The Ballads of Cordoba Gaol: A Prison Workshop

The Independent on Sunday  London, 1996, 850 words
Versin en espaol | Version de langue franaise  



In 2000 the Cordoba workshop was closed by the prison authorities. Following a change of government, the prison staff changed and the original team stopped collaborating. Other prisons - Seville, Huelva and Granada prison - have tried to revive the project, but none have managed to achieve a professional or national level of flamenco.

Francisco Velasco transferred from Cordoba to Malaga, his home town, at his own request.

Antonio Estevez, chef duty officer and prison educator, took early retirement, leaving instructions on how the flamenco workshop could be revived in his computer.

Rafael Trenas, who taught the workshop for ten years, continues to compose and perform soundtracks and live flamenco guitar, and to accompany professional cantaores such as Chano Lobato, Gabriel Moreno, El Yeye and Carmen de la Jara. He also continues his work with aficianados in Cordoba and elsewhere.

Antonio Agujetas is now a professional cantaor respected for his intensely personal performances on international stages. In 2014 an Andalusian critic commented that his cante lifted audiences 'into an unknown world'.

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