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Flamenco Havana.

Flamenco Havana is a Latin melting pot of hugely dynamic talent. Ranging from up-beat Spanish songs accompanied by all-enveloping Cuban percussion that grabs you with its strength and vitality, to pure Flamenco vocals. Songs of love, loss, passion and regret delivered with power and authenticity. The Cuban brass section joyfully sizzles its way through the album accompanied by palmadas with gunshot handclaps. Marvel at the footwork track in which you can almost smell the smoke coming from the young dancer’s feet as he pounds complex rhythms into the floor. A didgeridoo makes a guest appearance as a magical accompaniment to a Flamenco vocal track.
The brainchild of Ramon Ruiz and Anita 'La Maltesa' who provide vocals, guitar and footwork, Flamenco Havana also features the critically acclaimed Rafael Rodriguez on guitar with Segundo Falcon and El Extremeno on vocals.


Extracts from Flamenco Havana:

Caminito de la Alhambra (Tango)

Hermano (Bolero)


Solo flamenco guitar:

Jardines de Bidalon (Rondena)

library Music:



To buy a copy of Flamenco Havana click here.

Alcazaba is a Flamenco fusion band that has managed to successfully incorporate elements of Middle Eastern and Indian music into flamenco to create a vibrant and unique sound. Spellbinding melodies and dazzling displays of virtuosity played to the electrifying beats and heart-wrenching vocals of flamenco have given the band a dedicated following in both the flamenco and world music scenes in the UK. Alcazaba have created original compositions that are more an organic evolution of flamenco than a forced attempt at fusion. This is virtuoso acoustic music conceived by an ensemble of excellent musicians very much on their own unique journey. Alcazaba was founded in 2005 by Ramón Ruiz, a virtuoso guitarist born and raised in the flamenco heartland of Andalusia; Attab Haddad, an innovative oud maestro passionate about flamenco as well as the musical traditions of his homeland; versatile and renowned percussionist Genevieve Wilkins and Teymour Housego, a world-class flautist who grew up in New Delhi learning the bansuri (Indian bamboo flute) at the feet of his guru. It was a chance meeting in London that brought them together. Given the historical influence of Islamic musical traditions across the Middle East, Spain and Northern India, compounded by the fact that the gypsies originated in India, it was clear from the start that there was enough common ground to form a group that transcended the barriers of musical tradition. The group was joined shortly after by the talented flamenco cantaora (singer) Eva Piñero Mesa. Alcazaba was born. Performances thus far include The Rise Festival, BBC World Service (live session and interview), Cargo, the Vibe Bar, the Green Note, Ealing Global Festival, Qatar Airways (live inflight radio session), the Indian High Commission's Nehru Centre, St Ethelburga's Centre for Peace and Reconciliation and The Royal Asiatic Society. Their début eponymously titled CD was released by ShivaNova/Universal in July 2009 and has been played on BBC Radio 3, Radio Scotland, Radio Merseyside and the Asian Network.


Rating: * * * *

This debut album is both familiar and unusual at the same time. Featuring the traditional flamenco guitar playing of Ramon Ruiz, combined with the delightful singing of his long-standing partner, Anita 'La Maltesa', who also rattles her feet. Both are highly skilled. The addition of a Cuban brass-section, some salsa-style arrangements and even a didgeridoo make for an unusual recording. Recorded in Seville, the album evokes hot Spanish evenings, with gunshot handclaps, impassioned vocals and superb flamenco playing. Some South American influences, Cuban-style piano, the vocals of Segundo Falcon and El Extremo also give the album more interesting flavors. Take off your shoes and open another bottle of wine.

Matthew Clark



Ramon Ruiz - Flamenco Guitar
Attab Haddad - Oud
Teymour Housego - Bansuri
Genevieve Wilkins - Percussion
Eva Pinero - Flamenco vocals

Alcazaba are a vibrant ensemble, brimming with ideas and inspiration…”

Jazzwise, September 2009

“Rhythmic, melodic, exciting and fresh…” Evening Chronicle, June 2009; “Executed with precision…”

Morning Star, July 2009

“Much Virtuosity, little trickery.”

Financial Times, July 2009

“Melodies are strong, rhythms are infectious, and improvisation, individual and collective, flows freely and with spirit.”

AllAboutJazz.com, June 2009.