Roni Benise (best known as Benise), is an American self-taught and self-described "Nouveau Spanish Flamenco Guitarist". Benise left his family to move 1500 miles away to Los Angeles with a dream of pursuing a rock-type stardom. Then one day, when he was at a crossroads of his life, he had an epiphany after hearing flamenco on the radio. He tossed aside his electric guitar in favor of a classical nylon stringer.
With a lack of viable venues, he and a group of friends took the music literally to the streets as a busker, playing everything from neighborhood theaters to flea markets where he quickly established a following. Together, they came up with an act that married Latin rhythms to a near-Cirque du Soleil atmosphere. He takes world music (specifically, strongly Latin-flavored pieces such as flamenco, salsa, tango, and samba underscored by African tribal rhythms) and fuses it with rock, creating an entirely new sound that appeals widely to mainstream music fans and aficionados of world music.
The mixture caught the attention of the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) and led to his 2006-2007 Nights of Fire! production that has aired on many PBS-affiliated stations, for which he won an Emmy Award. The show is a blend of theater and music drawing from the Spanish flamenco, Argentinean tango, and Brazilian samba traditions.
To date Benise has produced eight CDs (seven studio, one live) and 2 DVDs. He owns an independent record label, Rosanegra Music.
* Nights of Fire! (2005)
* Brazil (2003)
* Mediterranea (2002)
* Spanish Nights (2001)
* Romance & Passion (2000)
* Angels (2000)
* Taboo (2000)
* Benise Live!
Live concert films
* Nights of Fire!
* Spanish Nights
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