Tomas Pavón, the younger brother of La Niña de los Peines, was a fine singer who preferred the lesser-known flamenco styles like the deblas and toñas. Unfortunately his career spanned what was believed to be one of the worst eras in flamenco history, the opera flamenco. His affection for the pure jondo styles came at a time when the public had little, or no interest in them.
Tomas Pavón was born in Seville in 1893 and he was considered one of the most dominant figures during the period of 1930 - 1950, but he did not receive true recognition until after his death in 1952.
Not only was his style ignored and overshadowed by the commercial styles that were being presented in the theatres across the country, but it was also the time of the civil war in Spain, followed by the Second World War.
1936 saw the start of the civil war and many artistes fled war torn Spain to live in exile in the South America’s and France.
But this did not deter this introverted gypsy who carried on in true flamenco style, normally refusing to sing outside his close circle of friends and aficionados. His influences were Manuel Torre, with whom his sister Pastora had a youthful love affair, and Enrique el Mellizo, from who Tomas learned the Soleares de Alcalá.
Unlike his sister, who took the café scene by storm, Tomas remained recluse-like in Seville, living in the shadow of the worst epoch that flamenco has known. He refused to commercialize his art and continued to sing for the few aficionados who appreciated his mastery.
His voice was not the typical afilla voice that is associated with most gypsy singers, but his deep understanding for the gypsy cante has made him one the most outstanding cantaores of this period.