Paco Peña Performs In Tehran And Shiraz

Although Tehran is known as one of the ‘flamenco colonies’ of the world, it had never hosted a genius flamenco guitarist and composer like Paco Peña, who has founded the world’s first university course on flamenco guitar, at the conservatory of music of Rotterdam. The last big event was the presence and performance of Juan Martin in Tehran. Peña will perform in Tehran form August 20th to 22nd, and I’ll be there.

I don’t know if there are any flamenco guitarists/fan here at renoise community, but this topic may also be a good place to share experiences and knowledge on flamenco.


I appreciate the virtuoso, the rhythmic and webbing of descending melodies. Not to take away from its virtuoso, it would be fun to program without the limitations of fingers and a guitar capo. I haven’t really tried church modes that much as I’m still practicing on weaving minor/major/other chord progressions with grand minor melodies. I’m glad you brought this up, its an exotic getaway from grand minor scale as well as a reminder and chance to experiment with modulations. It says from the wiki page that “G sharp is compulsory for the tonic chord”. It’s an alluring key to work with and one of my favorites.

Enjoy the show

Good luck with your music exploration. I internally like scales used in flamenco, AAMOF they have roots in Persian and Arabic traditional music historically, so are the rhythms full of syncopation. e.g. Phrygian mode that is widely used in flamenco is taken from Phrygia which is an ancient region in southwestern Asia Minor (in the area of present-day Turkey), and in Persian music it is called Kurdish mode.

I have tried to compose some pieces in buleria, minera, solea, and some other toques but they still don’t contain enough Spanish aire. Much is to be done.

And I’ll definitely enjoy the show, thanks. :)

I can’t believe that there were flamenco fans here :D Sadly, Paco Peña I think is better known outside Spain than inside.

Some background is needed to understand the palos (bulerías, soleás, martinetes, tangos, sevillanas, seguiriyas, etc, etc, etc.), but as Ashkan Asgary says, Phrygian mode is the secret to get that flamenco taste in most songs. Rhythm and syncopation are really tough things to master and are the key to define the different palos. Anyway, being Spanish doesn’t make me an expert neither in flamenco nor bullfighting :P )

My favorite flamenco guitar player is Vicente Amigo. He can do classic stuff as well as modern flamenco fusion experiments with jazz and pop music. You can check one of his performances here:

Of course I adore Vicente Amigo, after Paco De Lucia. I also cherish Tomatito and Sabicas (RIP).

What makes Peña different IMO is that he plays flamenco very fundamentally, and very scientifically at the same time. I admit that he does not have the ultimate technique of De Lucia or Amigo. Maybe he is not very known in Spain because he has lived outside ‘Andalucia’ for a long time ;)

Toque-wise, I internally enjoy Bulerias extremely, somehow get tranced with it. Minera is also very pleasant to me, along with tangos and fandangos. Totally flamenco is the best mental nutrition to me.

Ok, it is over. 2 magical nights in Shiraz and 3 in Tehran, along with one master class in each.

I must admit that Peña represented the most original and traditional Andalucian sound I’d ever heard. There are of course a few better flamenco guitarists with more modern flamenco taste, but this was pure Andalucian music, performed with an unbelievable ultimate technique. At age of 66, Peña thunderstormed the Sa’d-Abad palace in Tehran.

He began with Granaina, and continued with Alegria and Soleares. Then he introduced himself and spoke about Andalucian music in English, mentioning the influence of middle-eastern music on flamenco. Then he finished part 1 of his performance with Tarantas and Seranas.

Part 2 was started with Malagueña y verdiales and continued with Colombianas, Tientos, Petenera and finally Fandangos. A few seconds after saying ‘Khodahafez’ which means ‘goodbye’ in Persian, he came back on stage and played a fast and cheerful Tanguillos, making the crowd blast into passion.

He lectured a brief history of every toque he played. It was definitely one of the biggest musical events of my life, only I was a bit sad he didn’t play a piece in Bulerias.

It is rumored that Paco De Lucia is also invited to play in Shiraz and Tehran, and may perform in Iran in the next 2 or 3 months. No official news has been released yet.

I’m glad you enjoyed it! :guitar:

Thanks anhelido.

BTW, a few years ago I saw the performance of a young flamenco guitarist on Fiesta sattellite TV channel named Niño De Pura, if I’m not mistaken. He had a very high technique and a nice flamenco touch, do you know him? I couldn’t find him on the net…

How come? There are a lot of references in google, even in youtube.

Oh, I found him, I had made a spelling mistake in entering his name. :)

edit: BTW, here are some of the photos I took in Peña’s concert. Sorry for the poor quality, my camera couldn’t take a better snapshot in that distance: