Ojos De Brujo Biography

Formed in the late 90s in Barcelona, Spain, this group of young musicians took traditional flamenco music and redefined it for the modern age. The prime mover in this revolutionary approach to the hallowed tradition was flamenco guitarist Ramón Giménez and he developed his ideas during informal gatherings in the city where like-minded musicians experimented with concepts and styles. Evolving eventually into an eight-piece group, they began attracting a local audience throughout Catalonia and by the end of the decade were being heard in other parts of Spain. Their debut album sold well and prompted them to form their own record company, La Fábrica De Colores, thus freeing themselves from any external influences.

Targeting the younger Spanish audience, Ojos De Brujo included in their playing elements of contemporary pop, including hip-hop and scratching. As their following spread through Spain, they consolidated their ideas with videos and a comic book for their fans. Their music was heard on soundtracks not only of Spanish films but also on some made in Mexico and Italy. As word of their work spread internationally, they made three World Trapi tours, garnering an award from the Spanish Academy of Music, and in 2004 they won a BBC Radio 3 World Music Award for Europe. These seals of official approval gave them deserved recognition and helped buttress the group’s growing status.

In addition to Giménez, Ojos De Brujo members in the early 00s included Marina ‘La Canillas’ Abad (vocals), DJ Panko (turntables), Maxwell Wright (percussion/vocals), Paco Lomeña (flamenco guitar), Javi Martin (bass), Xavi Turull (percussion), and Sergio Ramos (percussion), the latter first arriving as deputy when Turull had to attend to other commitments. In addition to singing, Abad also composes much of the original music played by the group. Most of the musicians had played in other groups, notably Turull who had earlier co-founded Amalgama, a classical flamenco fusion band. While the band’s members are mainly Spanish, there are exceptions; Wright, who was raised in Spain’s Balearic Islands, has American and French parents, and Martin is Cuban. The band’s name translates colloquially as Wizard’s Eyes.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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