José Fernández Torres, better known as Tomatito, is a living legend and one of today’s most-admired flamenco guitarists. Known for his mastery of traditional rhythms, his classic work with singer Camarón del la Isla, and his pioneering efforts in establishing Nuevo flamenco by augmenting traditional flamenco with music influenced by classical, jazz, blues, rock, pop, bossa-nova, tango, and fado, makes his first City of Los Angeles appearance with his sextet on Friday, October 21 at 8:00 p.m. at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre.
Tomatito has presented his art the world over, from New York to Moscow, from the Middle East to Hong Kong. He has been hailed as one of the best guitarists in the world. An enormously charismatic musician, Tomatito is much loved both as an embodiment of Flamenco’s deep traditions and as a leader in contemporary developments in the art form. Tomatito has ensured the evolution of flamenco guitar, as well as securing his own place as the leading flamenco guitarist of his generation and one of the greatest flamenco guitarists of all time.
“Tomatito is the most eminent guitarist in flamenco. [He plays] with such clean intent that it was possible fo you to feel the energy and gesture and contrast in those individual notes and phrases as if you were playing them yourself.” (Ben Ratliff, New York Times)
Tomatito’s sextet includes José del Tomate, guitar; Piraña, percussion; Kiki Cortiñas and Morenito de Íllora, vocals; and José Maya, one of the most exciting flamenco dancers today. Maya is one of the most explosive dancers in Spain today, a powerful figure in flamenco's new generation. He has collaborated with many of the most well-known flamenco artists including Farruquito, El Güito, Manolete, Estrella Morente, Gerardo Núñez and Diego El Cigala, and has opened for pop stars Marc Anthony, Beyoncé and Björk.
Flamenco has a long and complex history with ancient roots. It has been traced to the 15th-century arrival in Spain of Gypsies whose musical traditions blended with those of Christians, Arabs, and Jews to create unique forms, modes, and rhythms. In the late 19th century the music became popular in cafes throughout Spain.
Tomatito was born in Almería, southern Spain, surrounded by guitars. Since childhood he listenied to his father and grandfather, Miguel Tomate. He is the nephew of legendary Flamenco guitarist Miguel Niño. At age 12 he moved to the city of Malaga, where he started his career playing flamenco clubs like La Taberna Gitana. There he met Paco de Lucía and Camarón de la Isla. Gradually, his extraordinary powers drew attention from critics and fans. He began to play with great singers like Enrique Morente or La Susi, but his greatest pride is to have played with the legendary Camarón de la Isla for the last 18 years of his life.
Alongside Camarón, Tomatito recorded discs that are now essential references in the flamenco archive, such as "La Leyenda del Tiempo" and "Como el Agua." In the latter, Tomatito accompanies with Paco de Lucía. After the death of Camarón, Tomatito began his career as a soloist, dazzling audiences with his exquisite sensitivity. His charismatic personality and a firm commitment to the development and dissemination of flamenco worldwide mean that Tomatito now enjoys the recognition he deserves, not only in the field of music but also in film, theater and art.
Tomatito has won a total of five Grammy Awards (one with Michel Camilo) and a Latin Grammy for his albums "Aguadulce" and “Soy Flamenco”. He has collaborated with many performers from around the world, such as Elton John and Frank Sinatra, and has influenced a whole generation of young guitarists. And on the occasions when he has ventured into other musical fields, such as jazz, has always remained true to his principles. His latest album, "Soy Flamenco", presents an elegant and mature musician at the height of his art.
The Los Angeles International Flamenco Festival is proud to bring unique programming and world-class flamenco artists to Los Angeles, having presented some of the worlds most acclaimed and influential flamenco artists. Past performers include Vicente Amigo, Los Farrucos, Diego El Cigala, Juana la del Pipa, La Tania, Tia Yoya, Luis Moneo, Diego del Morao, La Curra, Kina Mendez, Maria Bermudez, Teatro Flamenco, Adam del Monte, Omayra Amaya, Gema Moneo & many more.
WHEN: Friday, October 21, 2016; 8:00 p.m.
The Wilshire Ebell Theatre is located at 4401 West 8th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90005
(Bet. Wilshire Blvd. & West 8th St. on S. Lucerne Blvd.)
Ticket Prices: $30 - $57
Purchase ticket online at KalaKoa.com
Parking: Lot and street parking