“Flamenco is as important as every kind of music, such as jazz and Blues and classical music.” Alexandra tells us. A song, music and dance style, flamenco is first mentioned in literature in 1774. However, it was between 1869-1910, the ‘golden age of flamenco’, that flamenco music developed rapidly in music cafés known as cafés cantantes. Flamenco dancers also became one of the major attractions for the clientele of the cafés and the guitar players increasingly gained a reputation, seeing the birth of flamenco guitar as an art form.
“Flamenco music comes from Andalucía. It was born here because the region was such a melting pot of different cultures,” Alexandra explains. “Andalucía was under Arab rule for 700 years (711 – 1492), so there is a great Arab influence, not only in the architecture but also in the music. Then there is Jewish influence and also influence from the gypsies that arrived from South India and settled in Andalucía. And of course, influence from the previous culture that already was in the region. So, flamenco is a music born from these four different cultures.”
Read more: Why Seville is the best place to watch (and learn) Flamenco