Flamenco - Niño Ricardo

Manuel Serrapi Sanchez or Niño Ricardo, was born in Seville in 1909 and has inspired many of today's guitarists. Many flamenco guitarists use techniques that were created by Niño Ricardo and he is quite possibly the most respected and worshiped flamenco guitarist of the last one hundred years.

He spent his early years playing in the taverns and bars of Seville where he developed his own personal style and created much of his own material. He was inspired by the great threesome of the flamenco guitar, Ramón Montoya, Manolo de Huelva, and Javier Moilna, by whom he was guided at the start of his professional career in the Salon Variedades in Seville. Niño Ricardo took the qualities of these three masters and moulded them to create his own personal style, becoming one of the best flamenco accompanist of all times.

It soon became clear that he would knock the maestro Ramón Montoya off of his throne and he dominated the guitar scene unchallenged. He became the busiest and most sought after guitarist of his time, he was worshipped in the eyes of countless imitators, who studied and copied his creations even though they were extremely difficult to reproduce.

Niño Ricardo accompanied many great singers and during the 1940s and 50s he regularly accompanied La Niña de los Peines and her brother Tomás Pavón as well as the mighty Manuel Torre. But even Ricardo was tempted by the fortunes of commercial flamenco and in his later years under took long tours with the flamenco companies of singers like Juanito Valderama, and in 1955 he performed solo for the first time.

His playing was described as "Exciting, musically fascinating, sometimes beautiful, but lacking in emotion and duende due to his intricate style of playing".

He was a long time resident of the Alameda de Hércules district of Seville, where today stands a bronze statue in his honour.

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