Esperanza Fernández & José Valencia at the 2015 Festival Flamenco Gitano
This concert features two extraordinary singers who represent deep family legacies, rooted in Gypsy flamenco singing traditions.
Esperanza Fernández is one of Spain’s leading Gyspy flamenco voices. Born in Triana into a family of Gypsy musicians, she is the daughter of singer Curro Fernández and sister of guitarist Paco Fernández. Deeply rooted in the singing traditions of Lebrija and Triana, she is noted for her unmistakably flamenco voice.
After her debut at age 16 as the lead singer in Mario Maya’s production Amargo, she went on to record with Camaron de la Isla and later appeared with Enrique Morente in A Oscuras. She has since collaborated with many of flamenco’s greats such as Dorantes, Riqueni and the late Paco de Lucía. She has starred in numerous enditions of El Amor Brujo with symphony orchestras throughout the world and has lent her rich, soulful voice to many other musical styles in collaborations with international greats. She has issued several CDs including her premier release Esperanza Fernández, which has become a classic among flamenco aficionados; Recuerdos, which was nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2009; and her most recent release Mi voz en tu palabra (2013) based on the poetry of José Saramago.
José Valencia is known for his outstanding voice, his intense delivery and his deep knowledge of the Gyspy flamenco-singing traditions. He is one of the few artists to have received three of the most prestigioius awards in the flamenco world: El Giraldillo of the Bienal de Flamenco. He is also one of the few internationally recognized flamenco singers who has not crossed over into other genres or experimented with fusions.
Originally known as Joselito de Lebrija, his family tree includes such Gypsy flamenco luminaries as Juanichi, Tío Borrico and the Parrillas. He started out singing cante jondo when he was only 5 years old with a sensibility that made people feel they were listening to an old man in a child’s body. In his teens he was a featured singer in Pedro Bacán’s group El Clan de los Pinini and his uncle, Manuel de Paula’s projects Chachipén and Majarí Calí. Now in his early 40s and using his real name, José Valencia, he has had years of experience singing for some of Spain’s top dancers such as Antonio Canales, Eva Yerbabuena, Belén Maya, Joaquín Grilo, Manuela Carrasco, Andrés Marín and Farruquito. His most recent CD, Solo Flamenco, brings the focus back to the cante, flamenco singing itself, which is at the heart of flamenco.