1963 (age 54)
His name is Carmona, like his distant cousins of the Habichuelas dynasty of Granada, all guitarists. In 1963, one year after the exile, he was born in Lyons, France.
Juan Carmona was barely 10 when his father gave him his first guitar. His virtuosity became quickly apparent to professional musicians and it was only a matter of time before he began gathering international acclaim
Juan Carmona soon felt the urge to return to the land of his ancestors, to go back to his roots and to imbibe again at the family spring – Jerez de la Frontera in Andalusia – with a personal challenge : to revive recognition of the originality of his art in the town considered as the cradle of flamenco. And the wager was won. For more than eight years he rubbed elbows with and accompanied the greatest names in flamenco, all the while immersing himself in their talents : the singers Agujetas, Duquende, Terremoto Hijo, Capuyo de Jerez, Rubichi, Antonio y Manuel Malenas, Jesus Monje (Camaron de la Isla brother), Jose Mendez… ; the dancers Joaquin Grilo, Maria del Mar Moreno, Ana Parilla, Angelita y Joselito Vargas, Joselito Fernandez. Juan Carmona also recorded with Chano Dominguez, Rubem Dantas, Manolito Soler, Tino di Geraldo, …
In 1988, he awarded first prize in the Jerez de la Frontera International Competition, and was one of the finalists in the Union and Cordoba Guitar Competition. In 1989, he obtained a diploma from the Jerez Flamenco Foundation, awarded by the guitarist Manolo Sanlucar. In 1990, he won the Villa Médicis Hors Les Murs award, the Don Antonio Chacon trophy awarded by his “peña flamenca”, and in 1992 the Lavoisier award. In 1994, he finally achieved the ultimate laureate : First prize in the Madrid de Paco de Lucia Competition.
Besides his many concert achievements, awards and relationships in the guitar world, this French-born gipsy added an hard further distinction permanent triumph in Spain, particularly in Andalusia where he created upheaval in the world of flamenco. His stay in Spain gave birth to his recording “Borboreo” in tribute to the city of Jerez, under the artistic direction of Isidro Muñoz.
Since his return to France in 1996, Juan Carmona knew an endless series of recordings and concert engagements. After having worked with a fabulous stream of musicians representing a wide range of musical genres : Mino Cinelu, Birili Lagren, Larry Coryell, Babik Rheinhart, Philip Catherin, Christian Escoudé, Raphael Fays … to name just a few in the area of jazz ; Subramanian in Indian music ; the singer Matlubeth (Uzbekistan) ; and having participated in numerous film scores, (La belle Histoire, Cuisines et Dépendances, Sables Mouvants), Juan Carmona set up his own group : the Juan Carmona Grupo, staging shows throughout France and abroad, forging himself an international musical career : USA, Germany, Italy, England, Morocco, Russia, Holland, Hungary… in addition to performances in major music festivals such as the Montreal Jazz Festival (07) and the Festival Jazz à Vienne (07).
A program was devoted to him on the Franco-German channel Arte in October 1998, presented by the maestro Lord Yehudi Menuhin, who considered Juan Carmona to be an outstanding guitarist.
After the sucesssfull release of his previous albums “Caminos Nuevos” (2000) and "Orillas" (2003 - nominated at the Latin Grammy Awards, category best flamenco album), Juan CARMONA has released in february 2006 his new album "Sinfonia Flamenca" (harmonia mundi/Le Chant du Monde) performed by the Juan Carmona Grupo and worldwide orchestras such as the Russian Philarmony, the National Orchestra of Lyons, the Tunis Orchestra, the Brandenburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Danubian Symphony Orchestra, the Marseille Opera Symphony Orchestra…, also nominated for the latin grammy awards 2006
Juan Carmona has undeniably proven to be one of the most creative guitarists of the new flamenco generation. This performer has a surprising, moving quality. Somewhere between profound awareness of musical genres, traditional styles and a devastating modernity, Juan Carmona stands as an innovator.
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