The 21st century has collected a rich tradition which started around 1990: the re-invention
of ancient musical instruments. In full extasis of ethnic rhythms and fusions of all types, a number
of young musicians decided not only to contaminate their musical language with many interesting
sources, but also to use traditional folkloric instruments with a totally renewed vision. This is the
way to understand the revolutionary treatment used by trikitrixa (Kepa Junquera), gaita-midi
(Hevia), alboka (Ibon Koteron), timple canario (J.A. Ramos), grallas-dulzainas (Els Groullers),
pito-flautas (Ángel Rufino de Haro) and half a dozen experiences more which I won't continue
mentioning, because in the end we must talk about our protagonists, RAO TRIO.
The soloist is a hurdy-gurdy player. On hearing the group for the first time, you feel emotion. If
you listen with your eyes closed, a kind of disappointment comes when trying to identificate such
a sweet and not easily recognizable instrument. But on opening your eyes, surprise appears. It is
a hurdy-gurdy, something we relate with medieval songs, the Camino de Santiago and Coplas
de Ciego. The way it is played is completely original. A risky concept that starts from a
remarkable virtuosism which has forced an adaption of this instrument for the new technical and
expressive neccesities. That freedom allows everything to be played, in any style.
Germán Díaz (Valladolid, 1978) has chosen with RAO TRIO to move towards the influence of
jazz, accompanied by two fellow country-men who form an imaginative and warm rhythm
section: César Díez (bass) and Diego Martín (drums). With them, Gorka Hermosa de Urretxu, a
luxury accordion player adding a brilliant counterpoint. RAO TRIO's repertory includes castillian
traditional songs, a couple of César´s compositions and six tunes by Germán, some of them
well acclaimed, such as “El medallion” or “Pechotango”. This last one shows his love for the
Buenos Aires style, a passion also shown in “Libertango”, by Astor Piazzola, in which we come
across absolute innovation again. Something which in it's moment was already a creative
upheaval, suffers a new kick towards even more innovation. This is only possible for a genius,
and here we have one: RAO TRIO. How lucky we are to be able to enjoy them!
José Miguel López. Discópolis - Radio 3.
Radio Nacional de España.
RAO TRÍO is an original group, who gives a sort of novelty to “Another kind of music” scene.
Zanfona, Bass and Drums is the curious formation that these three young musicians adopt just to
offer an original repertoire based on traditional themes, and on composers joint to a tradition,
such as Anouar Brahem, Gilles Chabenat and Valentin Clastrier.
RAO TRÍO: A revolutionary and astonishing trio, where zanfona ( hurdy-gurdy) opens a new way
in jazz and improvised music.
A unique and original group: zanfona, electric bass and drums. Its repertoire deals with own
compositions or from contemporary authors. It shows a particular aesthetics which deffends a
style starting to be heard abroad as a new kind of avant-garde music.
No doubt this is an absolutely novel and original trio. It appeared in 2000 just to give concerts
on jazz and contemporary music stages, where its fresh new sound makes critics and public in
general be absolutely susprised. Its performances are quite frecuent both in Spain, France, Italy,
Norway, Germany and Portugal. In 2003 it has been selected by INJUVE to represent Spain in
international music circuit.
CÉSAR DÍEZ. Bass.
Valladolid, 1974. He studies electric bass with Ricardo Freire, Jorge Cerrato
(as his particular teacher) and Richi Ferrer at Music Studio in Madrid.
He also studies harmony with Alfredo Villamañán, Miguel Ángel Blanco and, at
IMT with Ramón Paus. He has worked as a teacher for Music City School in
Valladolid. He shared stage with well known musicians as Carlos Segarra and Michelle Mc
Cain in “Momentos de Rock and Roll”.
He cooperated with Cesar Cuenca in his record and tour “Bichito”, and
several teatre plays and different records for a great deal of spanish musicians.
DIEGO MARTÍN. Drums.
Valladolid, 1976. He starts music studies in 1991, at Music Studio in Madrid,
where he receives drums lessons from Pedro López, Juan Manuel Barroso, and
musical theory with Miguel Blanco. From 1994 to 1999 he studies at
Encounter Center for Improvisation Development (CEDI) where he studies
drums with Pedro López and Belma Martín, and improvisation with Barry Harrys
and Eddie Pregos.
He participates as a performer at First and Second Improvised Music
International Festival, at French and German Institute in Madrid. He usually
cooperates with jazz personalities as Peter Khowal.
GERMÁN DÍAZ. Zanfona (hurdy gurdy).
Valladolid, 1978. He starts his musical theory studies at the conservatory and
guitar at a private school. He studies Clasical Philology and postgrade as a
Universita Specialist in Tradition at the University of Valladolid.
He studies Zanfona with Laurent Tixier, Rafael Martín, Isabelle Pignol, Gilles
Chabenat, Patrick Bouffard, Nigel Eaton, Valentin Clastrier and Pascal
Leffeuvre at Coordinated Seminars of AIZ (Zanfona Iberian Asociation).
He studies percussion with Pedro Estevan and Dimitri Psonis at Don Juan de
Borbón Foundation International Music Course, and Renaissance Music at
Ministriles Studio, given by F. Rubio, J. Argelaga, S. Galduf, F: Sánchez, P.
Esteban and D. Psonis.
He assists to Masterclasses with Pascal Lefeuvre, Isabelle Pignol and Laurence
Bourdin. He has helped as a performer with “Azar Teatro” in Medieval
Markets, gives zanfona lessons in different Iberian Peninsula places (such as
“Cursos musicais do conservatorio de música tradicional e folque e da foliada
de Lalín). He has worked for many traditional and quite a different style
musicians as Nuevo Mester de Juglaría, Joaquín Díaz, María SaLgado, La
Carraca, Tradere, César Cuenca, Toni Xuclá, Salmantice, Brenga Astur,
Fratelli Mancuso, laio, Baldo Martínez, Cuarteto Acústico...) and cooperates
with María Salgado in her last recording. He ussually helps LAIO.
He takes part of Baldo Martínez Cuarteto Acústico and of Sinfonía Quartet (
four zanfonas) conducted by Mr. Pascal Lefeuvre. He is a member of The
Viellistic Orquestra, a French rare and genuine zanfona orquestra, in which the
best zanfona players in the World make a very different performance from
anything heard before.
He works, as European Groups style, for traditional music with a very particular
staff, in NUKE TRIO, (bass clarinet, guitar and zanfona) with pablo Pascual
and Pedro Pascual