Program: Juan Carmona

Saturday, November 12, 2022
Berklee Performance Center 

Guitar: Juan Carmona 
Bass: Sergio di Finizio
Percussion: Isidro Suarez
Flute/Keyboard: Domingo Patricio  

If Juan Carmona had to write his life’s story, it might be called La Belle Histoire, after the Claude Lelouch film for which he performed on the soundtrack in 1992 

The Carmona family had emigrated from North Africa to France after being exiled in the early 1960s. Juan, born in Lyon, was only ten years old when his father gave him his first guitar. His passion for the instrument grew and his virtuosity was quickly noticedby professional musicians.  

Juan Carmona’s journey as a professional guitarist next took him back to the land of his ancestors, Spain, to go back to his roots and imbibe at the sourceJerez de la Frontera in Andalusia. His talent and the originality of his art were quickly recognized in this city, known as the cradle of flamenco.  

For nine years, he absorbed as much as he could in the purest flamenco tradition, rubbing elbows with some of its biggest names, like Joaquín Grilo, Agujetas, Duquende, Antonio Canales, Chano Domínguez, and many others. He recorded his first albums and won international awards, including at the prestigious Festival Internacional de Guitarra Flamenca de Jerez; was afinalist in the competition of the Union of Córdoba, and winner of the great Paco de Lucia Award.  

The success Carmona encountered in Spain was a triumph for this Gypsy of French origin. On his return to France, he collaborated with musicians of diverse origins: Sylvain Luc, Larry Coryell, Marcus Miller, Jan Garbarek, Trilok Gurtu, L. Subramaniam, Baden Powell; each project added a new color to his sound palette 

Creative and curious, Carmona has an unquenchable thirst for learning that makes him what he is today, the creator of one of the most beautiful sounds on the international scene. His music is written with his memory, his ears, his heart, and his passion.  

A self-taught musician, he can boast of having composed his Sinfonia Flamenca and Orillas, today performed by many orchestras in the world, including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra, the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong, and the National Orchestra of Lyon (France).   

While he was on tour with his musicians around the world (United States, China, Canada, and beyond), his albums Alchemya, Orillas, Sinfonia Flamenca, and El Sentido del Aire were nominated for Latin Grammys in the category Best Flamenco Album. Winner of the Grand Prize Charles Cros 2015, he was also awarded the Grand Prize Zyriab of Virtuosos by UNESCO. His opus Perla de Oriente (2016), recorded during his last tour in Asia, testifies to the magic of his concerts.  

Praised by the leading figures of flamenco, Juan Carmona continues to soar on the wings of duende, taking it to new heights. He is an innovator, one of the most valiant links between modern music and the oldest, liveliest traditions of Andalusia. 

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