Juan Gómez ‘Chicuelo’
Juan Gómez ‘Chicuelo’ is one of the most outstanding guitarists on the flamenco scene and one of the most interesting and prolific songwriters of recent generations.
He worked in the Tablao de Carmen with Mario Escudero, Angelita Vargas, La Tolea, Yerbabuena, Sara Baras, Adrián Galia, Belén Maya, Antonio ‘El Pipa’ and Joaquin Grilo among others.
He has accompanied flamenco singers such as Enrique Morente, Miguel Poveda, Duquende, Mayte Martín, Rancapino, Chano Lobato, José Mercé, El Cigala, Potito and Carmen Linares. He has also shared the stage with musicians such as Chano Domínguez, Carles Benavent, Jorge Pardo, and Jordi Bonell and has collaborated with the pianist Maria João Pires.
In the year 2000 he releases his first record as a soloist, Cómplices (Harmonia Mundi), which he performs live all over the country. This piece is awarded the prize for best flamenco guitar soloist at the Flamenco Hoy awards. In 2007 he releases his second record Diapason (Flamenco Records), also winner of the best guitar soloist record at the Flamenco Hoy, and conducts extensive tours both nationally and internationally.
He is currently the regular guitarist for the best flamenco singers alive, such as Miguel Poveda and Duquende, with whom he has been on various tours of Europe, Japan and the United States.
The bulería “No te puedo encontrar”, main track of the movie Blancanieves, won the 2013 Goya Award for best original song. The track is a creation of the film’s director Paul Berger and Chicuelo.
‘Prodigy’, ‘magician’, ‘the total musician’, ‘prestidigitator’, ‘magnetic’, ‘off-the-charts’.
All this and more has been said by the press about Marco Mezquida. Having made only thirty years old, it is clear that much more is yet to be said.
His irruption illuminated the scene and, ever since, there has been a consensus among media, programmers, musicians and audience to point out Marco Mezquida as one of the most dazzling appearances on the European music scene in a long time.
To say that Mezquida shines equally as composer, pianist, improviser, accompanist and bandleader, that he is eclectic and versatile, is to name the obvious. But it is, also and barely, a description of the surface of his world.
Above all, Marco is a playful and unpredictable artist, a universe in which to fall, a torrent to surrender to and let go.
His creative power is overwhelming, and his resources seem endless. Jarrett, Schubert, Evans, Gesualdo or Bley, to name a few, merge exquisitely into Marco’s musical DNA. Marco lets them all in, invites them to play in his music, integrates them into his stream of expressiveness, at the unexpected intersections that have become a hallmark of the musical organism that Mezquida represents.
His unlikely agenda shows him in the intimacy of the solo piano,, or accompanied by orchestras, dance projects, duets, trios, jazz, as well as in his original approaches to Ravel, Haendel or Chopin, flamenco, or popular Latin American music.
He could be depicted as a young artist with a bright future, except that his achievements, although improper of an artist who has just reached thirty, speak in an irrefutable present:
The list of artists with whom Mezquida has shared stage, projects or studio is endless. Among them, renowned figures like Lee Konitz or Bill McHenry. Similarly, he has been present in venues of twenty four countries, including Marciac, Hong Kong Arts Center, Auditorio Nacional de Música de Madrid, Jazzaldia, Jazzahead!, Kölner Philharmonie Tokyo Jazz Festival, Wiener Konzerthaus, Auditorio Parco della Música, Auditori de Barcelona, SFJazz, Usina del Arte (Buenos Aires), or Jazz na Fábric in Sao Paulo.
His colleagues of the Association of Jazz Musicians and Modern Music of Catalonia have chosen him “Musician of the Year”, not one, but four times over five editions.
He has performed his solo piano concert at the Palau de la Música; the Voll Damm International Jazz Festival of Barcelona 2017 dedicated its first Portrait of Artist in fifty years to Marco, where he presented five of his innumerable projects, both privileges usually reserved for artists with extensive trajectories.
The flight of Marco Mezquida has just begun and his baggage is already so lush and intense that abbreviating becomes impracticable. Let us, then, call the words chosen by Maria Camps to define Marco: ‘…explorer of sounds, creator of atmospheres, multiplier of musical presences, one-man-orchestra.’