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This film gives a portrait of a genius guitarist, franco-andalusian gypsy, Juan Carmona, whose talent and openness to other genres have allowed him to conquer the world of flamenco.
Whether performing with a major French orchestra La Sinfonia Flamenca, the work he composed for flamenco guitar and a classical orchestra; or improvising with friends in a working class bodega in his childhood neighbourhood; or teaching flamenco to seasoned musicans at the National Conservatory of Music, Carmona demonstrates rare talent and an authentic personality. He is indeed a multi-faceted musician with an exceptionally rich musical career.
INTRODUCTION Juan Carmona and the world of Flamenco
Flamenco has now been emancipated, shed of its image of a folkloric dance and music style.
During the Franco era (1936 - 1975), this Spanish art became the unwilling spokesman for Spain’s populist-tinged, authoritarian regime. Though rejected at the start of the Movida (late 1970s, early 1980s) by Spanish youth partial to Anglo-Saxon music, flamenco has now returned to the cultural forefront by opening up to other trends and diversifying.
While artists of the younger generation respect the past and continue to use traditional flamenco themes (love, passion, family, death), they intentionally draw inspiration from today’s social issues.
French guitar virtuoso, Juan Carmona, who easily navigates between Spanish and oriental moods, is the perfect symbol of flamenco’s rebirth. Though proud of his Andalusian Gypsy roots, he insists on moving beyond the typical ethnic clichés. Respected in all musical fields, including classical music, he has built bridges between flamenco and other musical genres.
Carmona represents an opportunity for flamenco to extend into other spheres and capture a wider, truly popular audience.