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Latin Roots: The Evolution Of Flamenco

Spanish flamenco singer Estrella Morente.
Diario FemeninoSp
/
Courtesy of the artist
Spanish flamenco singer Estrella Morente.

Judy Cantor-Navas, managing editor of Billboard En Español, joins Latin Roots to discuss the mysterious world of flamenco music. It's hard to pinpoint exactly where the style originated; though known for its close ties to Spain, it's suggested that the roots of flamenco actually begin in India. Whatever its origins may be, however, it's a style dominated by strong performers.

Singer Cameron de la Isla revitalized the genre 20 years ago; Cantor-Navas even describes him as flamenco's Bob Marley. With accompaniment by guitarist Paco de Lucia, his song "Como El Agua" is a perfect example of the classic Spanish sound. Though flamenco has evolved since, it continues to flourish in new forms. Spanish singer Estrella Morente brings a rock element to the genre in her song "Como La Corriente."

Cantor-Navas suggests listeners take a deeper dive into flamenco, and recommends taking the time to listen to older and newer forms alike.

Listen to Judy Cantor-Navas' flamenco playlist on Rdio.


Latin Roots is made possible by the Wyncote Foundation.

Copyright 2020 XPN. To see more, visit XPN.

David Dye is a longtime Philadelphia radio personality whose music enthusiasm has captivated listeners of World Cafe ® since 1991. World Cafe is produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania.
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  • For a 50-year-old American lawyer, mother and avid flamenco dancer, the moment of abandon that is the peak experience of the form was elusive. So she traveled to a festival in Jerez, Spain, to locate what flamenco's practitioners call duende.
  • Camaron de la Isla re-energized a centuries-old flamenco tradition, leading the music into the 20th century and beyond. As he began his career, flamenco was still a connoisseur's music, hardly part of the popular Spanish mainstream, but Camaron would change that forever.