Regensburg, Germany (ots)
- Pablo Picasso heard the French-born
gypsy Ricardo Baliardo at a bullfight one evening and proclaimed
"This man is of greater worth than I am!" He engraved a drawing in
Baliardo's guitar, baptising a new legend, Manitas De Plata, and
cementing a close friendship that would endure until Picasso's death.
Born in Sète in 1921, Ricardo Baliardo soon came to be known as
Manitas De Plata. He stood out from his colleagues at each of the
annual pilgrimages to Saintes Maries. Manitas filled the gap left by
Django Reinhardt when he finally agreed to perform in public.
One of his first recordings prompted a letter from Jean Cocteau,
who called him a true musical creator. Other recordings, the first in
1963, earned him the title "King of the flamenco guitar". For days on
end, his performances sold out in many of the world's most renowned
concert halls, including the Royal Albert and Carnegie Halls.
Unfortunately, this honourable but illiterate gypsy was unable to
read the sensational announcements and rave reviews of his concerts.
His success earned him a whole host of admirers, including Marlon
Brando, Brigitte Bardot, Salvador Dali, Jeanne Moreau, Klaus Kinski,
Jean Cocteau, his closest friend Picasso, and many more. Above all,
the glamorous St Tropez jet set of the Sixties adopted him as their
troubadour without marring the Catalonian's simplicity. His love for
señoras and señoritas was already ripe before fame struck.
The past few years have also seen a series of triumphs. Today, at
80 years of age, he is taking things a bit easier, giving only the
occasional concert with his sons Fernando and Manero and his nephew
Chico. Manitas is taking a rest this year, celebrating his birthday
in suitably lavish style. Next year, however, he will be back to his
old form, delighting audiences and concert halls the world over.
His new studio CD is entitled "Flores de mi corazón"
There aren't many true musical legends left ...The Legend lives!
ots Original Text Service: Plus Konzert Service