Flamenco Dance & Music
Dancers & Musicians
This was the name given to Jose Valle Fajardo by his Grandfather. Since then, the name Chusco has come to describe a guitarist of consummate skill and a profound understanding of the Flamenco traditions.
A native of Antequera, Spain, Chuscales grew up in a traditional gypsy family well known for its professional musicians and dancers. His grandmother was among those who lived in the caves of Sacromonte, one of the legendary cradles of flamenco. Chuscales recalls, "there were shows, with Gypsies from Granada who grew up in families that lived there. I wish you could see it, the families in the caves and the singing and dancing. There might be seven, eight, maybe nine caves, all with singing and dancing, and there would be more singing and dancing on the streets every day. It was unbelievable. It was very formative time in all my life. It was like a dream. This is where I learned everything — the rhythm, the beat, the guitar. I am still learning from those thousands of nights performing with my family, with my father, my grandfather, and my friends.
Chusco began guitar lessons at age six under the instruction of his uncle Joaquín Fajardo as well as Maestro Agustinillo, two prominent masters in the region where such greats as Segovia have studied. As a teenager, Chuscales found himself frequently in the company of Paco de Lucía, who often performed in the area and would take time to play with the talented youngster and to answer his questions. Meanwhile, he began his performing career as a dancer — an experience that provides him with a detailed understanding of flamenco's rhythmic nuances. Chusco elaborates as the accompanying guitarist, "I can understand and follow dancers. I can see where they are going before they take their next step. I know what the dancer is looking for, how much tension is in the music, the right rhythm, when to play strong or soft so if a dancer asks me for something, I know what they ask." Chuscales' affinity for dance is delightfully apparent in his artistry, blending music and movement as he does is no accident. "It's something we learn through life," he says. "A lot of people don't have my luck to grow up in the caves, learning flamenco in a Gypcy family where the music comes from tradition to tradition, from legend to legend. I thank God I have been around such great musicians all my life.
Whether versed in flamenco traditions or not, audiences find Chuscales' music at once touching and exotic, his presence is engaging and his skill as a guitarist, simply astounding. A Chuscales concert is an experience that audiences take with them.
He played the guitar for prince and princes of Spain at Santa Fe in 2009. He appeared in films "Camelamos Nauerar" (1976), "Gypsy Heart" (1998), "Flamenco Passion & Soul" (1999), "Viaje Al Duende" (2009),"The Spanish Table" (2010) and "El Payo" (2010). www.chuscales.com
Mina Fajardo (Dancer/Choreographer/Teacher)
Mina Valle Fajardo, "Mina" has received extensive training in flamenco, Escuela bolero, jazz, Tap and ballet. Mina has received flamenco training in Spain from El Guito, Carmera Greco, Ciro, La Tati, La China, Alejandro Granados, Yolanda Heredia, Eva La Yerbabuena, Andres Marin, Joaquin Ruiz and Keiko Issiki.
She has taught in the Maria Benitez Institute for Spanish Arts, Eva Encinias Sandoval’s National Institute of Flamenco and for the Spanish Institute of Dance in Houston, Texas, and Fazil Dance Studio in New York City.
Fajardo has performed in Japan, New York City, San Francisco, Boston, Denver, Houston, Maryland and Albuquerque and has made several appearances on television in Manhattan, New Mexico and Japan. In Santa Fe, She has performed at the Santa Fe Opera and in the Santa Fe Jazz and International Music Festival at the Lensic Theatre.
She has performed with many artists including Elena Andujar, El Pripi, La Tibu, Carmen Rasarao, Chuscales, YiYi, Silverio Heredia, Tequila de Jerez, Omayra Amaya, Juan Siddi and Keiko Isshiki.
She performed in many productions including "My Gypsy Soul"(2012),"Chuscales at Old Main, Boulder"(2011), "Chuscales y Mina Fajardo con Las Tres Mujeres" (2010), "Chuscales Live at MIT" (Boston, 2009), Telluride Jazz Festival (2008), "
Soul del Arte Tradiciones e Innovaciones"(San Francisco, 2005), "
Ainadamar, Landscapes and Impression" Santa Fe Opera (2005), "
A Night of Flamenco Magic” Lakewood Cultural Center (Denver, CO, 2005), "Santa Fe Jazz and International Music Festival" (2004 & 2001),
The John E. Morlow Guitar Series “ Flamenco Night” (Chevy Chase, MD, 2004),
SJC Multicultural Arts Series “Flamenco” (San Juan Capistrano, CA, 2003).
She appeared in films "Flamenco Passion & Soul" (1999), "El Payo" (2010).
She currently performs with Chuscales & Francisco Orozco "YiYi" at Local Tablao Flamenco in Santa Fe.
Juan Siddi (Dancer/Choreographer/Teacher)
Juan Siddi Aivar is at the helm, creating and maintaining a strong presence for flamenco in the United States. Recently received the 2011 Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, Santa Fe, NM, where he has his Flamenco Theatre Company based and teaches/choreographes flamenco dance.
Siddi was born in Frankfurt, Germany of immigrant parents. His mother, whose family originated in Granada, was from Barcelona, Spain. She immigrated to Germany where she met Juan,s father from Italy. Flamenco music was part of daily life in their home, and through their ties with a “peña”, (a group dedicated to Spanish culture), Juan was immersed in the flamenco culture and began dancing and performing when he was very young. His most influential teachers have been Rebeca Carmona in Germany and la Tani in Barcelona, Spain. Starting at the age of 15 in Tablaos Flamencos, including Al Andalus Frankfurt, Germany.
Beginning his career as a young, powerful and passionate flamenco dancer in professional dance companies and productions at the age of 18, Juan danced and co-choreographed with Compañia Flamenca Alhama and Noches de Amor productions on international tours for seven years, including: Metropol Theater, Vienna; Tranenpalast, Berlin; Moods, Zurich; on Austrian television programs ORF; Arosa Cruises through the Mediterranean and North Africa, and was featured in flamenco festivals, including the Bienal de Flamenco, Sevilla. In 2000, Juan performed with Compañia Flamenca Alhama as the principal male dancer at a birthday gala for Herzogin von Wurttenburg and His Majesty Juan Carlos King of Spain. Here, he and the company were recognized for their representation of Spanish culture in Europe. That year Juan became the principal male dancer for Rafael Cortés and performed with his group for five years in concerts throughout Europe, including Flamenco Festivals in Hamburg, Germany; Krakow, Poland and Deutsche Oper, Duisburg, Germany.
From 2001 until 2005, Juan had the honor to work with renowned Kathak dancers and musicians from India with The Music Ensemble of Benares, in the project “Kathak Meets Flamenco.” This project explores the common roots of both cultures. The group made tours throughout Europe at the Diwali Festival, Mainz, Germany; Willhelma Theater, Stuttgart, Germany; Festival Musicale del Mediterraneo, Genoa, Italy; Carnival Venice 2004, San Marco Plaza, Italy, and other regarded venues.
From 2002 until 2005, Juan has been invited to the to perform and teach for the company of Maria Benitez Teatro Flamenco in the United States. Tours throughout the U.S. have included: Ordway Center, St. Paul, MN; Helm Fine Art Center, Austin, TX; McFarlin Auditorium, Dallas, TX; Fox Theater, Atlanta, GA; and Joyce Theater, New York City, NY. In 2006 and 2007, he became principal male dancer/ choreographer for Teatro Flamenco’s production Maria Benitez: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow, under the direction of Merrill Brockway (director of PBS’ Dance in America). He has performed as a guest artist with La Tania Flamenco Music and Dance Company with tours throughout California at the Brava Theater and Cowell Theater, San Francisco; Kuumbwa Jazz Theater, Santa Cruz; Montgomery Theater, San Jose and at the Flamenco Festival, Lobero Theater, Santa Barbara. Juan was invited as a guest artist and choreographer to perform for Theatre Flamenco San Francisco at the Cowell Theatre, San Francisco, CA; Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, Mountain View, CA and Bret Harte Theatre, Angels Camp, CA.
Juan founded his flamenco theatre company in September 2007. Now in is 6th year as the Artistic Director and Choreographer of the production Pasión Flamenca, this production toured throughout Colorado, New Mexico, and appeared on American television. The company also traveled and performed in Germany. Since then, he has incorporated the Juan Siddi Flamenco Theatre Company and in February and March 2008, traveled to the Middle East to be featured with his Company in the 7th Annual Doha Cultural Festival at Royal Daphna Hall, Doha, Qatar and on the Arabian Television Network Al-Jazeera. The Company recently had their 2008 summer season in Santa Fe, NM.
Juan has taught flamenco dance and has given workshops throughout Germany, Casa Andalucia in Calpe, Spain and the U.S., including at the Santa Fe Community College Dance Program. Juan is currently living in Santa Fe, New Mexico where he is teaching and choreographing flamenco dance at Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Studios. www.juansiddiflamenco.com
Alejandro Valle (Cajon Player and Actor)Alejandro Valle is a son of Chuscales and Mina Fajardo. He played the cajon for Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Spain at the Palace of the Governors, Santa Fe, NM in 2009. He acted for "Seal Team Six".(TV, 2012). He
"the celebration of city’s 400the anniversary at Fort Marcy, Santa Fe, NM" (2009), "Juan Siddi Theatre Flamenco" (2010, 2009).
played in many productions including "My Gypsy Soul at El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe"(2012), "Maria Benitez, Next Generation"(2011, 2010, 2009)
Isamel Valle (Dancer, Guitarist and Actor)
Valle is a son of Chuscales and Mina Fajardo. He just started to learn playing the guitar with Ricardo Anglada at Tierra Adentro Charter School in Albuquerque, NM. He acted for "Seal Team Six" (TV, 2012). He performed in some productions including "My Gypsy Soul" (El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe, NM, 2012), "Recital Navideño"(Rodey Theater, UNM, Albuquerque, NM, 2012. He currently learning Flamenco dance and Guitar at Tierra Adentro Charter school. He practices the guitar with his Father "Chuscales" every day.
YiYi (Singer & Cajon) YouTube
Francisco Javier Orozco, Yiyi, born in Barcelona of an Andalusian family, was introduced to Flamenco rhythms at the age of four. Yiyi was trained by his father; flamenco singer “Joselón de Jerez” in his Spanish peña named “Peña Fosforito.” Considered a “child prodigy” of percussion Yiyi began his professional career at the young age of twelve. By seventeen years of age he recorded his first CD and became more involved with singing, particularly for dancers, and left Spain for Germany on a long-term contract with the company “Flamenco Rubio”. Since then he has performed with top dance companies such as “Compañia Flamenca Alhama” throughout Europe and Japan and with internationally known María Benitez’s “Teatro Flamenco” on Broadway and throughout the U.S. He has performed with great artists such as Domingo Ortega, Jose Greco II, Alejandro Granados, Yolanda Heredia, El Toleo, El Pelao, María Serrano, La Tania, Antonio Granjero, and world-renowned guitarist Serranito, Chuscales. Critics worldwide have quoted Yiyi’s performance as “fiery,” “riveting,” and his percussion techniques executed with “machine-gun speed that possesses and casts a spell.”
Vicente Griego (Singer)
Vicente “El Cartucho” Griego from Dixon/Embudo, New Mexico has devoted his life to the study of cante flamenco, the art of flamenco singing. In 1992, Vicente began touring the US, Canada and Latin America, with the Jose Greco II Flamenco Dance Company, where he was mentored by Caño Roto singer, Alfonso “Veneno” of Madrid, Spain, and remains a pupil of acclaimed guitarist, Chuscales. Vicente Griego has performed with Encinas' Yjastros National Flamenco Company for the last six years and continues to tour the US.
a native of Northern New Mexico, began playing guitar at age 12. In 2003 Anglada won 1st place in the Festival Flamenco Internacional Concurso. Under the studies of first his father, Ricardo later studied with Jose "Chuscales" Valle and other flamenco artists such as Pedro Cortes, Santiago Aguilar, Anton Jimenez, Pedro Sierra and other local flamenco artists. He works with the flamenco program at the University of New Mexico and at the National Institute of Flamenco under the direction of Eva Encinias-Sandoval. Ricardo is currently the guitarist for the American Flamenco Repertory Company, “Yjastros” under the direction of Joaquin Encinias. Ricardo has worked with many flamenco artisits and groups throughout his career and works closely alongside his cousin Vicente Griego, flamenco singer. Ricardo has become one of the most sought after guitarists in the southwest. With his passion for flamenco song, dance, and music, Ricardo is a powerful performer and promises to be one of America's top flamenco artists yet to come. Ricardo says that without God none of his achievements would be possible.
Jaime Martinez (Guitarist)
Director/Accompanist of Taos' Encuentro Flamenco would be self-defined as a trumpet player that plays the guitar. Jaime is a graduate of the University of New Mexico where he was a student of Pedro Cuadra of Ubeda for 4 years. He has accompanied dancers such as Mina Fajardo, Antonio Vargas, Pablo Rodarte, Teo Morca, Omayra Amaya and Maria Benitez' Next Generation.
Mina Fajardo, Janira Cordova, La Charo and Emmy Grimm
Review : Flamenco Buzz
by Mari Katsigianis
presented by Flamenco @ MIT
Introduced by spokesperson : Miriam Makhlouf of Flamenco @ MIT
Act I (45 min.)
Granaina : Chuscales, YiYi, Vicente
Tona : Chuscales, Vicente
Seguiriya : Chuscales, YiYi, Vicente, Mina (Dance), Juan (Dance)
Malagueña : Chuscales, Vicente
Tarantos : Mina (Dance), Chuscales, YiYi, Vicente, Juan (palmas)
Act II (45 min.)
Tientos/Tangos : Juan (Dance), Chuscales, YiYI, Vicente, Mina (palamas)
Solo de Guitarra : Chuscales, YiYI
Alegrias : Mina (Dance), Chuscales, YiYi,Vicente, Juan (palmas)
Solo de Cante : YiYi, Chuscales
Solea por Bulerias : Juan (Dance), Chuscales, YiYi, Vicente, Mina (palmas)
...................Chuscales performed his Solo de Guitarra with the skill of a man born to flamenco (his family, prominent in flamenco from the caves of Sacromonte). The musical legacy continues, with his son, Luis Miguel Manzano, (who recently appeared with Guadalupe Torres presented by Suffolk University and Fundación Conservatorio Casa Patas here in Boston last November - see review below. Over twelve years ago, a somewhat younger Chuscales played with Omayra Amaya here in Boston at the Park Plaza in Omayra y Flamenco. He currently lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico plays in many companies (think, "Noche Flamenca").
Review : EL Mundo Boston Flamenco: Chuscales Triunfa en MIT
Friday, 27 March 2009
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