Continually seeking out new musical terrain, flamenco jazz guitar virtuoso Eduardo Niebla has crossed the worlds of jazz, classical, world and pop music in his career.
It all converges in the Eduardo Niebla Experience which he brings to this year’s Festival of Chichester with a date in St John’s Chapel, St John’s Street on Sunday, June 24 at 8pm. He will be accompanied by Matthew Robinson (guitar) and Dharmesh Parmar (tabla).
Home for Eduardo is north Yorkshire: “We have been here for quite a few years, around 17.
“My wife is from this area. We used to live in London and then eventually we moved to Yorkshire. We had children, and we thought it would be a nice area for them to be and closer to their grandparents.
“And it is nice and quiet. You have got a lot of space for thinking and writing. In life, there is a space for everything. London as a big city has got so much to offer, all the theatres, all the cinemas, all the concerts. And there are so many production companies. I used to do a lot of session recordings there and lots of gigs here and there. There is a lot of activity, but north Yorkshire is a great place to dip into your own imagination.
“I am a composer, and I have composed for so many years now. I always want to be doing different things.
“I like to put together all my ideas from different periods to reflect that, but I am constantly writing new material. Any time I feel something or just feel inspired, if something comes to me, I compose music, just to see how it affects me. The idea is like a seed. You plant it and see how it develops and it becomes a composition.
“My compositions reflect me and my life. I am from the old tradition of arts. I grew up with a family with lots of artists. I was very lucky. I was the seventh of 11, and a lot of my brothers and sisters are artists and painters and sculptors and writers. From a very early age, I developed strong ideas about art. It really made a strong mark on me, the way my imagination works and composes music.
“I grew up just near Barcelona, but I was born in Tangier in Morocco. But my parents came from Andalucía, and my culture is very much in the traditions around Andalucía, flamenco music. But I was exposed from a very early age to a lot of jazz and classical music that my older brothers used to listen to.
“In Spain, the music of South America was also very popular, and there were a lot of influences from there too. Spain is like a big cooking pot.
“I came to live in London in 1978. I was thinking to stay in London to learn English and that I would be there for a few years before going on to study in America, in Boston, but it never happened. But in London I met a few musicians from Boston, and they were saying ‘You don’t need to go to Boston! Keep pure!’, and I didn’t have any money to go there anyway, so I just thought I would stay here.
“I get influences from everywhere. When I arrived in London, it was just as Margaret Thatcher was coming into power and it was the punk era. You just get inspiration. There was a centre in London run by Spanish people from the Spanish republic, and they hosted a lot of concerts. They used to have a punk concert there every weekend. It was very colourful.
“Every single movement in music brings something different. Music is an artform. Every single style that comes along brings different colours.”
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