José de los Camarones is the artistic name of José Galá. He was born in La Plazuela, in the neighbourhood of San Miguel, one of the most flamenco’s neighbourhood in Jerez, in the spring of 1955. As a child he was already accompanying his father in the tasks of “mariesqueo” in the Guadalete River or the cities of Puerto Real, El Puerto, San Fernando, where he starts singing with “el Pregon de Marisqueo” and he learns a job, that of a “mariscador”, which he will never left, as he continues to exercise it. We can say that, while he awakened to life, the love for Flamenco emerged, a passion for the jondo.
In his long artistic career he has shown to be a profound connoisseur of all flamenco styles, even introducing some cantes in his repertoire, such as “bamberas”,»tarantos” or “tarantas”, which few cantaores currently intone. He is the author of almost all the lyrics of his cante, lyrics full of philosophy of life and love for the disinherited. Among its cantes we can highlight “tonás”, “granaínas”, “malagueñas”, “tientos”, “tangos”, “zambras”, “fandangos” de Lucena, “ verdiales”, and, most specially, the powerful “soleás” and its trembling “seguiriyas”. Who has not listened to José de los Camarones does not know what passion for flamenco is, the total dedication to singing, the depth of a gesture.
José de los Camarones has shared the stage with artists such as Chocolate, Curro de Utrera, Lebrijano or Curro Malena. He has obtained innumerable recognitions as the Melon de Oro of Lo Ferro, Murcia; Cante de Minas Prize in Barcelona, La Llagosta; Second national prize of Mirabrás de Sanlúcar, second National Prize of Córdoba, national prize El Candil de Manlleu and a long etcetera, which allow him to appear in the gallery of the great masters of Cante Flamenco.
The best virtue of José de los Camarones is to be a great person. He practices a philosophy of life that pushed him to embark on educational projects to bring flamenco to children, to participate in any proposal without being interested in his own benefit, to be a friend of his friends. As an example, years ago he launched a program, together with the Jerez Teacher Center, which took flamenco through the different educational centers of the city. It turned out to be a great experience.
José de los Camarones, who has never been valued in his great art, embodies like no other, the eternal archetype of tormented soul and brilliance of genius in the gaze, prototype of a race of people who chew art with true hunger. Is a work about man more than about the cantaor, an impossible journey to the unknown geography of a sincere soul, without fear of mirrors, but with some resident ghosts.
In «Anclé mi alma», José de los Camarones faces a double quest: on the one hand, an inner journey full of love and mystical poetry, alternating his own lyrics with poems by Kavafis, Neruda or Chipi ‘La Canalla’. On the other, an extremely interesting sound journey where the songs are accompanied by electric guitar, trumpet, keyboards or percussion, in a production signed by Josema Pelayo and arranged by Dani Quiñones and Jorge Gómez. «Anclé mi alma», let us remember, has been edited together by Serie Gong Productores and Satélite K.
Multifaceted where there are, the brilliant personality of José de los Camarones expands beyond the strictly musical and has also reached the seventh art. Thus, the famous director Gonzalo García-Pelayo has not hesitated to enroll him as a collaborator in four of his latest films: «Stop prohibiting that I cannot disobey everything», «This is how Carne Quebrada was filmed», «Siete Jereles» and «Alma Quebrada”, an acclaimed work that has had recent screenings in venues such as the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid and at events such as the Lisbon Film Festival or the Seminci – Valladolid International Film Week.
Nothing, not even the red carpets, seems to escape the magnetic presence of this cantaor born in the San Miguel neighborhood, employed since he was a child as a street shellfish vendor and now turned into a sought-after star, even, that’s nothing, by Gucci, firm for which he has posed with his very particular figure. An increasingly monumental figure.
In an interview José said: «I have learned to love myself, to respect myself»
Writer: Jose Luis Mata
ANCLÉ MI ALMA
It is considered among the best albums of the year 2022. In this album the cantaor carries out a double search: on the one hand, an inner journey where love poetry and mysticism go hand in hand, alternating his own lyrics with poems by Kavafis, Neruda or Chipi «The Scoundrel». On the other hand, a very interesting sound journey, where the songs are accompanied by electric guitar, trumpet, keyboards or percussion
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EN CALMA LA NOCHE
In this disc we will meet again the powerful voice of José, with the soul of his «Playas de San Telmo», his sunsets “marisqueros” and a “pregon” with more than three hundred years and that keeps in the enigmatic chest of the “soniquete” that his elders gave him.
Each and every one of the themes has been delivered from the handwriting of José Galán, «José de los Camarones», so, even though they are novel creations, they preserve the essence of the pure and the jondo. It is a new gift for the flamenco palate, it is a new offering this «En calma la noche».
When I finished this recording and once I had heard it, I said to myself: this is really me. I did not want to repeat anything. The wonderful defects that could once to be will be forever. We leave it this way to show and demonstrate that the human being acts and behaves according to the mood, moral, spiritual and material of the moment. This wonderful spring of musical creations flows without the protagonist realizing, otherwise all art would be fictional.
In the disc of «Jondo», we will find the “Seguidilla”, the “Rondeña”, the “Granaina” or the “Fandango” in its two real forms; Natural and of Huelva; a spiritual whole, which as its name suggests, has been torn from the depths of José’s soul to give it to us.
We will find on each and every one of the themes collected in this disc a piece by José de los Camarones, for whom, from the nonconformity of his artistic work, flamenco is the ritual that makes him flee from bad thoughts; So much is the passion that puts in its forms.
In this new work, José de los Camarones brings us the essence of the place that saw him born. That «Joyanka”, which far from being a geographical accident and that etymologically is justified in “hole”, is an encounter with himself, and an intense reflection on his own life. And everything is reflected in the different topics that we find.
In this work, José invites to reflection, invites to the encounter with oneself, as if it were the highest philosophical postulates. But from the depths of flamenco, without stridency conjugating soul and nobility.
This new project is characterised by a delicate subtlety in the choice and execution of its “cantes”, its content transports us from the seriousness and absolute purity of a “Seguiriya” torn by Martinetes, through the “Tangos” and “Letanias” to delight us with the fragility of a Ballad for Bulerías, whose lyrics shed the sensitivity of the romantic poet.
In short, this disc is a mosaic of shades and nuances that form a whole, before which you can not remain indifferent.
K1 es K1
With this cryptic title, the singer from Jerez wants to capture his particular way of interpreting the phenomenon of fandango. The vast knowledge he possesses about one of the most popular styles of flamenco is his, which really determines the transition between folklore and that cosmos that comes to be called flamenco. Through these “cantes” full of nuances and variations: the so-called naturals, the ones from Lucena, the “rondeña”, the “granaína”, the media “granaína”, … that he frequents and with which he feels comfortable.