Singer Quero Malena passes away

Lebrija is in mourning because a favorite son, Cuero Malena, one of its greatest historical props, has left him. This Saturday at four o’clock in the afternoon, a teacher has died in his home on Buenavista Street, because if passion, dedication and art are the characteristics we associate with the world of bullfighting, then we also find in them perseverance, tradition and competence. add that to diagnose the veracity of the cantos, it is possible that in the generation of 1945 we will not find any Sevillian canto who surpasses Cuero Malena, so the surname that seems best is that of an expert calligrapher, i.e. one who Able to determine the authenticity or falsity of songs.

He was never scared of death because he knew it was the real purpose of life, especially in 2006 when luck played a trick on him. This was after Juan Talega’s XXVI Festival of Dos Hermanas, held on 16 June, when a hemiplegia reduced his faculties until he was condemned to the present, while refusing to be the object of contemplation .

Then, 17 years have passed, so that the pictures of his Cantor teaching are not erased by the cerebrovascular accident. Thus until the afternoon of Tuesday last, May 16, when, being in a final stage, he was sedated to avoid the pain of so much suffering.

Francisco Carrasco Carrasco, his name on the baptismal font, came into the world on July 11, 1945, where tradition acts as a network that reveals his belonging to a specific modality of flamenco, that of the Lebrizano region. Is, because he was born in the heart. From a gypsy family in which Los Melanos and Los Rumbos stood out, especially his maternal grandmother La Rumbilla.

Beginning to sing in the sixties of the last century with the surname of Cuero Paula (as it appears in 1964’s II Gazpacho), he adapted his performances in summer theaters to his work in the fields, but he Left to work at the Sevillian Tabla La Cuadra, in which he met Antonio Marena. The Master of Alcors is the context that generated the melodies that were going to distinguish him from his predecessors, although without losing the rays that illuminated the sun of his childhood, the feel that we had in I Caracola de Lebrija ( 1966) attested. , or in 1968, when he won the second group of cantatas by Mayrena de Alcor, winning the Antonio Marena prize the following year, or a few days later becoming the first cantor to sing for the Matilde Chorale, Farruco and the trio Los Bolecos. Raphael the Black.

Thus began a fruitful career that would lead him to become the cantor with most flamenco clubs to his name, but it was revealed when he toured with Manuela Vargas on the album ‘El’ with Nino Ricardo (1970). But started his discography. Cante de quero malena y la guitarra de parrilla de Jerez’ (1971), and of course when he won the La Serneta prize at the VI National Competition of Córdoba, an event that inspired him to record ‘Yunque de cante gitano’, work in which he introduced his countryman Pedro Bacon, who would also serve as an escort, on the 1973 LP ‘Estilos’.

This was followed by ‘Sevilla y Ca’ (1974) with Manolo Sunlúcar and four albums with Parrilla de Jerez, such as ‘Cuando Viña en busca mia’, ‘El cante festivalro de quero malena’, ‘Quiero cembre un camino’ and ‘El Cante Gitano de Quero Malena’, in 1979 to continue with the groove of the album ‘Con la guitarra de Enrique de Melchor’, sounds that are recognized in Elche’s III Golden Shoe (1980) and later recordings such as Pedro Bacon ( 1981), ‘Antorcha de oro del cante’ (1986) or ‘Manantiel Gitano’ (1988) again with Pedro Bacon again as ‘Golpe a golpe’.

To such an extensive production is added the controversy of I Giraldillo del Cante (1980), or when he won III Antorcha del Cante (1984) at the XXIII Marina del Alcor Festival, demonstrating his knowledge and extreme professionalism, eloquent lectures and with historical moments, such as when in 1986 he told Alfonso Cabrera in Pozoblanco: “Thank you Cuero, because after this I don’t care to die anymore.” Or that Caracola in which, a 6-year-old girl, under the pretext of introducing her niece María del Mar Carrasco, imprisoned us for bularia and romance in the municipal booth.

His new album, ‘Calor de Fragua’, was preceded by the opening of Peña quero malena from Lebrija (1992) and the recording ‘Carbon de Caña’ (1994), commemorating his appearance at the Seville Biennial, to fans with ‘olives’. . ‘Aires de Lébrija’ (1998), an important show where Cuero reached sublime moments with the warm and luminous beauty of the land where he was born.

The flowering of emotion was always with him, such as when he participated in the concert ‘Venta del Caparos’ (2002), or the ‘Noches de Bajo de Gua’ dedicated to him in Sanlúcar de Barrameda. And what about the recognition of XV Giraldilla Flamenca (2004), thus rewarding those who seek the truth of styles as they lived in validity, and who challenge themselves not to fall into self-deception. Lebriza, the land that allowed him to enter reality as it was.

But after showing his credentials at the XXVI Juan Talega Festival on June 16, 2006, Cuero suffers from hemiplegia, which does not prevent him from revealing the saddest face of the Ghost in Correa del Río, in XLI Caracola or VIII Las Agujaderas. Festival. , from El Coronil. However, the memory had already registered Cuero Corazon de León, the cantor that we baptized in this way and who in 2007 took us to Lebrija with the canto of Juanelo.

We do not forget that June 2008 when he presented at the Centro Andaluz de Flamenco (CAF) in Jerez his double album ‘Memória de los cantes de Lébrija’, a work that celebrated 40 years of professional life for the man whose singing for feeling and not pretense; The artist who answered the prototype of a caste cantor, one of those who left no room for excessive dedication; The maestro who, after receiving the third golden torch of singing, showed that it was not possible to set precise boundaries, as he was a clear example of flamenco pedagogy, for which reason, already retired, he was included in the Federation of Flamenco Clubs. Received recognition from Seville (2011) and the appointment of favorite son of the city of Labriz (2011).

In March 2023, the plenary session of the city council of Labriza requested, through an institutional declaration, the Gold Medal for Merit in the Fine Arts, the Medal for Merit at Work and the Gold Medal of the Province of Seville, the latter being the award that It was awarded on 18 May and was to be delivered on 6 June. Without leaving the institutional side, the city council of Labriza is going to hold today an extraordinary plenary session to announce three days of mourning, as well as announcing to its culture representative, Pepe Martínez, that the coffin will be taken to the theater this Saturday afternoon will be transferred. Municipal Juan Bernabé so that the city of Labriza, which he gave so much pride, and fans from other Andalusian regions, could bid farewell to one of the most genuine singers of contemporary flamenco.

Married to Maria, called Juana Vargas Peña in the register, and father of Antonio Malena (guitarist), Luis Malena (cantor), Cuerle, José María, Publi and Pedro, valid canto with the death of Cuerto Malena today fury and fury cry with Even with irrationality as the ideal of flamenco creation, that is why it reminds us of Fernando Villalón, when he said that the world is divided in two: Seville and Cádiz.

On that border is the parish church of Nuestra Señora de la Oliva, in the Plaza del Hospitalillo, where the funeral will be held tomorrow, Sunday, and where we have seen several times the confluence of the singers Bastian Bacon, Chache Lagna, Luisa la de Pinini and many more. Curo’s own and all in one land, Lebrija, inhabited by endless voices like water. All water boils at the same temperature, but not all have the same uses and the same colour. But if we’ve learned anything from Cuero Malena, it’s that his work has taught us how a performer of Lebrija must sing in order to be considered a Lebrijano cantor.

Francisco Carrasco Carrasco, ‘Quero Malena’was born on July 11, 1945 and died on May 20, 2023 in his hometown of Lebrija

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