Diego del Gastor


Any flamenco guitarist, when studying flamenco guitar, sooner or later, will be learning the works of DiegoDiego del Gastor flamenco guitar maestro del Gastor. In 2008 it was 100 years ago that this humble guitar meastro was born on Sunday March 15th 1908 in Arriate near Ronda in southern Spain. Humble since he had few personal possessions. His only wealth was his personality and his music. At a very young age his family moved to El Gastor in Cádiz, the village from which he received his stage name. Here in El Gastor a monument is dedicated to the flamenco guitarist Diego del Gastor. When he was six years old, they moved again to Morón de la Frontera where is he remembered by and rewarded with a statue. Diego del Gastor is considered as one of the great masters Diego del Gastor flamenco guitar tabs of his era. It is not for nothing that great artists such as Antonio Mairena, Juan Talega, Juan Peña 'El Lebrijano', Perrate, Manuel Vallejo, Fernanda and Bernarda de Utrera competed for the honour of being accompanied by him. Diego is known and remembered as the founder of the "toque" school of Morón (Seville). He had a very expressive 'cuerda pelá' style, monodic flamenco guitar playing using the thumb and picado technique. Diego was awarded with international fame by the American author D.E. Pohren, founder the Centro deEstudio del Flamenco, where he taught for the remainder of his life. Diego became an inspiration for thousands of guitar players around the world. Diego del Gastor was outstanding in accompanying cantes a compás. He developed a completely different manner of playing the guitar, he improvised when accompanying flamenco singing in such a way he not only reached the audience, but also the cantaores (flamenco singers) themselves, whom he motivated with the strong emotions that he was able to transmit. The Morón gitanos were affectionate, humourous, but never sentimental. They would rather express themselves than talk about themselves. They were theatrical and natural actors in the way they talked and performed Flamenco. Diego del Gastor died on July 7th in 1973.