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El Duelo De El Camaron - José Monje Cruz 2013 - Original Painting by Gerald Lubensky

El Duelo De El Camaron - José Monje Cruz 2013 - Original Painting by Gerald Lubensky

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El Duelo De El Camaron - José Monje Cruz 2013

Acrylic on Canvas

71 x 60 unframed

Hand Signed and Dated on the back

from Wikipedia

José Monje Cruz (5 December 1950 – 2 July 1992), better known by his stage name Camarón de la Isla (Spanish: Shrimp from the Island), was a Spanish Romani flamenco singer. Considered one of the all-time greatest flamenco singers, he was noted for his collaborations with Paco de Lucía and Tomatito, and the three of them were of major importance to the revival of flamenco in the second half of the 20th century.

Early life

He was born in San Fernando, Cádiz, Spain, into a Spanish Romani family, the seventh of eight children. His mother was Juana Cruz Castro, a "Canastera", literally a basket weaver, meaning from a wandering Roma family, and whose gift of singing was a strong early influence.

His father, Juan Luis Monje, was also a singer as well as a blacksmith and had a forge where Camarón worked as a boy. His uncle José nicknamed him Camarón (Spanish for "Shrimp") because he was blonde and fair-skinned.

When his father died of asthma, while still very young, the family went through financial hardship. At the age of eight, he began to sing at inns and bus stops with Rancapino to earn money. At sixteen, he won first prize at the Festival del Cante Jondo in Mairena del Alcor. Camarón then went to Madrid with Miguel de los Reyes and in 1968 became a resident artist at the Tablao Torres Bermejas, where he remained for twelve years.

Musical career

During his time at Tablao Torres Bermejas, he met Paco de Lucía, with whom he recorded nine albums between 1969 and 1977. The two toured extensively together during this period. As Paco de Lucía became more occupied with solo concert commitments, Camarón worked with the flamenco guitarist Tomatito.

In 1976, at the age of 25, Camarón married Dolores Montoya, a Romani girl from La Línea de la Concepción whom he nicknamed "La Chispa" (The Spark). At the time La Chispa was 16. The couple had four children.

Camarón de la Isla and Paco de Lucía

Many consider Camarón to be the single most popular and influential flamenco cantaor (singer) of the modern period. Although his work was criticized by some traditionalists, he was one of the first to feature an electric bass in his songs. This was a turning point in the history of Flamenco music that helped distinguish Nuevo Flamenco.

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