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Saturday, 14 February 2015

Guitar: Eduardo Niebla; Flamenco Jazz Fusion

A late discovery

Heard Eduardo play this piece on BBC Radio 4 earlier this evening - Impressive "Calle de la Tina"

Spanish Guitar and Arab lute

Extracts from his biography

Born in Tangiers Morocco in 1955 Eduardo is one of 11 children and the 7th son of the 7th child. In 1960, a politically turbulent time, the family became refugees and fled to Girona, Cataluña (Spain) where he grew up. It was an impoverished upbringing, but the guitar was his refuge and following the setting up of teenage bands he formed the cult symphonic rock band “Atila” when he was 18 and turned professional. In the 1970s Eduardo was rated alongside Paco de Lucia as one of the top guitarists in the Hispanic Peninsula and their albums are now collectors’ items:

In 1978 he reached London to follow a solo career, starting out initially as a member of Mother Gong, with whom he recorded the album “Fairy Tale” and appeared at Glastonbury, as well as later busking in Covent Garden with guitarist Antonio Forcione.

During the 1980s, while living in a squat in Little Venice, he met Tom Newman, legendary producer, who lent him his first recording equipment, and performed with Lol Coxhill at Ronnie Scotts. He formed a new 11 piece band with Lol and top classical, jazz and pop musicians, recording his 5th album “Towards the Sun”:

The 1990s saw Eduardo explore his passion for Indian music, forming The Eduardo Niebla Trio with master tabla player Sukhvinder Singh and Indian sarod maestro Wajahat Khan, with whom he toured Spain and recorded “Magic Nights”. Other UK and international tours took place with tabla players Partha Sarathi Mukherjee and Sanjay Jhalla

In 1995 Eduardo met the Palestinian oud player Adel Salameh, with whom he recorded “Mediterraneo” for Riverboat Records, and toured internationally:
“Astonishing interplay between the principals who wed technical fluidity and virtuosity to an unashamedly secular passion.” (Q Review)

Later he recorded a set of very beautiful songs with the spiritual Indian gypsy singer and percussionist Paban Das Baul and was invited to record an album with bamboo flute player Deepak Ram “Searching for Satyam”, with whom he toured South Africa in 1999. This subsequently won Best Instrumental Album at the 2000 South African music awards.

His acclaimed collaborations with artists from around the globe continued in 2006 - 2008 with three British Council projects in which Eduardo premiered new music:
• the first with the Nawazen Ensemble, a traditional Jordanian group, joined by Sanju Sahai on tabla.
• The second was a collaboration with Rajasthani gypsy musicians from the desert, with whom Eduardo closed the Jaipur Festival India to a standing ovation, accompanied by guitarist Carl Herring,
• and the 3rd was a concert at The Cultural Heritage Centre in Abu Dhabi with Lebanese darbouka player Rony Barrak and Carl Herring - again to a standing ovation.

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