Flamenco & the Gypsies
Flamenco is the music of Spain. In its art form, it is similar in complexity to Indian or North African music. Flamenco guitar, as an instrument of accompaniment, has evolved into many different styles, like the cante
itself -- some particular to an individual, some particular to a town or province in Andalusia.
I play what has become known as the "Morón" style, a very pure, rhythmical style, the maestro of which was the great Diego Amaya Flores del Gastor.
Aside from the continuing work of Diego's four guitar-playing nephews, including recording artists Paco del Gastor and Diego Torres Amaya, the style has all but been lost in the midst of modern, technically overwhelming, fusion Flamenco -- what has become known as "Nuevo Flamenco".
The new recording and performing group "Son del la Frontera" is an anomaly in this sea of Fusion Confusion; it has just released its second CD featuring a contemporary interpretation of flamenco based on the toque of Morón and the ideas of Diego del Gastor. The group and the music is experiencing enormous popularity and commercial success both in Spain and abroad.
I've played the guitar since I was 16 years old. In 1967 I took a three-month leave of absence from graduate school in New York to live in Spain and study Flamenco.
Three months grew into two years.
I lived in the small town of Morón de la Frontera, seventy-five kilometers southeast of Sevilla, absorbing Diego's musical genius. I still play the music and find that I am now one of a handful of guitarists around the globe who keep the torch of this uniquely powerful, gypsy style of Flamenco burning.
These images were made before I became a "photographer". They are snapshots of some of the people and events of the flamenco world that I experienced during my unforgettable journey.