Pepe Habichuela & The Bollywood strings
Pepe Habichuela (b. Granada, 1944) has returned to the
recording market with a record in which East Indian
music and flamenco mix with a simplicity of understanding
that can only be achieved by veteran masters of each
respective tradition. The guitarist who carried out
this project is one of today's most respected veterans
of flamenco guitar, but in addition to his experience,
he brings to this project an open philosophy regarding
musical adventures in which there is no place for affectation
or academicism. Enrique Morente's right-hand-man on
the record "Despegando", as well as in innumerable
concerts, he hasn't devoted much time to solo work,
in keeping with a way of being that is parallel to a
musical style in which professional advancement and
ostentation do not exist.
Habichuela's collaboration with Indian music has been
seen and heard on many stages throughout the world in
various formats. In 2000 Pepe accepted the invitation
of the British-Indian musician Nithin Shawney to play
in several concerts in Europe in a small tour which
hit some World Music festivals that already included
the violinist Chandru, and the critics were surprised
by the easy rapport and the capacity for assimilation
between both types of music.
is one of the most sought-after musicians India's movie
industry, the market known as "Bollywood",
which surpasses America's Hollywood in sheer number
of productions. "The Bollywood strings" led
by the violinist, dialogue and interchange ideas in
the studio and on stage. London, Bangalore, Barcelona...
In rehearsals Pepe surprises everyone with his English
which is as eloquent and straightforward as his guitar
playing and, without a doubt, the sound of his chords
is the first flamenco sound which has reached the ears
of many audience members at ethnic music festivals.
looks back and around itself. The Hindu musicians adapt
easily to the compas of flamenco: their rhythmic language
is far more complex than that of flamenco, so that seguiriyas
sounds with impossible percussive phrasing and melodies
that criss-cross in harmonies that make them seem familiar.
Chandru, smiling, plays as if he were speaking straight
to Pepe. Another new world has opened up for a musician
who can be heard on the records of Talvin Singh, Bjork,
and Ravi Shankar. His language is fluid and precise.
Pepe coordinates the musicians via his versatile and
Translation: Estela Zatania