For over 45 years Paco Peña has been bringing authentic Flamenco to enthusiasts the World over, touring tirelessly both as a soloist and with his own Flamenco Dance Company. His shows present not just the latest musical fashions, but a panorama of the whole culture and history of the idiom. He has received the highest awards for his achievements-from the Potro de Oro of his native city of Córdoba, to a film profile by BBC Television, to induction as Oficial de la Cruz de la Orden del Mérito Civil by King Juan Carlos of Spain. In 2012 the guitarist was awarded the 2012 Kennedy Center Gold Medal for Fine Arts (along with tenor Plácido Domingo and filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, among others).
To have become an institution in both your native country as well as in England and the United States is remarkable; but this is what Paco Peña has achieved as he reaches his 70th birthday.
Since his first venture to England in 1963, he has become one of Flamenco's best-known and best-loved ambassadors the world over. His engaging stage personality and eclectic approach have attracted a wide audience outside the usual guitar and flamenco enthusiasts. Perhaps even more surprising (to the uninitiated) is that Paco has managed this while remaining loyal to the concepts of traditional Flamenco.
Francisco (Paco) Peña Pérez was born in Córdoba, Spain, in 1942, the youngest of nine children. He was taught the guitar from an early age by his brother, making his first professional appearance at 12 and soon after appearing with dance companies in Madrid and the Costa Brava. On a visit to England in 1963, he noticed how enthusiastic the British audiences were; and in 1967 decided to move to London, where he was soon appearing in guitar events with such luminaries as Jimi Hendrix.The Incredible Paco Peña, appeared in 1968.
The British took him to their hearts, and soon he was appearing on BBC TV. In 1970, wishing to bring the whole tripartite art of Flamenco to his adopted country, he formed the Paco Peña Dance Company, which he maintains to this day in parallel with his career as a concert soloist.
In 1977 he was invited to teach the Flamenco Guitar course at the Guitar Festival of Castres, in France. The event Guitar Festival in his home town of Córdoba, featuring the very greatest performers in all styles (the revolutionary flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucía has appeared many times, as has Paco Peña's good friend, the classical guitarist John Williams). The event continues with great success.
Today Paco carries on bringing authentic Flamenco to the whole world. He maintains homes in both London and in Córdoba, and recently became a grandfather.
His current company includes two natives of Caracas, Venezuela: dancer Daniela Tugues and guitarist Julio Alcocer.
Paco Peña Flamenco Dance Company
Rafael Montilla (guitar)
Charo Espino (dance)twork. Also in Italy she worked as lead dancer in the opera La Traviata by Luigi Pizzi andJosé Carreras. In 1994 she joined the Paco Peña Company as lead dancer, a role she currently con
Daniela Tugues (dance)
Cristina Pareja (vocals)
José Angel Carmona (vocals)
Paco Arriaga (guitar)
Julio Alcocer (percussion)
MORE INFO: pacopena.com
PACO PEÑA: WINTER 2013 NORTH AMERICAN TOUR:
Fri Feb 15 Cerritos, CA Cerritos Center for the Perf Arts 8:00
Sat Feb 16 Northridge, CA Cal State U Northridge / Vallet Perf Arts Ctr 8:00
Sun Feb 17 Glendora, CA Citrus College / Haugh Perf Arts Ctr 2:00
Mon Feb 18 San Luis Obispo, CA Cal Poly / Cohan Perf Arts Ctr / Harman Hall 7:30
Wed Feb 20 Chico, CA Cal State U Chico / Laxson Auditorium 7:30
Fri Feb 22 Napa, CA Napa Valley Opera House / Mondavi Theatre 8:00
Sat Feb 23 San Rafael, CA Marin Center 8:00
Mon Feb 25 Folsom, CA Three Stages at Folsom Lake Coll / Stage One 7:00
Tues Feb 26 Livermore, CA Livermore Valley Perf Arts Ctr / Bankhead Th 7:30