(the long awaited) Artist of the Week VII

It’s back!! Finally.. I bet you thought you would never see another TES Artist of the Week but at long last we’ve gotten our act together. Sorry about the delays and hope you enjoy:

“Él soñaba sobre el tiempo   (He was dreaming over time)

Flotando como un velero      (Floating like a sailboat)

Nadie puede abrir semillas  (No one can crack open seeds)

En el corazón del sueño”      (In the heart of this dream)

This week’s Artist of the Week comes all the way from the south of Spain. A singer with an incomparable voice, a true master and innovator of his craft, he is credited with transforming and reviving a genre, flamenco, that appeared to be in serious danger of dying out near the end of the twentieth century. While some purists criticized him for his revolutionary style, mixing his music with elements of jazz and rock, at his death he was widely celebrated as a beloved figure within the Spanish Romani community. Struck down by pulmonary cancer due to years of aggressive smoking and recreational drug use at the relatively young age of 41, the news of his death came as a shock to many of his fans.

It’s been a full five years since I first heard one of his recordings and it still gives me goose bumps. Listening to his music, it’s hard not to feel yourself pulled into another world. A world of swirling beautiful colors and intense emotions. A world of confident swaying bodies in motion. And above all else, a world of survivors. The Romani people have suffered much throughout their history and yet they still continue strong and proud in their traditions, history and way of life. They are still able to produce music full of grace, power and soul, qualities our current Artist of the Week possesses in abundance. That is why I am proud to present without further ado the one and only: Camarón de la Isla.

– Carlos de la Gringa


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