Unlocking the Secrets of That Flamenco Music

April 6, 2015 6:22 PM

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When I was not yet quite a teenager, I spent a few years studying the classical guitar under Dorothy De Goede. She was a strikingly beautiful woman who had been a student of Andre Segovia. I was, of course, in love with her even though I was barely a decade old. I then wanted to study flamenco, so my parents sent me to Carlos Montoya. I loved flamenco but Montoya's best and most patient coaxing did not teach me how to unfurl my right hand with that particular flamenco sweep.

I should have had some genetic disposition. My dad was half German-Jewish and the other half Portuguese-Jewish. His mother grew up speaking Ladino in Seattle. The few remaining Ladino speakers lived in Seattle at that time--Ladino is a combination of Hebrew and Spanish. Yiddish is Hebrew and German.

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