Manuel was born in San Miguel de Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. He began singing at the age of five. In 1968 he sang in the Jueves Flamencos organized in Jerez by Manuel Morao where many great Flamenco artists have made their debut. In 1969 he arrived in Madrid for the first time singing in the national contest of Villancicos (holiday songs). In 1972 he performed throughout Madrid in all of the major tablaos including the Torres Bermejas, Las Brujas, Corral de la Moreria, Coral de la Pacheca, Los Canasteros, and Venta del Gato. From 1979 to 1981 he performed in Mexico. Throughout his long career he has worked with many great artists and companies including Manuel Vargas, Merche Esmeralda, Eva la Yerbabuena, Sara Lezana, Blanca del Rey, Juan Mata, Jose, Carmela and Lola Greco, Manolete, Ciro, Joaquin Cortes, Antonio Canales, Javier Latorre, Javier Baron and in the companies of Ballet Conchita del Mar, Ballet Siluetas, Compañia de Fernando Belmonte, Ballet de Rafael Aguilar, Jose Antonio, Ensemble Español, los Ballets Españoles, Ballet Region de Murcia, and the Ballet Nacional de España performing in five continents. Manuel is also a master teacher, presenting courses and special classes on the Flamenco Cante.
PACO FONTA, Flamenco Singer and Guitarist
Paco Fonta is internationally recognized as an outstanding Flamenco guitarist, singer, and composer. He was born in a small town near Jaen in the Andalucian region of Spain, began his professional career performing in tablaos and festivals accompanying singers and dancers such as La Niña de la Huerta and Antonio Molina. He later toured Europe with the Kurt Savoy Trio. In 1985 he won first prize in cante jondo at the Flamenco festival in Jaen. Paco came to Miami in 1986 with his wife Celia, a well known Flamenco dancer, to open the famous Cacharrito’s Place Tablao. Since then, he has performed in all the tablaos in Miami and now produces his own Flamenco Cante Festival to sellout crowds. He works in the U.S. and abroad with the Ensemble Español, Ballet Flamenco La Rosa, Bailes Ferrer and Carman Garza Flamenco Ballet from Venezuela. Paco has been a recipient of the Florida Folk Life Apprenticeship Program as a Master Artist. As a composer, he has collaborated with vocalist Joe Zeytoonian, The Roach Thompson Blues Band, with Indian musicians Paul Leak and Steve Gorn, and most recently with Afro Cuban dance company, Iroko. His guitar and voice can be heard on famous artists recordings such as Gloria Estefan, Olga Tañon & David Beisbal to name a few. Last season Paco joined the EE on their artistic cultural tour to China following the Olympics. He has been the EE’s singer & guitarist since 1979.
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