Her professional career began in the dance companies of Paco Romero and Carmen Mora, and she made her first recording in 1970 with Juan "Habichuela". She was one of the first flamenco artists to be invited by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra to perform "El Amor Brujo" by Falla in the Lincoln Center.
"Cantaora" is the title of one of Carmen Linares' albums because she is the indisputable 'Cantaora' (female flamenco singer) of our time. Born in Linares (Jaén, Andalusia), she has conquered a privileged position in the world of Flamenco music on her own merits, having become one of Flamenco's most critically acclaimed and international artists.
If Carmen is a mainstay in Flamenco's singing world, she's also the one who best conveys the heritage of a female tradition which has always dwelled in the same origins as 'Cante Jondo' (deep-rooted flamenco singing). For she who sings is Carmen Linares. She does not imitate; she shares her tone, her interpretational intensity, to update a first-rate musical and literary legacy.
She moved to Madrid in 1965, where she encounterd the singing prowess of some of the most renowned artists at the time – Pepe Matrona, Juan Varea, Rafael Romero, Fosforito and many others. At the turn of the decade she began her professional career in Carmen Mora and Paco Romero's dance companies, making her debut album in 1970 accompanied by Juan Habichuela. Afterwards she made the great professional leap into the intense world of 'Tablaos' (Flamenco venues) – Torres Bermejas, Chinitas – which gathered talents such as Camarón, Enrique Morente, Perla de Cádiz, Serranito, the "Habichuelas". That is how it all began.
Carmen Linares was the chosen voice to re-open Manuel de Falla's original version of "El Amor Brujo" (The Magic Love), in the inauguration of the VI Biennal of Flamenco Art in Seville. That constant search for new forms of expression, has culminated in an enriching art capable of combining 'Cante Jondo' with chamber and symphony orchestras. She's been one of the first Flamenco artists who, invited by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, acted in the Lincoln Center. The New York Times described her as "a singer with incredible expressive power". Alongside directors of the stature of Frühbech de Burgos, Josep Pons and Leo Brower she has appeared performing "El Amor Brujo" and "La vida breve" (A Brief Life) at the 'Teatro Colón' in Buenos Aires, at the Sydney Opera House and the Great Theatre of Córdoba, Spain.
From her remake of the "Canciones populares antiguas" (Traditional Popular Songs) which Lorca had depicted, a new album arose which would stand as musical background to Victor Ullate's ballet giving way to the creation of a new show starred by Carmen herself and the female actor Lola Herrera, "Un rato, un minuto, un siglo..." (A moment, a minute, a century), premiered in the Royal Theatre of Madrid.
"Antologia de la Mujer en el Cante" (Anthology of the woman in flamenco singing), is a key part of flamenco discography. It rescues valuable items of the past to project them into the future with a contemporary musical attitude. In 2000 the composer and guitarist Manolo Sanlúcar chose her to sing in his discographical project "Locura de Brisa y Trino" (Madness of Breeze and Trill), to recover poems by Federico Garcia Lorca harmonised for modern guitar composition. In 2002 Carmen recorded "Un Ramito de Locura" (A Branch of Madness) with the great guitarist Gerardo Nuñez, which was nominated for Best Flamenco Album in the Premios de la Musica and the Latin Grammys 2003.
Carmen has looked after her artistic direction meticulously and has earned prestigious prizes such as the 'Premio Nacional de Música' in 2001 and the Gold Medal of the Bellas Artes in 2006. In 2008 she completed yet another great challenge: getting involved with Juan Ramón Jiménez's poetry. The result is the album "Raíces y Alas" (Roots and Wings) in which she counted with the musical compositions of Juan Carlos Romero.
Her authentic and powerful cante is enriched by her knowledge of the art of flamenco with which she moves the public in a spontaneous and sincere way. Without doubt flamenco has grown with her.
Carmen Linares Discography Tracks
- 15 Vocals
- 1 Instruments & Performance
- 7 Writing & Arrangement
- 8 Featuring & Presenting
- 1 Conducting & Leading
- 1 Production