Guest Artist Faculty:
Juan Junquera Cortes is a gitano flamenco guitarist from Jerez de la Frontera. Like many flamenco artists in Spain, his knowledge is organic, learned from family and friends by living and breathing flamenco culture since childhood. He grew up alongside flamenco legends like Moraito Chico, Jose Merce, Fernando Terremoto, on Calle Nueva, a famous street in Santiago (Calle Nueva is also used interchangeably in flamenco letra to refer to Santiago). This neighborhood has been a cradle of flamenco puro for many generations, and is especially known for its music de fiesta, the strongest of which is bulerias.
Juan has worked with almost every tremendous artist in Jerez, including Manuel Borrico, Pepe de la Joaquina ‘El Faraón’, Maria Terremoto, and Jesus Mendez among others. He was also featured in a flamenco tour to NYC with Moraito Chico. For the past three decades, Juan has been teaching flamenco guitar in Jerez de la Frontera, and hosts a 10-day intensive program every year during the Festival de Flamenco de Jerez in February. As a teacher, Juan is a master at implanting foundational techniques for the right hand of the student, and excels at teaching the feeling and expression that is the essence of flamenco guitar.
Juan Zarzuela “Zarzuelita” is a gitano singer, flamenco historian and composer decorated in accomplishments that cannot fit on this page. Known as "Zarzuelita de Jerez”, Juan was born in Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz) in 1980. Although he began dancing with the teacher Angelita Gómez, it did not take long to direct his professional career towards cante. At the age of eleven he gave his first recital at the Peña El Garbanzo de Jerez. From then on, he began to sing as a soloist in tablaos and clubs throughout Spain. At only thirteen years old, he performed in the 'Viernes Flamencos' cycle in Jerez and won first prize in the bulería singing contest of the Peña Chato on the island of Cádiz. Despite his youth, Juan did not stop receiving awards at festivals and clubs throughout the Andalusia.
His first recorded work entitled Jerez Joven por Bulerías featured the guitar of Diego del Morao and the production of Moraito Chico. He has been part of the flamenco company of Carmen Cortés participating in the work Yerma. In 1999, he was sponsored by José Meneses at the Albéniz theater in Madrid. That same year he joined the Merch Esmeralda flamenco dance company, featured in the play Ciclos. In 2001 he launched his solo album Entre Tu, Yo, y el Aire, debuting as a composer and author of his own songs. In September 2001 he began working at the Cádiz Dance Conservatory, as the center's official singer. In 2004, he released Pura Verdad, in which he highlights his most jondo profile in this art, recording twenty different cantes from the wide range that flamenco allows. In 2005, Zarzuela directed and starred in Flamenco en Jerez on DVD.
Saray García was born in Jerez de la Frontera in 1986 into a gypsy family. Since she was very little, a great interest and curiosity for flamenco awoke in her. At just 7 years old, she Saray began to receive classes from the Jerez-born teacher Ana María López. Years later, and still under the tutelage of Ana María, Saray became part of the flamenco group Semilla Flamenca, with which she performed at festivals such as the Festival de Mont de Marsant (France), Fiesta de la Bulería (Jerez) and the Flamenco Fridays of Jerez, among many others. Over the years, Saray decides to expand her knowledge by receiving flamenco dance classes from renowned artists such as the Farruco Family, Juan Amaya, Rocío Molina or Joselito Romero. Saray soaks up all of them and each one gives her a nuance to continue painting her dance and her art.
She has also performed with her own flamenco group in countries such as China, Germany, London, New Mexico, Japan and Belgium. In 2014 Saray García managed to win two important flamenco dance prizes: First Prize in the III Tablao Las Carboneras Competition and Second Prize in the La Perla de Cádiz national competition. From the long list of solo performances that the Jerez-born bailaora has carried out during her career and with her own group, we can highlight the Yacle Flamenco Festival (Murcia) as well as the one in Alcalá del Valle, Alcalá de los Gazules, the Fiestas de autumn in Jerez, in Rennes (France) and also in Belgium, among many others.
She was also the first dancer of the equestrian show El Arte de Andalucía a Caballo, a production with which she traveled throughout a large part of the Spanish geography, stopping in the main provinces to the delight of its inhabitants. Saray combines classes with performances at the main tablaos in Jerez such as Lagá de Tio Parrilla, La Taberna Flamenca and Bereber; in Seville in Los Gallos and El Arenal; in Madrid at Carboneras and in Barcelona, at Tablao Flamenco Cordobes. In this way, the instruction received by the best and the experience acquired in the tablaos come together to shape Saray's dance style. An art full of strength and feeling, born from her roots and from her love for flamenco, which grows with effort and dedication, is supported by experience and rises in a unique and highly personal direction.