Name:José Manuel Ortega Heredia
Birth: 1956 Madrid
Death: 2004 Alhaurín de la Torre (Málaga)
Alongside Manuel Montoya (from Lole y Manuel), Paco de Lucía and a few others, Manzanita was one of the first to merge, to make progress towards developing new flamenco. Since his first record as a solo artist ("Poco ruido y mucho duende". 1978), Manzanita has been blending flamenco with rumba or pop. In the last record ("Gitano Cubano"), he has transformed sones, guaraches and boleros. On the way, he has produced an extensive and carefully worked discography in which he has got closer to Italian and Portuguese melodies, and he has made versions of songs by Lucio Battisti and Riccardo Cocciante introducing flamenco elements, even doing likewise with the song Ramito de Violetas that was made popular by Cecilia in 1981.
Before starting his solo career, Manzanita was already a backing guitarist who was very much in demand. For example, he played for Enrique Morente and Camarón. He was one of the founders of the band Los Chorbos and its Caño Roto sound (named after a Madrid neighbourhood), who were also standard-bearers of new flamenco. He has also worked with musicians from different musical genres: Dave Thomas (double bass player), Gato Pérez, Marina Rossell, Duquende, Raimundo Amador, Lolita…
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