Five of the best flamenco artists of all time, with links to buy their records. Once you've heard all of these albums, you'll have a good idea of what flamenco is all about and will be well on your way to having a great flamenco collection!
If you're interested in sampling flamenco music (rather than just flamenco dancing, you can't go wrong with these artists.
Camaron de la Isla is the most important flamenco artist of all time. By the time of his death in 1992, he had released more than a dozen classic flamenco albums. His 1979 release La Leyenda del Tiempo
was as influential as Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
and as controversial as when Bob Dylan 'went electric'.
Antologia is a great introduction to the great man's work. If you like that, make sure you check out my Essential Camaron de la Isla Flamenco Albums
Ojos de Brujo are the leading lights in contemporary flamenco. Mixing flamenco rhythms with hip-hop beats, their music is highly accessible and great for any occasion.
They have released two albums so far, Barí and Techarí. The two albums are very similar and either one would satisfy, though I think Barí (their first release) has the slight edge.
Tarifa is located at the southern-most point of Spain, just 14km from Morocco. Tarifa doesn't have a radio station, but if it did, Radio Tarifa believe it would sound like their music. Fusing flamenco music with Arabic and Middle Eastern sounds, Radio Tarifa have created something that somehow sounds both traditional and fresh at the same time. Radio Tarifa have released three studio albums (Rumba Argelina, Temporal & Cruzando El Río) and one live album (Fiebre).
Carmen Linares has one of the most exceptional voices in flamenco. Raw and emotional, most of her music is flamenco at its most traditional. If you want authentic flamenco sung by a woman, Carmen Linares is your number one choice.
Niña Pastori is an exceptionally talented flamenco artist, born in the same town as Camarón de la Isla (San Fernando, Cádiz). She released her first album at just seventeen years of age. Unfortunately she has been marketed and produced in such a way that fans of 'earthy' flamenco will be disappointed by her slick version of flamenco-lite. However, if you like your polished pop to have something a little different to it, you can't go wrong with Niña Pastori.