05 June 2005
Tomás Jiménez learned to play flamenco guitar from his father. The love for flamenco had been in the family for generations and just as his grandfather taught his father he then passed that knowledge onto Tomás. Much later Tomás has attended master classes with prominent flamenco guitarists such as Gerardo Núñez and Paco Cruz and these have been very useful but it is his father’s teaching that is principally responsible for the direction he has taken. Tomás Jiménez chose London as the springboard for his career and was engaged to teach flamenco guitar at the Spanish Guitar Centre in Central London.
María José was born in Cartagena(Spain) which is in the region of Murcia on the South East Mediterranean coast. She studied flamenco and classical Spanish dance and gained the title of Bailarina Profesional (professional dancer) from the Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia, Madrid. She is capable of producing fast powerful Zapateado (the flamenco footwork) but she does not overdo this. Maria uses dance to express the true sentiment of each flamenco form.
Flamenco is a music that is best expressed freely without the constraints of a set programme Tomás will choose the pieces he plays spontaneously and in collaboration with María José García. The flamenco repertoire is in fact very extensive. The compositions can be solemn, joyous, fast and forceful, gentle and lyrical etc. The whole gamut of emotions should be present in a flamenco concert. Pieces are influenced by all the cultures that have passed through Andalucía and contributed to the creation of flamenco.
The Concordia Guitar Duo was formed in 1991 and has since given regular concerts in and around London for Music Societies and Guitar Societies, lunchtime concerts in city churches, and recitals for various charities. Both guitarists, Dennis Cooke and Nick Hartley, have had experience of other styles of music, ranging from Folk-Blues to Jazz and in Nick’s case this included playing clarinet and alto sax. Dennis is mostly self-taught but had short periods of study with John Williams and Tim Walker in the early 1980s and has more recently participated in master classes with David Russell and John Mills among others. Nick studied with Sue Court and John Taylor, gaining a performer’s diploma (LTCL) in 1985. As well as participating in master classes by Julian Byzantine, Gordon Crosskey and Gerald Garcia, Nick has played in various ensembles including Gilbert Biberian’s ‘Omega Players’