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Chicuelo, a musician from head to toe

We meet Chicuelo, a musician and composer whose works are sure to ring a bell from the big screen.

chicuelo-a-musician-from-head-to-toe

Guitarist, composer and performer. Juan Ignacio Gómez Gorjón, better known as Juan Gómez "Chicuelo", was born in Cornellá de Llobregat, Barcelona, in 1968. His love of flamenco guitar began in childhood. He started at the age of 12 with Casimiro González and since then there is no artistic corner that does not know his talent. 

The list of artists with whom he has worked seems endless and is made up of great names. Some of them have been Mario Escudero, Belén Maya, Angelita Vargas, Eva Yerbabuena, La Tolea, Sara Baras, Chano Lobato, Adrián Galia, Antonio "El Pipa", Morente, Joaquín Grilo, Rancapino, Enrique Morente, Mayte Martín, Carmen Linares, La Susi, La Marelu, José Mercé, El Cigala, Potito, among others. 

It is worth mentioning Miguel Poveda and Duquende, of whom he has been the regular guitarist and musical producer of some of their albums. With both of them he has embarked on international tours of Europe, the United States and Japan. 

As a creator, he has also composed music for the flamenco dance companies of flamenco dancers of the stature of Antonio Canales and Israel Galván. La Metamorfosis (2000), Torero alucinógeno (2004) are some of the works that bear his personal stamp on the original music. 

He has been musical director of dance companies such as Somorrostro Dansa Flamenca, produced by the Taller de Músics, where he composed the works Andanzas and Inconnexus XXI, the latter with Enric Palomar and choreographed by Javier Latorre, and has also produced the Japanese Shoji Kojima. In 1996 he created and led the group Cambalache, with which he achieved great recognition. He has directed the recordings Siento (Harmonia Mundi, 1997) and Oscuriá (Harmonia Mundi, 1998), by Ginesa Ortega; Suena Flamenco (Harmonia Mundi, 1998) and Zaguán (Harmonia Mundi, 2001), by Miguel Poveda; Linaje, by Juaneke (Harmonia Mundi, 2002); and Mi forma de vivir (K-Industria, 2005), by Duquende. He was also a member of the group Guitarras Mestizas, with whom he recorded two albums.  

In 2000 he presented Cómplices (Harmonia Mundi), his first solo album with his own repertoire, with which he performed live all over the country. In 2007 he presented his second album Diapasión (Flamenco Records) and toured nationally and internationally. 

He was the musical director of the musical Tarantos (2004), directed by Emilio Hernández and choreographed by Javier Latorre, which received the Max Award for best music. 

He composed the music for the work "En el tiempo" by the contemporary dance company La Baraque, premiered at the 8th Biennale des Musiques Ibériques (Colomiers, France, 2009), and for De Carmen (Bailando en la arena), by Trànsit Dansa/Maria Rovira, premiered in 2012 at the Grec Festival in Barcelona. 

At the film level, he has composed part of the music for Orson Welles' last film, Don Quixote (1992), and Pablo Berger's Snow White (2012). 

He has been requested as composer and guitarist in the productions Cante y Orquesta (2004) with Miguel Poveda, Joan Albert Amargos, Israel Galván and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Barcelona y Nacional de Catalunya; Desglaç (2005), by Miguel Poveda; Els treballs i els dies (2007), by Maria del Mar Bonet and Miguel Poveda, and Coplas del querer by Miguel Poveda. 

He shares musical direction and stage with CMS Trio - Javier Colina, Marc Miralta and Perico Sambeat, presented in 2011 at the Mercat de Música Viva de Vic. 

The bulería "No te puedo encontrar", the central theme of the film Blancanieves, won the 2013 Goya Award for best original song. The song is a creation by Chicuelo with lyrics by the film's director, Pablo Berger. 

In 2014 he launched the project Rumba y cosas with Marinah (ex-singer of Ojos de Brujo) and musicians Carlos Sarduy, Javi Martín and Israel Suárez 'El Piraña', which premiered at the Connexions Festival. It was released as an album under the name Sintonías. 

In 2015 he recorded and composed part of the songs for Miguel Poveda's latest album Sonetos y poemas para la libertad. 

In 2016, Chicuelo premiered his new project with Marco Mezquida and Paco de Mode in collaboration with the Fira Mediterrània de Manresa. Subsequently, this new proposal materialised in the album Conexión, with which they achieved worldwide recognition.  

Since 2017 he has been the guitarist and musical director of the shows Gran Gala Flamenco and Ópera y flamenco in Barcelona.  

In 2019 he presents his third solo album, Uña y carne, a production by Accords Croisés, released by Discmedi and Taller de Músics in Spain and by Accords Croisés in the rest of the world. The album is a compilation of eight tracks: bulerías, tangos, guajiras, rumbas, sevillanas, tanguillos and rondeñas that reaffirms him as one of the most outstanding guitarists on the flamenco scene and also as an excellent composer. In this project, Chicuelo is the composer of all the songs and has the participation of renowned musicians from the flamenco and jazz scene, such as the trumpeter Carlos Sarduy, the violinist Carlos Caro, the bassists Carles Benavent and Javier Martín, the harmonica player Antonio Serrano, the percussionist Paquito González, the cantaoras La Tana and La Chicuela and the cantaores Makarines.  

Also in 2019 he releases a new work with Marco Mezquida, No hay dos sin tres, which contains eight of his own compositions. It is a confirmation of the validity and richness of a joint project that surprised us with its authenticity and elegance when it burst onto Conexión. The title of the album is a tribute to Paco de Mode and also a way of underlining the good and deep musical and personal connection between the two musicians. In February 2020, this work received the City of Barcelona Award in the music category. 

In 2020 he composed the original music for the show Lorca x Bach, produced by Shoji Kojima with choreography by Javier Latorre and stage direction by Paco López, which premiered at the Festival de Jerez. 

One of his latest works is the project Caminos, accompanied by three outstanding artists of different genres: Karen Lugo on dance, Martín Meléndez on cello and David Gómez on drums. The official premiere took place at the Teatro Coliseum in Barcelona, as part of the Mas y Mas Festival, to unanimous acclaim from audiences and critics alike. 

Awards 

2000 Best Solo Guitar Album Award at the Flamenco Hoy magazine awards for Cómplices. 
2007 Best Solo Guitar Album Award at the Flamenco Hoy magazine awards for Diapasión 
2004 Max Award for Best Music for Tarantos 
2013 Goya Award for Best Original Song for the bulería No te puedo encontrar, main theme of the film Blancanieves 
2020 City of Barcelona Award in the music category for the album No hay dos sin tres (No two without three)