Composer and concert guitarist, Manolo Sanlúcar was born in the picturesque town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda in Cadiz, Andalucia, on 21 November 1943. Together with Paco de Lucía and Serranito, Manolo Sanlucar revolutionised concert guitar playing in the twentieth century. His ability to innovate and his continuous search for new possibilities have led him to compose works that have a strong personal emphasis, which is always related to what he calls learned music, but without losing its Andalusian flavour. In fact, he was the first artist who brought flamenco to the Teatro Real in Madrid. Fantasia para guitarra y orquesta, Trebujena, Medea and Soleá -which were performed by the Ballet Nacional de España- Tauromagia and Aljibe are some of his works. Several young artists who are now great guitarists were once his protegés, like Vicente Amigo and Rafael Riqueni.
He took his first steps in music with his father, the amateur Isidro Sanlúcar, who ho took him to Seville in 1950 when he was so that he could be heard by Pepe Pinto, who recommended him to Pepe Marchena, with whom he took part in his first tour as a professional. At thirteen he embarked upon a professional career as an accompanying guitarist. With the support and affection of his artistic godmother Pastora Pavón, “Niña de los Peines”, the young guitarist was in a privileged position. Not only did he live alongside and accompany some of the greatest musicians of the day such as Pepe Marchena, with whom he made his debut in 1957, he was also heir to the precious historical legacy of flamenco culture. He accompanied other artists like La Paquera de Jerez, María Vargas, Porrina de Badajoz and Agujetas. In the sixties, he joined the group of resident artists in the tablao Las Brujas in Madrid, and he recorded his first album as a solo artist. After a productive artistic relationship with Enrique Morente, when he was not yet twenty, he composed his trilogy Mundo y formas de la guitarra with which he reached his artistic peak. The rumba Caballo negro earned him fame. As a result of this impressive trajectory he was awarded the Premio Nacional de Música in 2001.
In 1999, he recorded Locura de Brisa y Trino, after it was unveiled in the Biennial festival in 1998, with Carmen Linares singing. He also took part in the film Sevillanas by Carlos Saura, alongside his friend Paco de Lucía. Recently, Manolo Sanlúcar has composed the music for Sara Baras' show entitled Mariana Pineda.
For many people, “Tauromagia”, published in 1988, is the best flamenco guitar disc of all time. It is a work where the central theme, the world of bulls, has been a focus of Manolo Sanlúcar’s attention throughout his life. The maestro portrayed in music the various aspects of this archetypical Spanish rite. Tauromagia is a milestone in the history of flamenco and hence timeless and indelible.
In recognition of an exceptional artistic career Manolo Sanlucar has received some of the most prestigious awards to be granted worldwide, confirming his place as one of history’s greatest flamenco guitarists.