Last Friday in Jerez de la Frontera Cádiz singer Juan Ramírez Sarabia ‘Chano Lobato’ received the Premio Nacional de Honor a la Maestría Flamenca (national prize of honor as maestro of flamenco) as part of the awards annually presented by the Cátedra de Flamencología in Jerez.
After working in the tablaos of his hometown of Santa María, Chano Lobato moved at a very young age to Madrid to work with the ballet of Alejandro Vega. His career continued to move along in 1952 in the ‘pasaje de El Duque’ in Sevilla where he sang for a variety of dancers. Later on his art crossed national borders to delight audiences in France, Italy and Great Britain. Over a period of nearly 20 years with the company of the great Antonio, he performed with Manuel Morao, El Serna and other distinguished flamenco artists.
In a short speech, Chano Lobato said that this prize makes him feel “especially grateful and proud” because it represents the recognition of the entire flamenco community. The singer pointed out the emotional impact of receiving this type of award at his age and dedicated it to “all the great artists of his town whose art is unknown to the general public”.
Other artists who received the Premio Nacional de Flamenco are Manolo Franco for guitar, and the Asociación de Profesores de Danza Española y Flamenco de Madrid for flamenco teaching. The recording “Cilindros de Cera” published by the Centro Andaluz de Flamenco de la Junta was awarded Best Phonographic Work, and the National Prize for Investigation went to the book “Tratado de la Bata de Cola” by Matilde Coral, Ángel Álvarez Caballero and Juan Valdés, with the collaboration of Rocío Coral.
Carmen Linares and Cristina Hoyos, awarded for their singing and dancing respectively, were unable to attend the ceremony. Local prizes known as the Copa de Jerez were awarded to José Vargas ‘El Mono’, Mercedes Ruiz, Antonio Hiquero and Ana María López in the categories of singing, dance, guitar and flamenco teaching.