I often hear that the flamenco guitar is at its peak. Maybe it is like that in certain respects, but not in others I guess.
A few days ago I was fortunate to attend to a conference by the master Manolo Sanlúcar on the occasion of the Flamenco Festival in Huelva. Today I am not going to talk about a conference that was great. I am going to speak about one of the best generations of guitarists, formed by Vicente Amigo, Juan Carlos Romero, Niño de Pura, José Antonio Rodríguez, etc.
All these guitarists share the same master, Manolo Sanlucar, but they are all different. If I hear them on the radio and no-one tells me who is playing, I instantly identify them when I hear their first notes. They play with character, with their own identity.
It is strinking to see that although they all have had the same master they do not resemble him or one another. All of them have a clearly differentiated and distinctive identity.
I do not see this in today’s guitarists. Maybe it is because of my hearing ability or the fact that I have not heard them so much. One thing is certain, they lack character.
They worry about technique and they aim to be different from the rest and that makes them stray from what really makes you different, that is to be yourself.
In my view my generation has lost its way and it needs a leader that motivates them again in search of their identity.
In my view, there are two very important components in flamenco: character and identity, but the latter is vanishing too. Anyway we will talk about it next week.