A Giraldillo that recalls Juan Peña ‘El Lebrijano’

A cantaor who dares with everything. Juan Peña ‘El Lebrijano’ chose him to perform his first album ‘From Seville to Cadiz’ at the XIX Flamenco Biennial under his direction. Unfortunately this master disappeared in the process, but the project saw the light as a homage, for which José Valencia has won the Giraldillo ‘Magic Moment’ of this edition, and which speaks to us in this exclusive interview for the web of the Biennial.

share and comment   like   twitter

It is one of the best voices of the singing of our time and a restless creator. José Valencia was chosen by Juan Peña ‘El Lebrijano’ to perform his first record. The singer took on the difficult task of moving forward with the show ‘From Seville to Cadiz’ (‘De Sevilla a Cádiz’) after the sad death of this master, who had started to direct it. Finally, his nephew Pedro María Peña took up the torch and Jose Valencia offered a show that touched the audience of the Teatro Lope de Vega during the last Biennial, in which he generated a magical atmosphere with the bailaora Pastora Galván, also chosen by the master of Lebrija.

How did you experience the process of preparing the show ‘From Seville to Cadiz’?
I lived with great intensity from that first moment when uncle Juan called me to be directed by him and give voice to his first album. His wretched death; the new direction of Pedro María Peña; the untiring work of José Ramón, uncle Juan’s manager; the unconditional support of the Biennial, especially from its director, who told me that this had to be done now more than ever … too intense, for everybody, but he deserved that and more.

What does it take for you to act at the Biennial?
Acting at the most important festival in the world of flamenco is an honor for any artist who dedicates to this wonderful art.

How do you think the world of flamenco and culture should remember Juan Peña ‘El Lebrijano’?
As a great musician, pioneer in innovation, first figure singing flamenco in a very personal way. Direct transmitter of figures like Pastora (La Niña de los Peines) and Antonio Mairena to our time… In one word, a legend, with capital letters.

What is the next challenge or project that you have in view?
I am preparing a show for the 50th anniversary of the Estudio Lebrijano Theater, that will be released on February 24th.