Taller de Compás de Almanjáyar/ Cale Calé
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Taller de Compás de Almanjáyar
Cale Calé

A marvelous group of seasoned experts and young, energetic newcomers have formed a beautiful ensemble of hard edged, dynamic, voice-and-percussion-driven music that focuses on flamenco (no guitars) and then moves into many different Afro-Latin and Mediterranean modes.

Listen:
Mis Raices
Percusion
Por Tangos

"Dynamic disc evolved from a wonderful project in Granada 2002 creating flamenco and a host of associated styles from rumba to rap, with 11-15 years olds and adult experts. A vibrant cocktail of percussion and voices pulsating with energy." - fRoots

ABOUT THE ENSEMBLE

The group Taller de Compás de Almanjáyar came out of a social /cultural project organised by the Gypsy Association Anaquerando ( which means 'We are talking' in Caló the language of the Spanish Gypsy). The name Taller de Compás means Rhythm Workshop in Spanish and Almanjáyar is the neighbourhood where they live.

The music workshop was created to break down the barriers between Gypsies and non-Gypsies and encourage families to get involved in community events by involving the children. Under the guidance of Puche, who ensured that they concentrated on the flamenco rhythms that the children had all grown up with, the project soon began to attract enthusiastic and talented players as well as singers and dancers and before long were being invited to play at festivals and flamenco clubs.

cd cover The music of Taller de Compás de Almanjáyar is based on the rhythms of flamenco, but also encompasses the sounds of Africa, Cuba, Brazil and American rap. Working only with percussion and voice, the group has a raw energy highlighted by the deep song (Cante Jonda) of the Gypsies and when Andrés dances his feet join the percussion as an instrument in their own right. The lyrics are a mixture of traditional flamenco songs and original songs written for the music workshop. Attached are lyrics along with translation.

All the musicians have been with the workshop from the beginning and were pleased to form a group to perform and publicise the work of Anaquerando and show what the children of Almanjáyar could do despite the problems of poverty and prejudice.

cd cover Andrés Jiménez ( 19) is the dancer and his sister Carmen Jiménez ( 17), whose rich voice along with that of Zairah Santiago ( 15) provide the perfect rhythmic vocals. The percussion section is made up of Puche ( José Luis García Puche the band leader and workshop teacher) and Israel Muñez ( 16) and Israel Bermúdez (15). They play a variety of percussion darbuka, djembe, congas, Moroccan percussion and the cajón.

In 1999 they were spotted by the record producer Harold Burgon who began a series of recordings which was to result in their first album Cale Calé ( meaning Gypsy Rhythms in Caló) which included several guest artists who were also recording with Harold, including the Granada flamenco singer Enrique Morente.

Cale Calé was released independently in April 2002. An article was published at Flamenco World written by the flamenco critic Estela Zatania who attended the launch concert. The album created great interest and has been played on various radio stations world wide and received some splendid reviews.

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