Ramon Montoya, one of the earliest flamenco guitar virtuosos, was born on November 2nd in 1880 in Madrid into a family of Gitano (Romani).
Since 1912, at an age of 14, Ramon Montoya performed with flamenco singer such as Antonio Chacón, La Niña de los Peines or Nino de Marchena, during the times of cafés cantantes in Madrid, establishing the forms of the various traditional flamenco cantes still know to us today, still bearing his imprint. The numerous features of flamenco guitar playing, introduced by Ramon Montoya, were unknown before him and are still use today, 50 years after his death. Ramon Montaya is also honored as the first flamenco guitarist who promoted the flamenco guitar as a solo instrument instead of its traditional role of accompaniment to song and dance. With his first Guajiras, Ramon Montoya introduced to us the open D tuning, lowering the 6th string by one tone, giving the flamenco guitar 2 open 4th and 6th strings in D. With his rondena, Ramon Montoya also introduced a 3rd string tuning to F sharp, tuning the strings, from bass to treble in D, A, D, F-sharp, B, E. Ramon Montoya is also considered as the one who introduced the arpeggio techniques into Flamenco guitar music. However, it was Ramon Montoya his nephew, Carlos Montoya, who made the Flamenco Guitar as a solo instrument internationally famous. So actually it was Carlos and not Ramon who became the most famous Montoya. Strange enough, Ramon was not fond of Carlos his style of flamenco guitar playing. On June 20th in 1949 Ramon Montoya died in Madrid.