Rene Heredia - nylon string guitar
Rene Heredia will always be known as the quintessential flamenco guitarist. He has toured the world with a group and as a solo act, bringing this Spanish cultural phenomenon to enthusiastic audiences everywhere.
His father, Gitano Puro was a pure Spanish gypsy, and taught him the basics of flamenco guitar and gypsy dance. As a young boy he was surrounded by masters of flamenco music and dance, among them Carlos Montoya, Vicente Escudero, Mario Escudero, José Greco's dance Company, Carmen Amaya, Sabicas, and La Chunga and her company. At the age of 13, he began performing with three sisters and two brothers as a flamenco troupe, known simply as Los Heredia. He remained with his family ensemble for four years, appearing in Spain on TV, radio, and in a myriad of clubs and theaters. At the age of 17, Spain's most popular (and greatest) flamenco dancer, Carmen Amaya, was re-introduced to him. She had met him at his father's home as a young boy, but was shocked at how amazing he had become as a flamenco guitarist. She immediately hired him to accompany her as onstage lead guitarist. Amaya would take him around the world and introduce him to American audiences.
After several years with Amaya, he joined forces with her male equivalent, Jose Greco. While performing with Greco during the 1960s, he appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Steve Allen Show, and The Art Linkletter Show. By then, Heredia had the recognition to branch off on his own. He has performed several times with the Denver Symphony Orchestra and on his own in venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York, the Westminster Theater in London, and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles.
This recording from the legendary Ash Grove club in Los Angeles, dates back to October 1963, and features several of Heredia's best loved instrumental flamenco songs, among them "Alegrias Flamencas," "Danza Mora," and "Bulerias."
Written by Alan Bershaw