José Georgio Soto, artistic name José de la Tomasa (Seville 1951), has singing ancestry: he is grandnephew of Manuel Torre, grandson of Pepe Torre and son of Tomasa and Pies de Plomo. After beginning in family reunions and private parties, his artistic revelation came when winning the contest of Mairena del Alcor. The singer, who also formed parted of the flamenco-rock group Triana, was consecrated by winning the National Contest of Flamenco Art in Córdoba 1976, winning the Manuel Torre Prize for seguiriyas and tonás. José de la Tomasa became a prime figure of peñas and flamenco festivals, amongst others, the Cumbre Flamenca in Madrid, the Bienal of Seville and the Flamenco Festival of Mont de Marsan; at the same time producing personal recordings including titles such as ‘Alado Bronce’ and ‘Al compás del sueño’.

Milagros Mengíbar. Born in Seville, 1952. A disciple of Matilde Coral, Milagros won a prize in the “Concurso Nacional de Córdoba" (1974). Milagros is one of the most prestigious dancers in the country. She has also won a “Premio de la Critica” (1995) as well as a “Compas del Cante” of the Fundación Cruzcampo (2005). She has performed at the main flamenco festivals in Spain as well as having performed in three continents. She taught flamenco in Japan for one year. Many of her students have been successful at the “Concurso Nacional de Córdoba, Bienal de Flamenco de Sevilla” or at the “Concurso de La Unión”. She is considered the contemporary authority of “bata de cola” in the Escuela Sevillana style as well as an artist of exquisite refinement. Milagros has been teaching at the Fundación Cristina Heeren and her main focus has been teaching Choreography for Bata de Cola.

Juan José Amador Amador (Sevilla 1960) is a singer born in the bosom of one of the gyspy families with most ancestry in Triana: the Amadors. He began working in the Seville tablaos, Los Gallos and El Arenal, at a young age, specialising in accompanying dance. Throughout his career, he has collaborated with dance figures such as Mario Maya, Antonio, Manuela Carrasco, Farruco, Matilde Coral and Cristina Hoyos, as well in more contemporary proposals such as those of Marco Vargas and Chloe Brûlé. He has also participated in recordings, together with musicians such as Rafael Riqueni and Paco Cepero. Furthermore, he shared the beginnings of Pata Negra with his cousins Raymundo and Rafael Amador, taking part in their second album. 

Dancer and choreographer Javier Barón was born in Alcalá de Guadaira, near Seville, in 1963, as a child he showed interest in Flamenco. Maestro Pepe Pinto was the first to introduce him to the art of Flamenco dance, in Seville. Javier then moved to Madrid where he started his life as a professional, joining important dance companies like that of Luisillo, Ciro, and Rafael Aguilar. As a member of the National Ballet of Spain he performed under the direction of Antonio Ruiz Soler and María de Avila, working with Manuel Morao and Manuel Soler. Then, with his own company he toured internationally with his shows 'El Pájaro Negro', 'Baile de Hierro', 'Baile de Bronce', 'Dime', 'Notas de Pie' and 'Dos Voces para un Baile', among others. In his spare time he has worked as a dedicated teacher, which is what he does at the Fundación de Arte Flamenco, where he teaches Flamenco dance technique to students of advanced and intermediate levels.

Pedro Sierra. Born in 1966, Barcelona. In Catalonia, Pedro already stood out as an excellent accompanying guitarist. In the mid 1980’s he came to Seville and became the accompanying guitarist to singers like Carmen Linares, Maria Vargas, Potito, La Tobala and La Susi. However, accompanying dancers is where he has gained the most notoriety. He has composed the music for the choreography of dancers such as Farruco, Mario Maya, Manuel Soler, Israel Galván, and Javier Barón, Cristina Hoyos and Manuela Carrasco. He is the composer of three CDs “Decisión” (2001), “Nikelao” (2005) and “El Toque Flamenco” (2011). He has produced many artists as well. Pedro has taught “Guitarra de Acompañamiento al Baile” at the Fundación Cristina Heeren since 2007.

Daniel Navarro 'Niño de Pura'. Born in Sevilla, 1966. His first teachers were Manuel Lozano y Manolo Carmona. At the age of 12 he became a disciple of Manolo Sanlúcar. Manolo helped to perfect his technique as well as give him guidance in his career. He won the “Guitarra de la Bienal de Arte Flamenco de Sevilla” (1984), as well as “Premio de la Cátedra de Flamenología de Jerez de la Frontera” (1984), a “Bordón Minero” prize at the “Concurso Nacional del Cante de la Minas de la Unión” (Murcia) and a “Giraldillo de la Guitarra” (1990). Daniel has accompanied many known figures in the Flamenco world and has recorded four CDs “Capricho de Bohemias” (1986), “Caliente” (1992), “Maquida” (1996) and “Pozo y Caudal” (2002). “Niño de Pura” is an exceptional and unique artist. He teaches at the Conservatory in Córdoba and since 1999 teaches “Técnica de la Guitarra Flamenca” at the Fundación Cristina Heeren.

Paco Cortés. Born in 1957, Granada. Paco began his career in the tablaos of Sacromonte. At the age of 14 he was discovered by choreographer, Mario Maya who included Paco in his company as guitarist. Paco habitually works with Diego Clavel, Rancapino, Carmen Linares y Enrique Morente, as they have an appreciation for his classic toque, his sense of “compás” as well as his special personality when accompanying “cantes libres”. Paco moved to Seville in 2007 and has been teaching Guitarra de Acompañamiento al Cante (Acompaniment to Singing) at the Fundación Cristina Heeren since then.

Pedro Sánchez (Seville, 1974). His father, Naranjito de Triana, one of the most prestigious flamenco singers, convinced Pedro to study the guitar and passed on to his son his vast knowledge of flamenco. He made his stage debut at the Teatro de la Maestranza, in Seville, in 1996 during an evening, which the ninth Bienal de Flamenco dedicated to his father. His maestros were great guitarists such as Manolo Franco and Rafael Riqueni. He has accompanied important singers and dancers such as José el de La Tomasa, Pastora Galván, Jeromo Segura, Rocío Bazán, Virginia Gámez, Luisa Palicio or Antonio Molina 'El Choro' in many Andalusian and international festivals and he has been a finalist of the National Contest of Flamenco in Cordoba (2004). Since 1999, he is Flamenco Guitar Technique and Singing Accompaniment professor in the Fundación Cristina Heeren. He combines an impeccable technique with an exquisite musical intuition, which allows him to enrich classical flamenco music with the new harmonies and melodies.

Luisa Palicio. Born 1984, Estepona (Málaga). Luisa has been a disciple of Milagros Mengíbar since the age of 13. In 2002 she received a scholarship from the Fundación Cristina Heeren. Here she studies with Milagros Mengíbar, Carmen Ledesma, Úrsula López, Rafael Campallo, José Galván y Ángeles Gabaldón, and  María de los Angeles Gabaldón, amongst others. Luisa was “Artista Revelación” of the XIV Bienal de Flamenco de Sevilla (2006). Her dancing has been characterized by her loyalty to the Escuela Sevillana style and the bata de cola. Luisa has been a dance teacher at the Fundación since 2007.

María José Pérez (Almería, 1985). Prize-winner of the Lámpara Minera 2015 in the Festival del Cante de las Minas de La Unión, is one of the most outstanding voices of the current flamenco scene. Additionally, she is qualified in Speech Therapy and Teaching in Hearing and Language. She has applied this double condition of singer and speech therapist in her classes since 2015 as teacher in the Fundación Cristina Heeren, where she was a student in the Intensive Summer Course. The artist combines the teaching with her artistic career, noted by her continual appearance in peñas and festivals, such as the Seville Bienal 2006, where she participated in the gala ‘Andalucía Flamenca y la Humanidad’; by her other prizes such as the Melón de Oro 2003 from Lo Ferro and the ‘Antonio Chacón’ Prize in the National Competition of Córdoba 2007; and by her debut album ‘Cante Flamenco’ (2009).

Calixto Sánchez (Mairena del Alcor, 1947). The singer has formed part of the staff of the Fundación Cristina Heeren since its beginnings in 1996. Furthermore, he was the Director of the Andalusian Centre of Flamenco for five years. He has always combined his artistic career with education as a teacher in the school; a double facet that made him a pioneer in the introduction of flamenco in Andalusian education, linking it with the Andalusian culture and, especially, the literature. Hence he was the teacher chosen by the Foundation to teach theory and practice of singing in the Diploma of Performing Arts at IES Carmen Laffón in La Rinconada (Sevilla), a pioneering project in Spain. Calixto Sánchez, the first singer honoured with the Giraldillo del Cante in the Seville Bienal, developed a successful career on the festivals circuit, publishing a wide discography in which titles such as 'Estilos Flamencos' (1974), 'Calle Ancha' (1990), 'El camino de la vida' (1998) and 'Antonio Machado, Retrato Flamenco' (2001) stand out, amongst others.

Antonio Molina ‘El Choro’ entered the Fundación Cristina Heeren in 1999, with a scholarship won in the Second Contest of Youth Dance in Huelva, the city in which he was born in 1985. And currently he is a Flamenco Dance Technique teacher in the school, where he trained under teachers such as Javier Barón and Rafael Campallo amongst others. In his professional beginnings he formed part of Israel Galván’s company in the show ‘Galvánicas’ for the Flamenco Bienal 2002. Between the years 2003 and 2005 he performed regularly in international tours and shows for Rafael Campallo’s company, combined with his own shows in festivals both out of and within Spanish borders. In 2006 he danced as a soloist in the Promising Youth Series in the Flamenco Bienal, as well as in the show ‘Juncá’ by dancer Mercedes Ruiz. One year later, he toured as a soloist in Portugal and Holland, highlighting his show in the anniversary show of Dior in the Gardens of Versailles. He later participated in shows such as ‘Kahlo Caló’ by Amador Rojas and ‘Vaivenes’ by Javier Barón. In the Flamenco Exhibition 2013 in the Seville Central Theatre he premiered ‘Entre dos orillas’ together with Luisa Palicio and Alberto Sellés. In 2015 he entered to form part of Vicente Amigo’s group, on international tour with his album ‘Tierra’. He premiered his debut show ‘Aviso: bayles de jitanos’ in the Festival of Jerez 2016, which throughout the season would visit competitions such as Suma Flamenca in Madrid, Dias de Flamenco in Tel Aviv and the Bienal of Seville.

Manuel Lombo launched his career in the bosom of the Fundación Cristina Heeren de Arte, where he studied flamenco singing under teachers Naranjito de Triana and José de la Tomasa. It was ‘Don Juan Flamenco’, to be exact, the Foundation’s production which premiered in the XII Seville Bienal; one of the first large-format shows in which the artist, born in Seville in 1979, participated. Thanks to the entity, his voice also sounded in the 60th anniversary of Dior in Versailles. In his recordings, situated between flamenco singing and flamenco-influenced songs, feature the titles ‘Manuel Lombo’ (2006), ‘Siete pormenores’ (2008), ‘Cante, incienso y mirra’ (2009) and ‘Personaje raro’ (2010). His versatility has lead him to collaborate in a diversity of projects, from the Exaltación de la Saeta in the Seville Cathedral to ‘Azabache, 20 años’ with Pasión Vega, and to the Christmas concert ‘Que suenen con alegría’ together with Ismael Jordi and ‘Músicas del mundo. Un mar de amores’ in the Alcázar of Jerez. He returns to flamenco singing with ‘Lombo Flamenco’ in the series Flamenco Viene del Sur 2011, a concert which lead him to forums such as the National Auditorium of Music in Madrid. He has done it without leaving behind his other facets: in 2014 he embarked hand in hand with director and pianist José Miguel Évora in the concert ‘Canción sentimental’, where he covered the classic melodic songs of all time, including ‘Fly me to the moon’. Among his latest recordings are ‘Yo’ (2016) and ‘Lombo x Bambino’ (2017).

Beatriz Rivero (Écija, Sevilla) studied flamenco dance in the Seville Conservatory of Dance, following her training in the Fundación Cristina Heeren de Arte Flamenco with teachers such as Milagros Mengibar, Javier Barón and Luisa Palicio, additionally taking courses with Pastora Galván and Rocio Molina, amongst others. The career path of this young artist, who also is qualified in journalism from the University of Seville, includes shows in different tablaos, peñas and flamenco festivals such as the XXXV Noche Flamenca de Écija, the series Miércoles a Compás in the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, the Festival of Jerez as soloist in the show ‘Eclosión’ and in the Granada Theatre de La Chumbera performing at the Flamenco Singing Talent Contest for Granainas 2017, amongst others. 

Pedro Barragán (Barcelona 1979) studied flamenco guitar in the Conservatorio Superior del Liceo de Barcelona with the teacher Manuel Granados, as well as in the Taller de Músics. He also received training from teachers such as Juan Habichuela, Miguel Ángel Cortés, Manolo Franco, Niño Pura, Eduardo Rebollar, Gerardo Núñez and Rafael Riqueni, some of them in the Fundación Cristina Heeren, where he studied and currently works as a teacher. He developed his professional career next to consecrated artists such as Carmen Linares, Chano Lobato, Fernando de la Morena, Nano de Jerez, Matilde Coral… as well as with young talents such as Gema Caballero, Yassaray Rodriguez, Javier Rivera and Antonio Fernández, amongst others. Among the festivals and stages on which he has performed the Festival Flamenco de Nou Barris (Barcelona), Festival 30 Nits (Sabadell), Peña Flamenca la Plateria (Granada), Festival de la Unión (Murcia), Fundación Cajasol (Seville), Flamenco en France (Paris) and the Komedia Theatre (Brighton) stand out, amongst others. Additionally, he participated in the theatre works of José Luis Ortiz Nuevo, including ‘Ábrase la tierra’ and ‘Las 1.001 historias de Pericón de Cádiz’.

Manuel Romero (Pedrera, Seville 1980), ‘El Cotorro’, comes from a family of day labourers and singers: at ten years he started singing, an interest inherited from his paternal grandfather. Prizes in various competitions propelled his professional career: the Competition Juan Casillas in Cuevas de San Marcos (Málaga), the Competition Peña La Soleá in Nerja (Málaga) and the Competition Soleares Naranjito de Triana in Dos Hermanas (Seville), which yielded a scholarship to study in the Fundación Cristina Heeren. Following his training, he joined the school staff, first as a monitor and later as a teacher. He combines the teaching with shows in peñas and festivals, accompanying artists such as Milagros Menjibar in the Seville Bienal in 2016. As a solo artist, he published the disc ‘1917’, touring live across Andalusia.

Lidia Montero. Born in 1987, Villaverde del Río (Seville). At the age of 14 she started studying at the Fundación Cristina Heeren where she studied with José de la Tomasa, Calixto Sánchez, Esperanza Fernández, Laura Vital y Paco Taranto. For three years she studied under a scholarship, later she became a teacher’s assistant. After that she started to teach classes to children here at the foundation. Lidia has won the prestigous “Premio de Jóvenes del Festival de Mairena”. Despite her youth she is one of the most sought after “saeteras” (singers of saetas in Seville). Lidia has been teaching singing in the annual course since 2009. 

Rosa Navarro was born in Málaga in 1981. She studied singing as well as the guitar at the Conservatorio of Seville, after which she received a scholarship from the Fundación Cristina Heeren de Arte Flamenco as a result of her outstanding performance at the "Malagueña" singing contest organised by the Fundación. In her first nine years at our school, she went from being a student with Naranjito de Triana, Calixto Sánchez, José el de la Tomasa, Esperanza Fernández, and Manolo Soler, to practising accompaniment singing in the dance classes. Now she is teaching singing as accompaniment to dance at the Fundación Cristina Heeren de Arte Flamenco. Rosa "La Divi" is an extremely gifted and versatile singer, both as a solo artist and as accompaniment singer, who has worked on stages all over the world. 

Patricia Lozano was born in Madrid, in 1980. She is a dancer, a guitar-player, and a singer, having studied the guitar at the Conservatorio of Murcia, Singing in the Conservatorio of Seville, and dance and guitar at the Fundación Cristina Heeren de Arte Flamenco. The experience which she has thus accumulated makes her a very competent teacher. Patri has created a subject called Flamenco Communication as well as another class, Dance Resources. She also teaches the Accompaniment Workshop, a subject vital to the Basic Level students.

Pepa Sánchez (Seville, 1973). Pepa holds a degree in Ciencias de la Información from the  Universidad de Sevilla and a  Master of Arts in Lengua y Literatura Hispánicas at the State University of New York, specializing in Historia del Flamenco. She has worked as a writer at for the Andalusian television and she's the author of the essay “Cantes y cantaores de Triana" (2004), awarded with the Premio de Ensayo de la XIII Bienal de Sevilla. She has taught the music theory classes at the Fundación Cristina Heeren since the year 2000, where she was Head of Studies from 2004 to 2008.  

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