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Robin Broadbank (Text)
I first started making recordings on overland trips to India in 1973 and 1977, - mostly Indian folk musicians and Tibetan ritual music. Authentic flamenco hit me in the mid eighties when a meeting with Phil Slight introduced me to the sights and sounds of Morón and the Gastor family. As a novice flamenco guitarist I found Phil's playing, and collection of recordings, a wonderful inspiration. As a staff producer/recordist with Nimbus I collaborated with Phil in recording the CDs Cante Gitano, Cante Flamenco and Flamenco de la Frontera in Morón. Subsequent recording trips took me to Cuba, Brazil, Paraguay, Panama and Mexico but it's those Morón sessions that I return to as capturing music-making raw, direct and true.

 
 
Jay Kantor (Text) 1940-2011
If anyone has a brief bio for Jay, please consider sending in...

 
Photo by Miguel Ángel Vargas Rubio


Christopher Carnes (Photographs) 1942-2000
Chris, aka Cristobal Dos Santos, was well known as one of the foremost American guitarists of the pueblo style of gypsy Flamenco. He travelled to Mexico in 1960, met Carmen Amaya and eventually moved to Spain. His first teachers there were Perico el del Lunar and Juan Maya "El Marote".

Chris met his master teacher Diego Amaya Flores del Gastor in the small pueblo of Morón de la Frontera. Chris was regarded as an adopted son by Diego and was absorbed into Diego's bohemian flamenco lifestyle throughout the 60's and early 70's. It was there that Chris honed his skill as an accompanist with artists such as Luis "Joselero" Torres, La Fernanda de Utrera, and Anzonini.

Chris also studied the Lebrija style of gypsy guitar under Pedro Peña. He was influenced by his artist friends Pedro Bacan and Miguel Funi. Chris was a noted accompanist of cante flamenco and was included in many weddings, fiestas and fairs in Lebrija, Morón, and in and around the "flamenco triangle" in Andalusia, Spain. Chris was employed at the La Cuadra, an after hours gypsy nightclub in Sevilla. There he played with artists such as Tia Juana La Pipa, La Chicharona de Jerez, Antonio Mairena, Miguel Funi, El Chocolate, El Farruco, El Terremoto, Carmen Montoya, and many more.

He and his wife of many years Maria Silver photographed and recorded innumerable fiestas and flamenco artists in their extended sphere of friends and acquaintances.
 
Photo by Steve Kahn


William Davidson (Photographs)
I was born in Washington D.C. on June 30, 1938. My father was a career military officer and my mother, a housewife and accomplished amateur pianist. My introduction to the art of flamenco was the chance overhearing of a fellow university student playing solo flamenco guitar in a nearby university residence in 1957. Overwhelmed by this initial exposure I soon purchased many of the flamenco recordings available in North America, and in 1961 I traveled to Madrid, bought my first guitar and started private lessons with the maestro, Pepe de Badajoz. My interest in flamenco grew and I returned to Spain three more times during the decade of the 60's culminating in 1969 with a year long teaching position at a language institute in Seville. During the year in Seville I frequently visited Morón de la Frontera, attracted by the town's masterful flamenco artists, principally, the singer Luis Torres, "Joselero", and guitarist Diego del Gastor. It soon became evident to me that in spite of these artists' stature and popularity very few photographs or other visual documentation existed of them. In an effort to fill this void I purchased the basic darkroom equipment, and began to avail myself of every opportunity to photograph the town's artists. These photographs have appeared in numerous publications including the cover of the second edition of Diego del Gastor El Eco de Unos Toques. In 1970 I returned to the States and pursued careers of a classroom teacher and the proprietor of a building construction company. Through the years my interest in flamenco prevailed and I often vacation in Spain. In 2004 I launched a flamenco video club Vistas Flamencas for which I frequently travel throughout Andalusia, and, when permitted, videotape spontaneous flamenco activity. After returning to the States I edit and distribute the videos to my American club members.
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Dick Frisell (Photographs) 1936-2005
Born in Sweden; his father Swedish & mother English. Educated in England at Gordestone Public School. First came to Spain in 1952, settled in Barcelona and eventually bought a tract of land near Torre Del Mar, Malaga, on which in 1972 he built his Finca El Peñon. During the 1960s he was deeply involved in photographing his two passions, Jazz and life as he lived it in Spain, his adopted country. That included photographs taken in Morón de la Frontera in the 60s & 70s which were published in D.E. Pohren's books The Art Of Flamenco (1970) and A Way of Life (1980). He also illustrated Pohren's book, Adventures In Taste, The Wine & Folk Food of Spain (1972).
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Photo by Steve Kahn


Ruth Frazier (Photographs)
Flamenco guitar lessons from a chap who had spent some time in Spain, how incomparable that was. After a year or so of lessons a friend and I decided to experience flamenco in Spain. Armed with guitar orders from Reyes in Cordoba, to be picked up at the end of June of 1968, and reservations at Don Pohren's finca Espartero we set out on the adventure of a lifetime. Pohren was as crazy as the rest of us, and drew in the available flamencos for "a guizo", a fiesta, a trip to the swimming hole etc. We had guitar lessons from Juanito del Gastor and practiced when nothing else was going on. June (1968) was a great time to arrive in Spain as it was a month full of celebration in the villages surrounding Morón, and we went to every one of them. Juanito told us about one that coincided with a misa flamenca in Sevilla that we had planned to attend, but we were convinced to go to Coripe for their "feria" instead. Into my VW bug piled my best friend and I, Pepe Rios, Andorrano, my future husband Pepe (Gomez Amaya) and his brother Juanito (del Gastor). We soon set up in front of a bar on the main street watching the people dancing around the bandstand, and the crowds milling about. Out came the guitar, singing started, Pepito Rios danced, Andorrano did a turn, and I thought that the hat would be put out to collect money for the performance. Silly me! What a performance it was! We were soon joined by several other friends from Morón and the evening melded into early morning. This was the first of the all night fiestas that were fairly common in the warm summer nights. Sometimes when I listen to tapes from those fiestas and hear the roosters crow I remember those all-nighters. Another vivid memory is the drive back to Morón in the early dawn and seeing the sunflowers all facing the soon to rise sun, and the silvery leaves of the olive trees. When late August arrived I couldn't imagine returning to the US and work. I applied for a years leave of absence, moved into Morón from Finca Espartero and tried to figure out a way to support myself. Pepe convinced me that a bar would be a way to do that. So I borrowed some money from my father and we bought a piece of property behind Iglesia San Miguel on Siete Revueltas. We had plans drawn up, applied for permits and got started building. We named it Bar Gastor. It still stands, now the home of Pepe's spinster sister. We had a lot of flamenco action there. When Diego passed in 1973 we decided to move to California where I was born and raised and get real jobs and start a family. Naturally we've had many visits through the years, but in 2005 we bought a flat in Morón and intend to go back and forth from there to our home in California. Flamenco is a part of our lives, particularly Pepe who is known among Andalucians living in several of the local universities as part of cultural awareness events, and during club activities. Since he is a brother of Paco and Juan del Gastor we are always treated to a welcome greeting with guitar, singing and dance within the family when we visit. Flamenco is a part of my life.
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Ira Gavrin (Photographs)
Born in New Rochelle, NY, on September 4, 1938, Ira received his BA at Colgate University in 1960. He is currently living in New Hampshire as a semi-retired, fine art photographer. In 1968 he accompanied his wife, who was a dancer interested in learning Flamenco, to Don Pohren's Finca Espartero outside of Morón de la Frontera. During that visit he made the photos which are now in the Project's Collection.
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Photo by Steve Kahn


David George Vogenitz (Photographs / Text) 1930-2003
Sacramento poet and writer David George will be remembered for enormous contributions in the field of poetry, seminal research and publication on Flamenco and Gypsy culture, and by all those whose lives he touched. Widely published in Europe and America, David spent 25 years in Western Europe, Africa and the Middle East, domiciled mostly in Spain but also in Morocco, Egypt and Turkey. A US Army veteran of the Cold War era, he served as a member of the Counter-Intelligence Corps in Germany and Austria, plus duty in Asia and Washington, D.C. He lectured at various European and American universities on art and anthropology, and exhibited his paintings and photographs in London, Munich, Madrid, Venice and elsewhere. An award-winning poet and prolific writer, David George's work has been published in over one hundred literary magazines and anthologies, including The Anthology of Magazine Verse and The Yearbook of American Poetry. He has won numerous awards, including several nominations for the Pushcart Prize, the 1997 Erika Mumford Award from the New England Poetry Club for his Tahitian Sketches, Grand Prize winner of the Pennsylvania Poetry Society National Poetry Contest for American Gothic, both first and third prizes in the 1996 West Haven Connecticut Council for the Arts National Poetry Contest, for Landscape with the Fall of Icarus and Things of the Sea Belong to the Sea, the title poem of a forthcoming book based on his years in Surfside, California. He received the Sacramento Metropolitan Art Commission's Works in Performance Award, which included publication of his book Lamentations for Emmanuel (Wooden Angel Press). His 1969 book on gypsies and asuntos gitanos, The Flamenco Guitar (Society of Spanish Studies) was one of the many products of his years living among the gypsies on Andalucia, and is widely regarded as a ground-breaking work in what was at the time a non-existent field. Born and raised in Wisconsin (BA degree UW-Milwaukee; graduate studies at Marquette University), he completed advanced degrees in Indiana (MA), California (MA) and Florida (Ph.D.), while dividing his time between Europe and the United States.
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Paco Grande (Photographs and Film)
Born in Madrid in 1943, Paco grew up in the US, receiving a BA in art history from University of Minnesota. He has always loved flamenco and photography. He was a close friend of Danny Seymour and co-produced Flamencología with him. Paco currently lives in Peru.
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Jane Grossenbacher (Photographs) 1951-2008
Jane Grossenbacher started flamenco dance classes while a photography student at the San Francisco Art Institute. The allure created by the Spaghetti Factory backroom Flamenco tableau in the North Beach neighborhood began a desire to photograph dancers not only in performance but also in studios and on the street. In 1978 she moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and continued dance studies with Maria Benitz, Roberto Lorca, and other artists brought in for the summer shows and fiestas. in 1980-81 after a serious car accident and long convalescence (and an insurance company check) Jane moved to Sevilla to study with Manolo Marin and Manuella Carrasco. This began a body of work of street photography in Sevilla and other Andalucian cities and villages. The last visit to Spain was in 1984 for the spring to photograph Semana Santa and Feria. Her flamenco photographs have been in many exhibits but have not been published before now. "The amazing surreal good fun of tagging along with friends to hear a singer or see a dancer, waiting till dawn often, created adventures I still treasure. Meeting the artists, seeing their feet of clay, and flying to those glorious moments of music, song and dance has fueled so much inspiration in my flamenco and photography life."
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Photo by Kristin Satzman



Mark Johnson (Photographs)
Mark Johnson was born in 1947 in Berkeley, California and attended San Francisco State University where he first studied photography. While never becoming a professional photographer, he always maintained a darkroom of some kind wherever he lived (now digital, of course). In 1971 he traveled to Spain for the first time with his partner, Micaela Graña, with Morón de la Frontera as their first stop on a long-planned European trip. They never made it past Morón and stayed for a year and a half. Although only an aficionado, Mark always carried his camera as they became fully immersed in the Flamenco lifestyle and music. One of his more memorable contributions to the local culture was sharing his somewhat primitive darkroom with some of the upcoming local legends and remembers Juan del Gastor as a frequent darkroom visitor producing several promising photographs (luckily Juan had another career in mind). Mark has worked in computer technology for the last thirty years and is currently living in the Northwest United States in Olympia, Washington where he is a technology director with a wholesale coffee roaster. He continues to stay involved with Flamenco through friends in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Steve Kahn (Photographs / Text)
Steve Kahn is a New York based, internationally known commercial and fine art photographer whose work has been exhibited, published and collected in both Europe and America. Already a student of classical and flamenco guitar in 1967, he traveled from New York to Morón de la Frontera, on leave-of-absence from a doctoral program in physics, in search of Diego del Gastor and the art of pueblo Flamenco. His 3-month break grew into a 2-year adventure that changed the course of his life. He lived amongst the flamenco artists, absorbing what he could of Diego's musical genius and made a few photographs before his camera was lost. Upon return to the states, he dropped out of academia to pursue a career as a freelance photographer. Thirty-five years later he is still shooting pictures and still playing the guitar. Recently he started to wonder, "What happened to all those other photographs of Flamencos by foreigners that I have seen over the years? Are they lost, destroyed, forgotten and rotting in dark closets somewhere? Where are they now?" He set out on a quest to find those images, and over the past seven years has recovered over one hundred images, collected numerous anecdotes and digititized many wonderful fiesta recordings. Steve has brought both his music experience and photographic skills to make this collection into a superb body of work. He has digitized the original negatives, restored the images and made museum quality, archival prints for exhibition and preservation.
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Photo by Loren Madsen

Robert Klein (Photographs)
I was born in Mosbach - Germany the 24th of november 1949. I went to school from 1954 to 1970 in my native town and then I studied social work from 1970 to 1974 in Freiburg. I worked as a social worker with children and young people until 1977. Since then I have survived by performing street music, singing mostly old German songs and playing guitar. In 1978 I went to Spain (Malaga) to buy a flamenco guitar and travelled through Andalusia for 3 ½ months. I spend the winter months in Sevilla - during the summer I hitchhike through Germany performing street music. Occasionally I take on a music job to earn money for the winter. In Sevilla I studied carpentry and I went to the conservatory of music for classic guitar --special classes of flamenco guitar I could not afford. My partner of 18 years in Sevilla was very involved in flamenco and good friend to such well known flamenco artists as Fernanda y Bernarda de Utrera, Anzonini del Puerto, Diego del Gastor, Bedro Bacan, Juan del Gastor, Miguel Funi. This gave me an opportunity to participate in several flamenco fiestas to which even well connected people, who were far more involved in flamenco than I, would not have had access. Photography is one of my hobbies, so I naturally took pictures at these events. I like to take photos of people without posing them and in their natural surroundings. One of my photos of Miguel Funi was published as a poster advertising a flamenco concert in Canada, and several others have been used in the advertising for a flamenco-group in Sevilla. Since the death of my partner, I have not been involved with flamenco or flamenco people, and have not made more flamenco images.
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George Krause (Photographs)
George Krause was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1937 and received his training at the Philadelphia College of Art. He received the first Prix de Rome and the first Fulbright/Hays grant ever awarded to a photographer, two Guggenheim fellowships and three grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. Krause's photographs are in major museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris.

According to George, his photo of Manolito is probably from 1963 when he was in Spain thanks to a Fulbright grant. "I had moved to Seville with my family and met David George through mutual friends. David was working on a book I belive he called "The Gypsy with the Green Guitar". We made several day trips to the gypsy towns and it was on one of those that we visited Manolito in his cave in Alcalá de Guadaíra. The image was reproduced a year or two later in one of the photo annuals and David took a copy to show to Manolito. Before 1963 I had only heard of Flamenco through those performers (mostly dance groups that my mother loved) that came to NY and the big venues. But on my travels around Spain I stumbled onto some great spontaneous flamenco in small and remote towns and feel that I have heard the real thing -- the cante jondo."
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Self-portrait


Nina Menéndez (Text)
With a Ph.D. in Hispanic Cultures (Stanford University 1993), Nina Mençndez's appreciation for cante gitano andaluz began in her teenage years in the early 1970s when Chris Carnes gave her copies of a few of the tapes he recorded of fiestas in Morón de la Frontera. As artistic director of The Bay Area Flamenco Partnership she organizes concerts, workshops and cultural exchange opportunities featuring artists from Spain.
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Charles Mullen (Photographs) 1937-1989
Although never a professional, Charles was a guitar aficionado and excellent photographer. He lived in Madrid 1963-64 which is when he photographed Paco del Gastor and Manolito de la María in Pohren's club. He was a frequent visitor to Morón and Sevilla in the 1960s and '70s and became a good friend of Paco de Lucia, hosting him on his concert tours to California. Charles's day job was managing luxury hotels in San Francisco where in 1966 he married the famous flamenco dancer Rosa Montoya and where they lived during their life together. He is survived by his widow Rosa, who lives in Madrid.
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Lorin Piper (Text)
A native Californian whose great-grandfather came from Spain, Lorin lives today in the San Francisco Bay Area. She still loves flamenco, and the people, and connections that she made in Andalusia are still important to her.
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D.E. Pohren (Text) 1929-2007
Don Pohren was regarded as one of the leading experts on Flamenco in the English language and wrote several influential books about the subject. Pohren fell in love with Flamenco in 1947, when he attended a performance by Carmen Amaya, while on vacation in Mexico. He learned how to play flamenco guitar in 1951 from Spanish expatriates living in Mexico. In 1953, he continued his flamenco studies in Spain and never left. Pohren published his first book on Flamenco, The Art of Flamenco, in 1962, under the name D.E. Pohren. Another noteworthy book, Lives and Legends of Flamenco, came out in 1964. The third book of his Flamenco trilogy, A Way of Life, was published in 1980. Pohren married Spanish dancer Luisa Maravilla and lived in Morón de la Frontera, where he opened and ran a guest ranch known as "Finca Espartero", which combined flamenco instruction with generous dollops of "the flamenco way of life". It became a Mecca for flamenco enthusiasts the world over. Don eventually moved to the Madrid area, where he lived until his final days. He died in Las Rozas on Novermber 7, 2007. Pohren was declared "Flamencologist" and admitted into the Cátedra de Flamencologia (Professorate of Flamenco Studies), the only non-Spaniard to have been so honored.
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Photo by Dick Frisell


Tao Ruspoli (Filmmaker)
Tao Ruspoli was born in Thailand in 1975 and was raised in Rome and Los Angeles. He received his bachelor's degree in philosophy at UC Berkeley in 1998. He is an independent filmmaker, photographer and flamenco guitar player. He is also the founder of LAFCO (The Los Angeles Filmmakers Cooperative), a collective of artists and filmmakers dedicated to creating authentic non-commercially driven work in film and music. With LAFCO he has produced dozens of documentaries and experimental films, including one feature film. He lives with his wife in Venice, California. His work can be seen at www.ruspoli.com.
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Self-portrait


Daniel Seymour (Photographs and Film) 1945-1972
In 1972 Danny Seymour bought a sailboat and sailed into the Caribbean.

A charismatic young man of 27, he had just published his first book of intensely personal b/w photographs (A Loud Song), kicked his heroin addiction and had health and fortune to look forward to. Although there is very little written about him, his name and image crop up in so many obscure references during the late 1960s art scene in NY, that it's hard to believe few have ever heard of him.

A good friend of the great photographer and avant-garde filmmaker Robert Frank, Danny's presence is all over "Cocksucker Blues", Frank's black market documentary of the Rolling Stones. He can be seen also during John Lennon and Yoko Ono's shooting of their film "The Fly". Danny was a lanky, ghostly figure shadowing the NY art scene.

Born in Chicago in 1945 and raised in Minneapolis, Danny became best friends with Paco Grande, another photographer and first husband of the actress Jessica Lange. The two of them traveled to Spain in the late 1960s to visit Danny's sister Rosa Van Kirk who was deeply involved in the flamenco world and at the time was living in Setenil with the great festero Anzonini del Puerto. With Rosa's help Danny photographed several fiestas and shot a 16mm film of gypsy guitarist Diego del Gastor and other flamencos in Morón de la Frontera that has become a cult classic.

Danny Seymour's sailboat was found drifting off the coast of Columbia, with no one on board. Danny himself was never found. His film, Flamencología, was lost for thirty years, as were his photographic negatives, and both have only recently re-surfaced. The film was discovered in Cuzco, Peru in the possession of co-producer Paco Grande, who has generously lent the film to the Project. A contemporary hi-resolution digital transfer of Flamencología is now in the Flamenco Project collection as are Danny's uniquely cinematic images of pueblo flamenco.

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...with Francisco Molina


María Silver, Moreen Silver, María la Marrurra (Photographs)
Borne in Jacksonville, Fl 1942. Studied at University of Georgia where she read D.E. Pohren`s book at the University library. Previously was involved with country music in Jacksonville where she met and photographed both Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash.

Met guitarist Christopher Carnes in a Mexico City tablao flamenco in 1960 after graduating from University of the Americas and moved to Spain where they were married and where she has lived ever since. While living in Morón de la Frontera and other towns in the flamenco triangle, she and Chris recorded numerous fiestas and private performances of many of flamenco's greatest artists.

Learned to play guitar to accompany cante with Melchor de Marchena, Parrilla de Jerez, the Moraitos de Jerez, Diego del Gastor and others. Studied cante and recorded Juan Talega, who was her mentor for many years. She also studied with Antonio Mairena and was encouraged to record hours of song and flamenco history, resulting in a significant collection of unedited tapes and documents. La Fernanda de Utrera was another singer she loved and spent hours listening to and taking notes on how she used her voice to improvise and interpret her cante.

María pursued a career as a photographer in Madrid, established Silver Press and became an advisor to ministries of Yemen and Spain. She has numerous CD recordings of her own music, has performed on TV in the USA and Spain and was included in the Rito y Giografía del Cante film series.

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Diego del Gastor, María y Juan Talegas
(Photo by Chris Carnes)


Phil Slight (Photographs)
Born in 1932 in New Zealand. Studied fine art, leading to five years teaching in New Zealand, followed by university teaching from 1968 forward in England. Two key factors introduced me to the sounds of flamenco in the 50s: the availability of LPs of flamenco groups such as El Greco, María Vargas, and the two Carmen Amaya albums with Sabicas as guitarist; and secondarily, the brief return to New Zealand of the painter/guitarist Keith Patterson, who spent most of his working life in Barcelona and Peniscola. We became good friends, and on hearing his flamenco guitar I was hooked. Interestingly he had collaborated with guitarist Paco Aguilera in making an LP that formed part of one of the first flamenco guitar tutorials written by Ivor Mairants. Ivor ran a guitar shop in London which became a beacon for aficionados in England from the 50s on.

In 1961 we settled in Malaga for three years before moving onto England. In Malaga, apart from guitar lessons from Raphael de Antequerra and Antonio Heredia Vargas, "payo" and "gitano" respectively, I was initiated into the flamenco way of life. At that time it involved a sharing of lots of music for free; the cante, the vino and the very long late nights. New York writer Paul Hecht (The Wind Cried) introduced me to the flamenco network based on the Peña Juan Breva in Malaga City, of which group he was very much a respected insider. Paul was also the first person to alert me to the Morón de la Frontera flamencos, including Diego and the Gastor clan. A little later my friendship with Don Pohren opened the door to a long association with many of the flamencos of Morón, especially Paco del Gastor.

A photographically rich time for me was the winter of 1964, while sharing a pension in Madrid with Manito de la María, Anzonini and Paco del Gastor. They were resident performers at Pohren's peña in Los Gabrieles. Although now living permanently in the province of Granada, my English university based research was located in Spain, which allowed for a continuity of contact with the flamenco world in Andalusia. This included the organization of several CDs for Nimbus Records LTD (Cante Flamenco, Cante Gitano, Paco del Gastor's solo Flamenco de la Frontera). "Candil", the flamenco magazine published by the peña Flamenca de Jaen has also used my photos, as well as D.E. Pohren in his books, Lives and Legends and A Way Of Life. As a fine art painter, I used my camera as a tool to what I was experiencing, and was fortunate to contribute to the documentation of a way of life that is part of the history of Flamenco.

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Photo by Steve Kahn



William Washabaugh (Text)
Is Professor of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, author of Five Fingers for Survival (1986), Flamenco: Passion, Politics, and Popular Culture (1996), Deep Trout (2000), and editor of The Passion of Music and Dance (1998). His book Flamenco Nation will be appearing soon.
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Photo by Steve Kahn


José María Velázquez-Gaztelu (Text)
A writer and poet, he was born in Cádiz. He has published poetry, articles and essays, and was co-scriptwriter, interviewer and flamenco authority for the Spanish television series “Rito y Geografía del Cante” and “Rito y Geografía del Baile”. He has given conferences in Europe and Asia as well as in North and South America, and is in charge of the flamenco section of El Cultural. His program Nuestro Flamenco, broadcast on Spanish National Radio, has been running for 25 years.
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Photo by Steve Kahn


Estela Zatania (Text)
New Yorker Estela Zatania has been professionally involved with flamenco for the past fifty years as guitarist, singer, dancer and writer. In 2004 she received Spain's National Prize for Flamenco Journalism "Ciudad de La Unión". With a grant from the Andalusian Cultural Ministry, she wrote "Flamencos de Gañanía" which was honored as the best flamenco book of 2007. Currently living in Jerez de la Frontera, she is a regular speaker at flamenco events in Europe and the United States.

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Photo by Steve Kahn


Brook Zern (Text)
Brook Zern is the director of the Flamenco Center USA in New York City, a cultural and research organization devoted to increasing the understanding and appreciation of flamenco in the U.S. He has spent many years chasing good flamenco in Spain, and currently spends extensive time in Jerez. He has written about flamenco for the New York Times, Spain's El Pais, France's Etudes Tziganes and many other publications. He is Flamenco Editor of Guitar Review, has taught courses on flamenco at several U.S. universities, and frequently speaks about the art on radio and at colleges and music festivals. In the mid-1950's, Zern learned his first flamenco guitar from his father, who had studied in New York since 1946. Since then, he says, he has tried without success to do justice to the best music of the tradition, especially the magnificent music of Nino Ricardo and the wondrous and luminous serious flamenco of Paco de Lucia. Zern adds that he also attempts to evoke the singularly distinctive Moron style and sound of Diego del Gastor and Diego's inimitable nephew Paco del Gastor, with equally pathetic results. While learning about flamenco in Seville in the mid-sixties, Zern also hung around with rock pioneers such as Gualberto and Los Smash, teaching them to pronounce the lyrics of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones; he also broadcast a "Los Blues desde Sevilla", a weekly radio program of blues music. Zern currently spends his time between Jerez de la Frontera and Martha's Vineyard.
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Photo by Steve Kahn