flamenco style, with which she won a Latin Grammy. She continued on this line, and is among the best qualified singers interpreting softer palos like bulerías, tangos and alegrías.

 
 

Ethnic Fusion Styles

While in the “New Flamenco” there are some elements of the original Flamenco, in the fusion these features are hardly perceptible. However, these styles have been created by Gypsy musicians who have learnt their art from Flamenco, from which they departed to conquer other audiences to which the authentic cante may be incomprehensible.
 

Raimundo Amador
Raimundo Amador Fernández

(Sevilla, 26/3/1959)
 

He is one of the best known Spanish musicians at international level, and credited as the actual founder of the so-called Flamenco fusion. He learnt the traditional cante in his youth, but as a professional artist he moved towards a completely different conception, introducing some elements of Flamenco into other genres, particularly the blues, which is the main style that characterizes his fusion. In 1981 he founded “Pata Negra”with his brother Rafael. Subsequently he moved to Japan, until he decided to continue his career as solo artist.

 
 

Ketama
Band composed by José Soto, Ray Heredia, Juan Carmona, then by Juan, José and Antonio Carmona
 

This band has been the leading representative of the so-called Flamenco fusion for two decades. They have mixed some features brought out from Flamenco with other incompatible styles, from Caribbean and Brazilian folk to Jazz, rock and pop. After two of the original members left the group, they were replaced by the brother and cousin of Juan Carmona, a family with a traditional tendency to mix Flamenco with totally unrelated expressions as Indian folk.

 
 

Antonio Carmona
Antonio Carmona Amaya
(Granada, 1965)
 

The former singer of Ketama, now he is working as soloist or in co-operation with other artists. Percussionist and balladist, although he has completely withdrawn from Flamenco, he has learnt his art from this genre. He has also featured in some films.

 
 

Other ethnic fusion styles come from a different extraction, the rumba catalana. This genre is the popular Gypsy folk among the Gitanos Catalanes in Spain and southern France. The rumba is not directly related with Flamenco, but has acquired some influences from it and is is generally mistaken as one of the palos, so that it is also called “rumba flamenca” in order to distinguish it from its Cuban counterpart. A fusion by itself, the rumba has been blended with other modern styles by Gypsy musicians.

Gypsy Kings
Band composed by Nicolas, Canut, Paul, Patchaï and André Reyes, Tonino, Paco and Diego Baliardo
(Arles/Montpellier, France)
 

Undoubtedly the best known Gypsy band worldwide, composed by two groups of brothers: the sons of singer José Reyes and the sons of his guitarist Ricardo Baliardo, known as Manitas de Plata. Originally called “Los Reyes”, then they translated their surname into English, becoming the Gypsy Kings. They have achieved great popularity in the whole world with their music, making covers of any kind of song in a fusion rumba style, and are the French best-selling group in history.

   

 
 

Tekameli
Band composed by Moïse, Salomon, Jérémie and Jérôme Espinas, Julio Bermudes, Jean Soler, Pascal Valles,
Antoine Garcia and Sabrina Romero

(Perpignan, France)
 

A new band of Gypsy artists, they record rumba fusion with a religious emphasis in their lyrics. Some members of the group have left to continue their career separately.

 
 

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