I’m pleased to officially announce “Hands”, a collaboration between myself and the great flamenco guitar master Pepe Habichuela. Also featured on the album are Josemi Carmona and Carlos Carmona on guitars and Israel Porrina (Pirana) and Juan Carmona on Percussion and Cajon.
Meeting Pepe and playing this music with him has been been a very special experience for me. We first played together in 2007 and since then I’ve made an annual trip to Spain to perform with him and the group. During my visit in the spring of 2009 we recorded “Hands” in a studio in Madrid. Eight of the ten compositions featured on the album are written or cowritten by Pepe and are in the true flamenco tradition. This was a new musical language for me to learn and at the rehearsals I asked Pepe to teach me about his music and he graciously and patiently introduced me to his musical world.
I wanted to really get inside the music. Pepe is true, deep Flamenco and I felt that I would only dilute that music if I treated it in a casual way. I wanted to bring my own voice to the music but do it with a deeper understanding of the unique musical language of Flamenco.
The other two compositions are mine and they feature Josemi Carmona. He also played an important role in the organization of his father’s music for this recording. He is an accomplished musician in his own right and was one of the original members of the popular Spanish group “Katama”.
This project matured over several years and was nurtured by the care, love and passion given to it by the musicians and their families and friends. It was a great feeling to finally hold the finished CD in my hands and know that we had documented that music and could now share it with more people.
Below is a video interview with the Artistic Director of the Cheltenham Jazz Festival about my work with Pepe.