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CARLOS PIÑANA - "Manos libres" / VALDERRAMA - "Don Juan"

52 Festival Internacional de Cante de las Minas de La Unión.
August, 4th - Catedral del Cante - La Unión (Murcia)
August 5, 2012

Special report 52nd Festival Internacional del Cante de las Minas.

The flamenco origins of Cante de las Minas are recalled with Juan Valderrama and Carlos Piñana.

Two descendants of legendary families related to the origins of the Festival Internacional del Cante de las Minas, guitarist Carlos Piñana and singer Juan Valderrama, turned the hot August night in La Unión into a fantastic flamenco journey to the heart of the festival.

Following the successes of dancer Sara Baras and singer José Mercé, the Cathedral of Cante was all geared up for the third flamenco gala which began with the show “Manos Libres” of Carlos Piñana, grandson of Antonio Piñana, winner of the Lámpara Minera in 1961.

His compositions of alegrías, taranta, soleá and fandangos allowed the musician from Cartagena to have the audience right in his pocket from the first moment, while offering a tribute to the cante of La Unión via mineras, followed by zapateado, a guajira, milonga and jaleos, accompanied by the percussion of Miguel A. Orengo, the electric bass of José Ramón Velasco and Fernando Velasco on cajón.

Juan Valderrama took the stage of the Cante de las Minas to present “Don Juan”, a show he put together specifically for this edition of the festival, and a grand tribute to his father, the legendary Juanito Valderrama, who in 1961 planted the seed that bloomed into the current festival when he encouraged the people of La Unión to promote and be proud of their tradition of mining cante.

Fifty-two years later, the singer began his performance with just that, a moving tribute to the cante of La Unión in the form of mineras which brought the grateful applause of the audience and after which a series of images of Juanito Valderrama in La Unión were projected.

The singer interpreted a series of temporeras, tarantas, milongas and siguiriyas, ending with soleá de Triana in unison with the recorded voice of his father, and the famous song “El Emigrante” of Juanito Valderrama, a piece which has impregnated the psyche of Spain for decades. Special mention for Rubén Levaniegos who accompanied Valderrama on guitar, as well as Manuel Luque on cajón and Álvaro Palacín and Adolfo Vega doing palmas.

After the show, the singer unveiled the “Lámpara Juan Valderrama” on the Avenue of Flamenco. During this act, Juan Valderrama had words about his father whom he described as “one of the greatest artists in the history of Spain, and whom my sister and I carry in our hearts – he deserves to be remembered forever”.