01. At the Crossroads of Flamenco, New Flamenco and Spanish Pop: The Case of Rumba



1. Antonio Chacón, “A qué tanto me consientes”

From: Cátedra del cante. Mivox CDMIV-016-S, 2006, compact disc.


Antonio Chacón: voice; Ramón Montoya: guitar.




A traditional tune, a fandango from Málaga (malagueña), in a 1913 flamenco performance. Note the clear voice of Antonio Chacón, an important flamenco cantaor well known for his singing skills. This kind of voice was an essential component of the first stage of Flamenco development, later slandered by Mairenism, a powerful pro-Gypsy trend, prevailing during 1960s and 1970s.


2. Manuel Vallejo, “María de la O”

From: Copa Pavón y Llave de Oro del Cante. Sonifolk 20174, 2002, compact disc.


Manuel Vallejo: voice; Manolo de Huelva, guitar. Live version.






A live performance of a bulería. This flamenco dance rhythm was decisive in the twentieth century. Manuel Vallejo, one of the most acclaimed and award-winning flamenco singers, performs with a clear voice. He does not sing all the lyrics; he instead splits them to adapt them to the rhythmic cycles of the bulería style.


3. Fernanda de Utrera, “Mi mal no tiene cura”

From: Ritmo en la sangre. Hispavox 7243 8 23679 2 5, 1997, compact disc.


Fernanda de Utrera: voice; Juan Maya “Marote”: guitar.





A soleá, an example of cante gitano (Gypsy Song) with all the features of Mairenism: hoarse voice, twelve-beat rhythmic cycle, traditional gypsy tunes. The cantaora Fernanda de Utrera was well known in the 1970s for the way she sang this rhythm called soleá.


4. Camarón, “Y mira que mira y mira”, tangos

From: Castillo de arena. Philips 63 28 225, 1977, 33 rpm.


Camarón: voice; Paco de Lucía & Ramón de Algeciras: guitar.





Camarón recorded these tangos two years before the hit La leyenda del tiempo (The Legend Of The Time). In these tangos, the rhythmic accentuation matches with rumba’s, and both styles fit with habanera’s pattern. In this performance melody and harmony are more complex than in Mairenist tangos, but the rhythm cycles are played in an relaxed way. In rumba rhythm patterns are more flexible and allow another kind of poetic composition, closer to a song than to a brief tune.


5. Camarón, “Volando voy”

From: La leyenda del tiempo. Philips 63 28 255, 1979, 33 rpm.


Camarón: voice; Tomatito & Raimundo Amador: guitar; Manolo Rosa: electric bass; Tacita, José Antonio Galicia, Rubem Dantas, Pepe Ébano: percussion; Pepe Roca: electric guitar; Jorge Pardo: flute.





Camarón’s La leyenda del tiempo was a big surprise for his fans, regular listeners of traditional flamenco. The album is a path to innovative ways to play flamenco, followed by many young flamenco performers: it was one of the first times that instruments and musicians from rock and jazz scenes came into flamenco.


6a. Miguel Poveda, “De buen aire”

From: Suena flamenco. Harmonia Mundi HMI 987019, 1998, compact disc.


Miguel Poveda: voice; Moraíto Chico, Chicharito, Rafa Romero: handclaps.





6b. Miguel Poveda, “De buen aire”


Miguel Poveda: voice; Moraíto Chico & Curro Carrasco: guitar; Luis de Periquín, Maloco, Juan Grande: percussion, handclaps. Live version.


Examples 6 and 7 display the differences between two performances of the same flamenco style, bulería. In this one Poveda sings a flamenco traditional tune, while in the next example he sings a thoroughly composed song.


7a. Miguel Poveda, “Alfileres de colores”, bulerías

From: Tierra de calma. Discmedi DM4235-02, 2006, compact disc.


Diego Carrasco & Miguel Poveda: voice; Moraíto Chico & Juan Carlos Romero: guitar; Antonio Coronel & Paquito González: percussion; Bo Soto, Luis Cantarote, Carlos Grilo: handclaps.





7b. Miguel Poveda, “Alfileres de colores”, bulerías


Miguel Poveda & Maloco: voice; Moraíto Chico & Curro Carrasco: guitar; Luis de Periquín, Maloco, Juan Grande: percussion, handclaps.


This example shows as a new composition replaces the traditional tunes in the repertoire of bulerías. Rhythmic cycles remain clear and still danceable — like in example 2, where Vallejo adopts a new song from another repertoire in order to play it in bulería style. Compare this live version with that of example 6a, both from the same television show.