Maestro Rafael Cañizares

About Maestro Rafael Cañizares

University degree in flamenco guitar and instructor at the Escuela Superior de Música de Catalunya (ESMUC) for over a decade.
When Rafael Cañizares was 13 he began his musical education with the Cordovan guitarist Antonio Osuna. Shortly afterwards he launched his soloist and accompanist career, playing in most of Barcelona’s flamenco clubs.

When he was 15 he debuted with Manolo del Río at the flamenco tablao Bodega del Toro. Soon after, at the age of seventeen, he became part of the artistic cast at the El Cordobes tablao where at the time greats such as Camarón de la Isla, Lole y Manuel, Farruco, and others played.

Three years later he was hand-picked by flamenco expert Carlos Almendros to take part in the prestigious International Jerez de la Frontera Flamenco Guitar Contest, where, at eighteen years old he won his first award.

Since then he has become one of the most sought-after guitarists to accompany vocalists at prestigious flamenco festivals held in Barcelona.

Escuela de guitarra flamenca Rafael Cañizares - El Maestro


In the eighties, he performed as a soloist and lead guitarist with Maruja Garrido for more than six years at the Los Tarantos tablao, and accompanied some of Barcelona’s most renowned flamenco vocalists and dancers, artists like La Tani, Manuel Núñez, Tamara Carmona, Faraón, Curro, and others. During this period he became known as one of the great players of Catalan flamenco.

In 1986 he moved to the United States, where he lived for several years. When he arrived, he performed at the Spanish Embassy in New York City. There he was introduced to Maestro Sabicas and become friends with Maestro Mario Escudero. During his stay in New York, Rafael Cañizares performed at the historical flamenco Chato Madrid tablao, no longer in existence today. In this period he shared the stage with most of the Spanish and American artists of the day. It was while he was in New York and Miami that he launched his flamenco guitar teaching career.

In 1992 he returned to Barcelona and joined the group of his brother, Juan Manuel Cañizares, and performed with him at numerous festivals across Europe.

In 1993 he received the First National Bordón Minero Flamenco Guitar Award, at the 23rd Las Minas festival held in La Unión, Murcia. That same year he was invited by the famous British musician Mike Oldfield to join him as a guest artist on his Spanish tour.

Escuela de guitarra flamenca Rafael Cañizares - Premio Nacional de Guitarra Flamenca Bordón Minero


Over the course of his illustrious career he has accompanied flamenco greats such as Fosforito, Perro de Paterna, Diego Clavel, Manuel Gerena, Curro de Utrera, El Cabrero, Manolo del Río, Blas Maqueda, Curro de Lucena, La Galleguita, Miguel Vargas, Duquende, Chocolate, Curro Malena, La Niña de la Puebla, Estrella Morente, Ana Reverte, Roque Montoya Jarrito, Naranjito de Triana, Luis de Córdoba, Jiménez Rejano, Morenito de Illora, La Galleguita, Pepe Núñez El Loreño and Blas Córdoba el Duende.

He has also collaborated on projects with musicians like Carlos Benavente, Jorge Pardo, Salvador Niebla, Albert Pla, Ze Eduardo and many, many more.

In 1992 in Sabadell he founded the first School of Flamenco Guitar of Catalonia, the school that bears his name and where he currently gives classes.