Chano Domínguez: Flamenco Sketches in Phoenix
“Flamenco Sketches” pays homage to Miles Davis through Chano Domínguez’s interpretations of the classic Miles 1959 album, “Kind of Blue.”
For over four decades, the award-winning, Spanish-born pianist, composer, bandleader, and educator Chano Domínguez has synthesized the blues-based, African American improvisations of jazz with the dynamic, duende-flavored, Afro-Gitano-Moorish inventions and dimensions of flamenco into a profound and personal artistic expression that combines the best of those musical worlds.
With over twenty recordings as a leader and his collaborations with a wide variety of stars, including Paquito D’Rivera, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Joe Lovano, Chucho Valdés, Martirio, and Wynton Marsalis, as well as the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Domínguez has extended, elaborated, and redefined the artistic boundaries of jazz and Flamenco, performing his own compositions as well as the music of Harold Arlen, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, and the Spanish classical composer Joaquín Rodrigo.
Born Sebastián Domínguez Lozano on March 26, 1960, in the port city of Cádiz, in Andalusia, southern Spain, the birthplace of Flamenco, Domínguez’s first instrument was the guitar, which he started playing at the age of eight. He listened to his father’s extensive recordings of Flamenco LPs and taught himself the rudiments of the instrument and the genre. He later took up the piano, and his first major gig was playing keyboard with the Spanish rock group Cai (a slang word for a Cádiz native). Attracted to jazz by fusion pioneers like Mahavishnu Orchestra and Weather Report, he was also inspired by the earlier works of Bill Evans, Miles Davis, and Thelonious Monk. But Domínguez has found a singular niche as a pianist in the language of Flamenco, with its constituent forms of tangos, tanguillos, alegrías, compass de bulerías, fandangos and soleas —tackled through the lens of the post-bop tradition.
The keyboardist quickly became a dominant force in European jazz, leading an acclaimed trio and collaborating with artists including Paquito D’Rivera and Wynton Marsalis, with whom he recorded Vitoria Suite alongside guitar genius Paco de Lucía. In tribute to the enduring influence of Miles Davis, Domínguez brings his fresh arrangements of So What, All Blues, and Freddie the Freeloader steeped in the soul-searching Iberian concept of duende, as documented on his 2012 Blue Note release, Flamenco Sketches.