The work and dedication of Sabicas or Agustín Castellón Campos (1912-1990) has had an enormous impact on the flamenco guitar. The speed and accuracy of his right hand flamenco guitar technique really revolutionized flamenco guitar playing, opening new paths and possibilities for the next generation of flamenco guitarists such as Paco de Lucia, Canizares, El Viejín, Vicente Amigo, Tomatito, Gerardo Nunez and many others. Being a flamenco guitar genius during his days, Sabicas has brought the flamenco guitar to the concert halls and major theaters.
Sabicas was born in 1912 in Pamplona Spain. He started playing flamenco guitar at the age of 4 and performed for the first time when he was 6 years old. During the Spanish Civil War in 1936, Sabicas left Spain to seek refuge in South America where he toured with the dancer Carmen Amaya. Later on, in 1955, he settled in New York where he died on April 14th in 1990. Sabicas started playing flamenco guitar at the age of 4 and performed for the first time when he was 6 years old. Being influenced by Ramon Montoya, having accompanied the most important flamenco singers, he soon developed his own, personal style of flamenco guitar playing. When performing in New York as a solo flamenco guitarist, Sabicas established close relationships with jazz masters like Miles Davis, Ben E. King or Gill Evans, enabling him to promoted flamenco in the American Continent, even performing for President Roosevelt in the White House.
Still today, Sabicas is, not only, known for his innovative, technical guitar skills such as his fast picados and arpeggios, but also for his characteristic flamenco guitar compositions of many flamenco palos. Some of Sabicas his most interesting flamenco guitar compositions are a fandango ‘Por los olivares’, a solea por bulerias ‘Ecos jerezanos’ and a farruca ‘Punta y tacon’.
Sabicas returned to Spain in 1967 and in 1987 he was awarded with a national tribute in the Teatro Real in Madrid. In 1982, the Sanfermines festivals of Pamplona were dedicated to Sabicas. In 1989 he recorded with Enrique Morente.