If you’re looking for romance and epic skill, look no further than an accomplished Spanish guitarist.
Technique, harmony and especially rhythm are some characteristics that differentiate each of the traditional styles that we can find in the flamenco guitar.
Today, Sunshine Weddings Spain is delighted to talks with Mallorquin-based Spanish guitarist Gaizka Baena.
How long have you been playing the Spanish guitar and how easy is it to learn?
I’ve been playing since childhood. It can take up to two years, depending on your dedication, just to gain some confidence, but then a lifetime to master the art.
So, depending upon what level of proficiency you are hoping to attain, it may take some five years to become reasonably proficient.
How did you get involved in performing at weddings?
I’ve always been interested in the fusion of flamenco with other rhythms, especially jazz and I’ve performed in many national and international festivals, both alone and with artists of the stature of Raimundo Amador, the violinist Ara Malikian or Bebe.
When I moved to Mallorca I contacted event agencies which is when I started working at weddings and private events.
How does it feel to be part of such an important day, celebrating the love of a couple in front of their family and friends?
You feel happiness because it is the most important day for the couple. My job is to transmit that love through my music. Luckily Spanish music is famed for being the sound of love, which makes my job easier.
What are your favourite pieces to play?
I have many own compositions which I enjoy playing. Also, those by Vicente Amigo and Paco de Lucia.
Can you turn your hand to any style of music when playing the guitar?
Like I’ve said, I’ve always been interested in the fusion of flamenco with other rhythms, especially jazz. I can play pop and classical too.
What is your favourite part of the wedding day to play at – ceremony, wedding meal, or the evening party?
I enjoy all the parts, but perhaps my personal favourite is playing solo during the cocktail reception.
The most memorable wedding in which you played? What happened?
I would say all the weddings are memorable in their own way. They all have magic and charm. Especially those held here in Mallorca which offers so many unique, beautiful locations to make each wedding unforgettable.
The best compliments you have ever received from bride, groom and guests?
Spanish guitar flamenco is deeply romantic, the bride and grooms always compliment me on my performance and express their gratitude for the music I play. Many of the guests do too.
How does the Mallorcan style of Spanish guitar music differ from that of mainland Spain?
Spanish flamenco guitar music is not something that differs depending on the region you live in. Spanish flamenco guitar is the same anywhere you are.
Who are your favourite musical artists? Have any of them acted as a muse for your own music?
I would have to say: Vicente Amigo, Paco de Lucia and Jorge Pardo. All of whom have acted as a muse for my music.
More about Gaizka Baena:
Baena is a Basque flamenco guitarist and composer based in Mallorca, with a main interested in the fusion of flamenco with other rhythms, especially jazz.
Gaizka Baena has performed in many national and international festivals, both alone and with artists of the stature of Raimundo Amador, the violinist Ara Malikian or Bebe.