Chuscales - Gypsy Book
"Chuscales" - This was the name given to Jose Valle Fajardo by his Grandfather. Since then, the name Chusco has come to describe a guitarist of consummate skill and a profound understanding of the Flamenco traditions. A native of Antequera, Spain, Chuscales grew up in a traditional gypsy family well known for its professional musicians and dancers. His grandmother was among those who lived in the caves of Sacromonte, one of the legendary cradles of flamenco. Chuscales recalls, "There were shows, with Gypsies from Granada who grew up in families that lived there. I wish you could see it, the families in the caves and the singing and dancing. There might be seven, eight, maybe nine caves, all with singing and dancing, and there would be more singing and dancing on the streets every day. It was unbelievable. It was very formative time in all my life. It was like a dream. This is where I learned everything the rhythm, the beat, the guitar. I am still learning from those thousands of nights performing with my family, with my father, my grandfather, and my friends."
Chusco began guitar lessons at age six under the instruction of his uncle Joaquín Fajardo as well as Maestro Agustinillo, two prominent masters in the region where such greats as Segovia have studied. As a teenager, Chuscales found himself frequently in the company of Paco de Lucía, who often performed in the area and would take time to play with the talented youngster and to answer his questions. Meanwhile, he began his performing career as a dancer an experience that provides him with a detailed understanding of flamenco's rhythmic nuances. Chusco elaborates as the accompanying guitarist, "I can understand and follow dancers. I can see where they are going before they take their next step. I know what the dancer is looking for, how much tension is in the music, the right rhythm, when to play strong or soft so if a dancer asks me for something, I know what they ask." Chuscales' affinity for dance is delightfully apparent in his artistry, blending music and movement as he does is no accident. "It's something we learn through life," he says. "A lot of people don't have my luck to grow up in the caves, learning flamenco in a Gypsy family where the music comes from tradition to tradition, from legend to legend. I thank God; I have been around such great musicians all my life.
Chuscales has played the guitar for prince and princes of Spain at Santa Fe in 2009 and he has appeared in the films "Camelamos Nauerar" (1976), "Gypsy Heart" (1998), "Flamenco Passion & Soul" (1999), "Viaje Al Duende" (2009),"The Spanish Table" (2010) and "El Payo" (2010). www.chuscales.com
Mina Valle Fajardo - "Mina" has received extensive training in flamenco, Escuela bolero, jazz, Tap and ballet. She received flamenco training in Spain from El Guito, Carmera Greco, Ciro, La Tati, La China, Alejandro Granados, Yolanda Heredia, Eva La Yerbabuena, Andres Marin, Joaquin Ruiz and Keiko Issiki and she has taught in the Maria Benitez Institute for Spanish Arts, Eva Encinias Sandoval's National Institute of Flamenco and for the Spanish Institute of Dance in Houston, Texas, and Fazil Dance Studio in New York City. Mina has performed in Japan, New York City, San Francisco, Boston, Denver, Houston, Maryland and Albuquerque and has made several appearances on television in Manhattan, New Mexico and Japan. In Santa Fe, She has performed at the Santa Fe Opera and in the Santa Fe Jazz and International Music Festival at the Lensic Theatre with many artists including Elena Andujar, El Pripi, La Tibu, Carmen Rasarao, Chuscales, YiYi, Silverio Heredia, Tequila de Jerez, Omayra Amaya, Juan Siddi and Keiko Isshiki.
With Chuscales she has performed in many productions including "Chuscales at Old Main, Boulder"(2011), "Chuscales y Mina Fajardo con Las Tres Mujeres" (2010), "Chuscales Live at MIT" (Boston, 2009), Telluride Jazz Festival (2008), "Soul del Arte Tradiciones e Innovaciones"(San Francisco, 2005), "Ainadamar, Landscapes and Impression" Santa Fe Opera (2005), "A Night of Flamenco Magic" Lakewood Cultural Center (Denver, CO, 2005), "Santa Fe Jazz and International Music Festival" (2004 & 2001), The John E. Morlow Guitar Series " Flamenco Night" (Chevy Chase, MD, 2004), SJC Multicultural Arts Series "Flamenco" (San Juan Capistrano, CA, 2003). She appeared in the films "Flamenco Passion & Soul" (1999), "El Payo" (2010). She currently performs with Chuscales at Local Tablao in Santa Fe. www.minafajardo.com
Fernando Barros Lirola - Singer
Fernando Barros Lirola was born in Motril (Granada) Spain in 1952 and focused his studies on geology at the University of Granada. Since 1980 he has performed in concerts and at Andalusian flamenco festivals around the world. He is a singer (cantaor), composer, writer and innovator specializing in flamenco music, with emphasis on bringing voice to the poets and writers of Spain, notably Federico Garcia Lorca, Antonio Machado, Juan Ramon Jimenez, Miguel Hernandez and Miguel de Cervantes. Additionally, he specializes in interpreting the texts of several anonymous medieval poets.
Fernando is the author, with Sandra González, of the theatrical text, "Que venga, que venga flamenco!" His book, "Flamenco en las Aulas", will be used in a college course on flamenco in the fall of 2015. He is writing a second book, "Why Flamenco?" Both books will be available in Spanish and English, and his contributions to various periodicals is extensive.
As an invited member of the International Dance Council of UNESCO, Fernando is an active participant in the preservation of dance around the world. He attended the First International Congress of the Andalusian Institute of Flamenco and was the Director of the first international meetings of Motril Flamenco (2013). At the initial meeting of International Meeting of Folk Music Analysis, he participated in "Experience in Teaching Flamenco", as well as courses in "Flamenco in the Classroom." He has a solid body of work available on social media sites.
While in New Mexico as an artist in residence in 2014, Fernando led workshops at elementary and secondary schools in Santa Fe, conducted master classes in Denver and Boulder, CO, and at the University of New Mexico in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. He performed in venues In Santa Fe, Taos, Albuquerque, and Boulder.
Fernando is on the leading edge of integrating the tradition of flamenco with his unique understanding of its cadences and rhythms, as well as the "melody" inherent in the poetry of his countrymen. His innovations include use of the voice as an instrument of positive expression, in combining traditional melodies with harmonies unique to the flavors and textures of the verses, and in engaging the audience in the meaning of expressive emotions.
Fernando's work can be viewed on various social media sites. He is available to conduct classes, design curriculum, perform, and participate in panel discussions on the fascinating history of flamenco as it has evolved over the centuries.
Alejandro Valle - Cajon Player
Alejandro Valle is a son of Chuscales and Mina Fajardo. He played the cajon for Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Spain at the Palace of the Governors, Santa Fe, NM in 2009. He acted for "Seal Team Six". (TV, 2012). He played in many productions including "Flamenco x3"(2015), " Gypsy Passion"(2014), "Forever in My Heart" (2013), "My Gypsy Soul at El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe"(2012), "Maria Benitez, Next Generation"(2011, 2010, 2009) "the celebration of city's 400the anniversary at Fort Marcy, Santa Fe, NM" (2009), "Juan Siddi Flamenco Santa Fe at Lensic" (2015,2014, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2009).
Additional performers include Janira Cordova, Michale Kott, Veronica Medina and Navidades Flamencas.
El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe (View)
555 Camino de la Familia
Santa Fe, NM 87501
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