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). He recieved the Dora More Awards for outstanding sound design and composition in 2007, 2009 and 2010, and an Isadora Duncan Award for composition arrangement and direction in 1997 and 2011. www.chuscales.com
Mina Fajardo (Dancer/Choreographer/Teacher)
Mina Fajardo - Artistic Director, Choreographer, Playwright and Dancer
Mina Valle Fajardo, "Mina" has received extensive training in flamenco,
Escuela bolera, jazz, Tap and ballet. Mina has received flamenco training
from El Guito, Carmera Greco, Ciro, La Tati, La China, Alejandro Granados,
Yolanda Heredia, Isabel Bayon, Rafaela Carrasco, Pastora Galvan, Jose
Maya, Ursula Lopez, Adela Campallo, Rafael Campallo, Concha Vargas, Eva La
Yerbabuena, Farruquito, La Lupi, Andres Marin, Joaquin Ruiz and Keiko
She has taught in the Maria Benitez Institute for Spanish Arts, Northern
New Mexico University, Santa Fe Community College, Eva Encinias
Sandoval’s National Institute of Flamenco, Nava Elementary School,
Sweeney Elementary School, The New Mexico Academy of International School,
Santa Fe High School, Santa Fe Danceworks, Moving Arts Española, Maria
Vazquez Flamenco Denver, The Spanish Institute of Dance in Houston, Texas,
and Fazil Dance Studio & Japanese Chamber of Commerce 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, Japan & Spain. 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, Chuscales, YiYi, Silverio Heredia, Tequila de Jerez, Omayra Amaya,
Jose Cortes, Manuel Gutierrez, Kina Mendez, Juan Siddi and Keiko Isshiki.
She choreographed and performed in many productions including “Flamenco Fiesta - Una Nota de Lorca” (Santa Fe, 2016),
“Gypsy Book” (Santa Fe, 2015) "Flamenco Masters" (Denver, CO 2015),
"Houston Spanish & Flamenco Festival 2015" (Houston, TX 2015), “Flamenco X3” (2015), "Gypsy Passion"(2014),
"Flamenco Fiesta!" (2015, 2014 & 2013), "Forever in My Heart" (Santa Fe, 2013 ),
"My Gypsy Soul" (Santa Fe, 2012), "Chuscales at Old Main, Boulder" (CO,
2011), "Chuscales y Mina Fajardo con Las Tres Mujeres" (Las Vegas. NM,
2010), "Chuscales Live at MIT" (Boston, 2009), Telluride Jazz Festival
(Telluride, 2008), "Chuscales at Tubac" (Tubac, AZ, 2007), "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),
"Españoles en el mundo - Nuevo Mexico" (2013).
She currently teaches flamenco dance classes at Santa Fe Community
College, Northern New Mexico College, Santa Fe Danceworks & Moving Arts
Española and performs with Chuscales, Juan Siddi & Kina Mendez at Local
Tablao & Theater in Santa Fe, NM.
Alejandro Valle (Percussionist and Actor)
was born in New York City into a musical family, the son of guitarist Chuscales and flamenco dancer Mina Fajardo. He moved to Santa Fe, NM, while still a young child and learned to play the cajon at the feet of his parents; he began performing with his parents at age eight. He played the cajon for Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Spain during the Santa Fe 400th Anniversary celebrations. 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), "Aspen Santa Fe Ballet /Juan Siddi Flamenco Santa Fe" (2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009). Valle attends Santa Fe Community College.
played in many productions including "Una Nota de Lorca" (2016), "Flamenco Masters" (2015), "Flamenco x3" (2015), "Gypsy Book" (2015), "Gypsy Passion" (2014), "Forever in my Heart" (2013), "My Gypsy Soul at El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe"(2012), "Maria Benitez, Next Generation"(2011, 2010, 2009)
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.”
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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