Sabicas


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Sabicas biography

Sabicas (Agustín Castellón Campos, 16 March, 1912, Pamplona, Spain - 14 April 1990, New York, USA) was a Flamenco guitarist of Romani origin. Sabicas began playing guitar at the age of 4 and made his performing debut 2 years later. His early style was influenced by Ramón Montoya. Extensive collaboration with important cantaores (male Flamenco singers) of the period helped him develop his unique personal style. Leaving Spain in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War, he went into exile in South America with bailaora (dancer) Carmen Amaya. The two toured together several times. Sabicas later settled in New York City in the United States. He did not return to his native Spain until 1967. Sabicas was instrumental in the introduction of Flamenco to audiences outside of Spain and the Spanish-speaking world. He was probably best known for his technical skills: Adding the Classical element to Flamenco guitar playing. Blazingly fast picado runs (scales), fast arpeggios, quality composition for the many forms of flamenco, and never losing the rhythm, which was critical if playing with a dancer. Also, he was considered to have "perfect pitch". Sabicas was a tremendous genius of his day, not only with technique, but with major contributions, rendering Flamenco unimaginable and giving new tools and possibilities for the solo instrument. He brought this art to concert halls and major theaters where all classes can enjoy. Notable contemporary players such as, Paco de Lucía, Tomatito, Juan Manuel Cañizares, El Viejín, Vicente Amigo, Gerardo Nuñez and many more claim large influence to Sabicas' music.

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