lunes, 3 de septiembre de 2012

Agujetas Family

If we want to understand contemporary Flamenco it is key that we learn what happened in more secluded contexts, inside the households where families have preserved certain performing traditions and transmitted them generation to generation, almost from the cradle. All this will help establish distinctions and particularities that have greatly influenced flamenco development. There are scattered throughout Andalusia (and also outside its borders), a great number of gypsy families that enrich with different shades the flamenco arts. One of these family lines is the old dynasty of The Agujetas, in our opinion one of the most preeminent in recent Cante history due to their role in preserving and transmitting traditions that have become substantial references in today’s Flamenco scene. Besides preserving the past, the old traditions are also continuously updated by the youngest members of Baguettes family. Among the members that are still performing we should mention Dolores Agujetas and Antonio Agujetas, Granddaughter and Grandson respectively of Agujetas the Elder and subsequently, Manuel Agujetas’ children, and Diego and Luís Agujetas, brothers of the aforementioned Manuel.

You will find information on the family of The Agujetas in these links:

The dynasty of The Agujetas


Agujetas the Elder




 Manuel Agujetas




Dolores Agujetas


Diego Rubichi



And to develop the theme, this post will structure based on the text that follows, taken from the web page flamenco-world.com, written by Carlos Sanchez, and we illustrate with audiovisual material.

Puerto de Santa María, 1905

Aurora Street and Plaza del Polvorista

"First of all, let’s take a look at the Family Tree. The research conducted by José Manuel Martín-Barbadillo concluded that Agujetas Family comes from El Puerto de Santa María (Cádiz). There, Diego de los Santos married Ricarda Boneo. Later in time, one of the daughters of Diego and Ricarda, Micaela, got married to Gabriel Soto Montero, uncle of Manuel Torre. That’s the way these two family lines got acquainted forever.."

Agujetas Family photo
"Diego de Los Santos Boneo was born in 1845. He married Juana Navarro Morón. Their son, Tomás de los Santos Navarro was born in Acebuche, Jerez in 1880. He would be the first Jerez born member of the Family-line. Tomás married María Gallardo Suárez, from Puerto de Santa María (Cádiz) and they got two children Manuel de los Santos Gallardo ‘Agujetas The Elder’ and Domingo de los Santos Gallardo ‘Rubichi’ who created a Flamenco dynasty of his own in Jerez. Maria Gallardo brought into the family an interesting new element, her brother José Gallardo Suárez ‘El Chalao’(the crazy one) that after getting married to Pilar Loreto Fernández added two new branches to the tree; Los ‘Garbanzo’ and the “Mijitas”."

ARecent photo of Acebuche Street, Jerez de la Frontera
"There is some recorded information on the artistry of Manuel de los Santos Gallardo, ‘Agujetas The Elder’. He was an excellent and deep cantaor. As stated by writers Luis y Ramón Soler in their book ‘Antonio Mairena en el mundo de la seguiriya y la soleá’, he devoted his latest years to developing rhythms related to Manuel de la Torre’s tradition. His depth when singing was the result of the combination of the richest styles of Jerez, his hometown. “Agujetas The Elder” was considered a human encyclopedia of Cante. During his life he gathered all the styles of the cantaores from Jerez such as Carapiera, Marruro, Tío José de Paula and, of course, Manuel Torre."

Manuel de los Santos Gallardo, "Agujetas the Elder"
(Jerez de la Fra, 1908 - Rota, 1976)
Gentlemen and good men,

And to Spain the ship brought her

I say, let them bring her to us

A captive Christian girl

Daughter of Dukes or Marquises

A token of great value

Come here piece of my soul

Piece of my little soul

If I caught you in Spain

I would also make you a Christian

And I would name you

Anne of Alexandria

That’s the way your mom calls you

And your auntie, that cradled you as a baby

What reason have I given you

What reason and what word

That for you to ask me a favor

It wasn’t needed that you kneeled down

Open the door as I say

For a Captive Christian girl

Look, by mercy of my good luck

A sister of mine I was brought

I have arranged 20 ships

So that In Spain will arrive

That beloved sister-in law of mine

Alboreá de Jerez
On the green lawn

I laid my scarf

Three roses came out

Like three bright stars

Take good care of what is good

And it will accompany you

Because if you don’t take care of it

You will find yourself alone

One fine morning on Saint John’s day

Even if I was taking a tinny step

I was struggling greatly

The Moorish king after the peace

He ended up fine

He was crown by all your people

Tell him, then, to come inside, he will warm up

Because this is a merciless land

Eran tan grandes mis penas
que no caben más
porque me veo
que me estoy viendo
malito de muerte en un hospital
Ay ! si algún día yo a ti te llamara
y tu no vinieras, la muerte amarga
compañerita de mi alma
yo la presintiera
Ay ! yo bien se que me muero
compañera mía
pero el consuelo que llevo
la tierra me tuvo el primero
Ay ! Dios mío qué es esto
que me está pasando
se me ha liao una cuerda al cuello
que me está ahogando
Ay ! como cosa mia
te he mirao yo
pero quererte, como te quería
esto se acabó.

 My sorrow is so great

That there is room for no more

Because I see myself

I am seeing myself

Death sick at a hospital

Ay! If one fine day I called you

And you would not come, the bitter death

Little soul sister of mine

I would foreseen

Ay! I am dying all right

Soul sister of mine

But I am comforted by the thought

It’s me the ground got first

Ay! As a thing of mine

I have looked at you

But loving you, as I did

That’s over

A video with Agujetas The Elder singing a few songs

Agujetas the Elder, singing siguiryas

Agujetas the Elder and Manuel Agujetas
"In the beginning of XX Century the dynasty is renovated, Manuel de los Santos Gallardo, born in 1908, gets married to Ana Pastor Monge, from Rota (Cadiz). They have 4 children Tomasa, Francisco, Juan, Diego, Luis y Manuel, the last three become cantaores.".

Agujetas The Elder, his brother Juan Agujetas, El Gordo  “The fat one” born in Jerez in 1936 and passed away in Rota, in 2006.

Agujetas“El Gordo” singing Fandangos

In this video we can listen to him singing Bulerías al golpe and after a juicy interview, he sings a Soleá.

"The most renewed singer in The Flamenco World will be Manuel de los Santos Pastor ‘Agujetas’ according to his own words the date and place of his birth are unknown. “I have no papers” he states. This deeply rooted and kind of antisocial Gipsy man leaves in Rota’s outskirts in a house build by himself."

Rota. Courtyard of the Castle of Luna, S. XVI.

"In the beginning of 70’s decade he left the family blacksmith business and traveled to Madrid where he recorded the first Vinyl of a large count to date. “Flamenco” by Carlos Saura and “Agujetas Cantaor” by Dominique Abel offer beautiful portraits of him, a “Rara Avis” in Flamenco world"

Manuel de los Santos Pastor "Agujetas"
(Jerez de la Frontera, 1939)
Manuel de los Santos Agujeta is Today’s most important referent on Agujetas Dynasty, and one of the most relevant singers of all times.

“Antonio Garcia el Platero” “The silversmith” defines to perfection this singer peculiar style: It’s like whiskey, when you first try it it’s rough. Little by little you learn to appreciate It. ”Manuel de los Santos’ Cante is full of sounds of the Blacksmith’s’forge, his cante smells like red hot iron, Tonás, Seguiriyas and Soleares"

Following Domique Abel’s documentary. It’s a fantastic piece of information for a better understanding of this artist’s outreach, personality and peculiar way to live life


Who shall I tell my sorrows to

I cannot tell them to anybody

My Mom is at the Hospital

She was taken to the Hospital

Ay! The moon grows and wanes

And the sun is always the same

And this naughty Gipsy lady

Has changed her mind

Ay! To those that think

That my sorrows are nothing

Just for a moment

I would like to see them in my place

Al hospital yo me voy

por Dios, compañera

pa no dejarte morirte solita

me voy a tu vera

El libro de mi sino,

no lo leas más

porque en mi sino voy a morir
loquito en el hospital

Ay ! si supiera yo el sitio

donde te enterraron,

opaito mi alma
donde te enterraron

yo sacaría tos tus huesecitos

para embalsamarlos.

Ay, ay ! Dices que tú no me quieres
pena no tengo, yo, ninguna
pena no tengo, ninguna
porque con tu querer
no tengo hecha escritura
Que yo iba a perder toa la razón
que cuando hablo contigo
a mi me temblaba mi corazón
Has de vivir con la pena
que la ropa de tu cuero
se te coma de cangrena
mientras vivas en el mundo
has de vivir con la pena.

Ay! Nobody should say in this world

You cannot drink this water

I wish you could face it

Not having water for your thirst

Ay, Ay! You say you don’t love me

I am not sad at all

I am not sad at all

Because about your love

I never signed a deed

I was about to loose my mind

When I talked to you

My heart was shacking

You will have to live in sorrow

That the clothes of your body

Will eat you with gangrene

While you live in this world

You will have to live in sorrow

Manuel Agujetas singing Soleares

Manuel Agujetas singing Soleares

Following a video that lasts an hour aprox. In it we have included the TV program that Rito y Geografía del Cante Flamenco dedicated to the singer in the 70’s and some others like the excerpt of Antonio Saura’s “Flamenco” in which he sings Martinetes accompanied by Manuel Moneo, a Jerez born singer

Manuel’s Fandangos are also outstanding. He is a Freestyle singer, that very often uses sententious sentences such us: The one that knows how to write and read doesn’t know how to sing flamenco” or “The one that sings the better is the one that has suffered the most”

Manuel Moreno Junquera ‘Moraíto’ defines Agujetas as” a singer that surprises you, truly wild”. Agujetas is a local species in danger of extinction, that’s what it’s stated when we hear him sing some primitive cantes of last decade or newer recordings such us ‘En la soleá’, ‘24 quilates’ o ‘Agujetas cantaor’

Luis Agujetas

Luis Agujetas (son of Agujetas the Elder)
Luis Agujetas


Ayy! Que a mi me llaman el loco

porque siempre voy callao

mirarme a poco a poco

que soy un loco de cuidao

La luna vino a la fragua

con su polisón de nardos

el niño la mira, mira

el niño la está mirando

yunque, clavo y alcayatas

Que la casita del cabildo

que los guardias me venían a mi,

a buscar por Dios,

no darme a mi más palos

casi me acabáis de matar.

 Ay! They call me crazy

Because I am always quiet

Look at me little by little

Because I am nuts

The moon came to the forge

With its bustle made of spikenards

The child looks at it, looks at it

The child is looking at it

Anvil, nails and hooks

The Little station

That the guards came to look for me

For heaven’s sake don’t bit me up any more

You almost killed me


Ay ! que el que canta es un fraguero
no se espante usted, señora
que el que canta es un fraguero
que con el humo de la fragua
tiene ronca la garganta
que el que canta es un fraguero
Ay ! tos van como un estampio
a la boca de la mina
porque el niño quiere más
porque el pare no ha salio
debajo la mina tiene que estar.

Ay! The one that sings is a blacksmith

Don’t be afraid, Miss

The one that sings is a blacksmith

That is hoarse

 From the smoke of the forge

The one that sings is a blacksmith

Ay! Everybody goes running

To the mine’s mouth

Because the child wants to know

Why the father didn’t come out

He must be down there at the mine

Diego Agujetas, son of  Agujetas El Viejo ( The Elder)

Diego Agujetas


Olas de la mar en calma

coche llevas de lunares

si yo te diera amores

yo te entregaría el alma

María de los Dolores

Que llores por mi querer

tiene que llegar el día

un llanto tan profundo

que tengas que aborrecer

a quien más quieras en el mundo.

 Calm sea waves

You are wearing a polka dot corset

If I gave you my love

I would give you my soul

María Dolores

That for my love you will cry

Will happen one day

Such a deep cry

That you will have to hate

The one you love the most in this world

Ya-ya-ya, ya ! Ay-ay-ay. ay !

Dicen que el agua divierte

quita penas y da alegrías

yo me voy a la fuente
a ver si las penas mías

se las lleva la corriente

El hombre que está queriendo

de noche cavila y vela

y así que logra su gusto

aborrece, olvida y niega

Yo me asomé a la reja

y yo no veía a nadie
si no el polvito, madre
y la arenita

que, ya que se lleva el aire.

 Ya-ya-ya, ya ! Ay-ay-ay. ay !

They say the water is amusing

That takes sorrows away and makes you happy

I go to the fountain

To see whether my sorrows

Are carried away by the river

The man that is in love

At night thinks and stays awake

Once he gets what he wants

He hates, forgets and regrets

I looked through the grille

And I couldn’t see no one

Except for the dust

That was carried away by the wind

Diego Agujetas, fandangos

Diego Rubichi

Diego Rubichi, Jerez 1949 - Sevilla 2007. Cousin of  Manuel, Luis, Diego y Juan Agujetas. Son of Domingo Rubichi, Brother of Agujetas el viejo (The Elder) Agujetas. Also a cousin of  Miguel Pastor de los Santos "Gitanillo de Bronce" Bronze Gipsy.  His mother, Pilar Loreto Fernandez, is the sister of El Chalao’s (the Crazy one) a renowned singer from Jérez. From this side of the family some other flamenco dynasties are born such as that of Los Garbanzos (The Chick-peas) and Los Mijitas (the Little Bread-crumbs).  Diego Rubichi is also the father of Domingo Rubichi, a well-respected guitar player.

Siguirillas. Singer: Diego Rubichi.

Toque (Guitar): Niño Jero


Ay ! M estoy quemando

como me quemo en vidita y a más,

y a ca(da) paso que ando

Ay ! y del color de la adelfa

al verde limón

y allí tenía la Virgen en su manto

de Consolación

del color de la adelfa

al verde limón

Era una noche oscurita

y de invierno
ay, ay !

los campanilleros con el ruido de sus campanillas

me quitan el sueño.

Ay! I am burning

I am burning alive

More and more, every step I take

Ay!  From oleander’s color
and that of a green lemon

That’s what Virgen-Mary had
in her consolation robe

From oleander’s color
and that of a green lemon

It was a dark winter night

Ay, ay! The Bell-ringers with the sound of their bells

Ruined my sleep

Granaina. Singer: Diego Rubichi.

Toque (Guitar): Niño Jero


Ya, ya ! ah ! ya ya !

Y en esa calle vivía

la que me lavó el pañuelo

y lo lavó con agua fría
y lo tendió en el romero

y al amanecer el día

Y por aquella ventana

que salía al mar,

ay ! serranita
yo te había visto a ti la cara

Y con la luz de la luna,

gitana, tú me pareciste que eres
 más guapaque ninguna.

 Ya, ya ! ah ! ya ya !

She lived in that street

The one that laundered my scarf

And she washed it with cold water

And she laid it on the Rosemary

At dawn

Through that window

That looks at the sea,
Ay! Little girl from The Sierra

I saw your face

And with the moonlight

Gipsy girl, when I looked at you

You seemed to me

More beautiful than anybody else

Taranto. Singer: Diego Rubichi.

Toque (Guitar): Niño Jero


Ay ! camina, y dime qué llevas en el carro
que despacio tú caminas
ay ! llevo al pobre de mi hermano
que un barreno en la mina
que le ha cogío las dos manos
Ay ! las vueltas que el mundo da
válgame, Tío Rufino
ay ! siendo un minero tanfino
y a donde vino a parar
ay ! y a darle vueltas al molino.

 Ay! Walk and tell me what you have in your cart

Because you walk very slowly

Ay! I am carrying my brother

A shot hole at the mine

Took both his hands away

Ay! The twists and turns life takes

My God! Uncle Rufino

Ay! Being such a fine miner

He ended up

Ay! Making the millstone turn

In this video, Diego Rubichi sings bulerías, accompanied by Domingo Rubichi, his son, playing guitar and el Bo y Luis de la Tota playing palmas

Gitanillo de Bronce (little Bronze Gipsy)

Miguel Pastor de los Santos, Gitanillo de Bronce (little Bronze Gipsy) is Diego Rubichi’s cousin and Agujetas el Viejo’s nephew

Following we can listen to him singing Siguirillas

Here, he sings Soleá accompanied by his cousin Domingo Rubichi

"The Dynasty goes on, Manuel Agujetas and Josefa Bermúdez Fernández had 5 children Manuel, Antonio, Dolores, Ana y Diego, From which Antonio and Dolores have reached professional status, both following the singing peculiarities of their family traditions. Antonio Agujetas (Jerez, 1966) launched the following albums: ‘Antonio Agujeta’, ‘Dos gritos de libertad’ y ‘Así lo siento’, and  Dolores “Hija del duende’ and ‘Dolores’. Dolores is the mother of Virginia Agujetas, dancer, and Antonio Agujetas chico (Jr) that sings and plays the guitar. The Agujetas perpetuate their lineage that is already History"
Dolores De Los Santos Agujeta, daughter of Manuel, embodies the singing continuity of the family and ensures its future thanks to her 6 children that follow her and the family in the Flamenco tradition. Dolores’s way of singing remains faithful to the Family origins and today, she is today considered a key figure in contemporary Flamenco scene.

Dolores Agujetas
Ay, ay, ay....!

Nadie diga de este agua

no voy a beber

por muy tuya que tú la veas

no debe quitar la sed

Toitas la mares iban al tren

y yo, como no tengo mare

nadie me viene a ver.

Ay, ay, ay....!

Nobody should say I won’t drink this water

Even if you think it’s yours

It won’t calm your thirst

All the moms help their children to the train

With me, myself, because I have no mother

Nobody comes with me

Ay, ay, ay....!

Los ojitos de mi cara

tienen los cristales muertos

 me he metio en un querer

no se lo que me han hecho

te sentaste en la silla
donde yo me iba a sentar

mira si mi pena es grande

que no la pude contar

Dios castigue a la persona

que me he enseñao a mi a querer
ay ! que yo estaba en mi sentio

y ahora me veo sin el

Están sentaos en La Plazuela

Tío Rogelio, Tío Frascuelo

y Paco el de La Malena

Si te publico me pierdo

mal si yo te publicara
yo le voy a escupir al cielo

se me va a caer la cara

Te vas a quear

con el dedo señalando

como se queo San Juan.

Ay, ay, ay....!

The eyes in my face

Their crystals look like if they were dead

I am involved in a love affaire

I don’t know what they did to me

you took the seat I was gonna take

The one I was gonna sit at

My sorrow is so big

I cannot even convey it

God should punish the person

That taught me to love

Ay! I was sane

And now I have lost my senses

In the Little plaza they are seated

Tío Rogelio, Tío frascuelo

And Paco, Malena’s son

If I make public I love you

That would be my ruin

If I spit in the sky

It’s gonna end up in my face

You are gonna end up there

With the finger pointing up

Like San Juan stayed forever

Dolores Agujetas singing seguiriyas

 Here, singing Fandangos

Antonio Agujetas
Antonio De Los Santos Agujeta, the youngest son of Manuel and brother of Dolores, He is also an important singer, completely faithful to the family ways of feeling and performing the cante but with a kina of irregular presence in the most active Flamenco scene. Anyhow, the well-informed following is always attentive to his performances.

Antonio Agujetas

Ay ! Lo pasean por el pueblo

ay, ay ! como si fuera un ladrón

y delante lleva un pregonero

que le pregona en alta voz

la muerte amarga de este nazareno
ay ! delante lleva un pregonero

que le pregona en alta voz

Se oscurecieron
los cielos

se oscurecieron
ay !

e eclipsó sol y la luna

porque lo ponen en cueros

y azotes crueles le dieron

amarraito a una columna

y azotes le dieron

y amarraito a una columna.

Ay! They carry him through the village

Ay! Ay! Just like if he was a thieve

And preceding him there is a herald

That advances in a loud voice

The bitter death this man front Nazareth is gonna face

Ay! And preceding him there is a herald

That advances in a loud voice

They got dark

The skies got dark

Ay! There was a sun and moon eclipse

When they got him naked

And they whipped him bitterly

While tied up to a column

And they whipped him bitterly

While tied up to a column

Ay, ay, ay.....!
Llevarme ropa, no quemarme a mi
quemarme mi ropa, no quemarme a mi
pero reniego de aquella hora
que te conocí
quemarme mi ropa
no quemarme a mi
Ay ! pa tos los desgraciaos
han hecho un convento
y el primerito que lo habitara
sería mi cuerpo.

 Ay, ay, ay.....!

Take my clothes, don’t burn me at the stake

Burn my clothes, don’t burn me at the stake

Because I regret very much

The moment I met you

Burn my clothes, don’t burn me at the stake

Ay! For all sorrows

There is a convent

And the first thing that should live there

Is my poor body
This Romance is sung in the tradition of his grandfather, Agujetas el Viejo

And here he is singing bulerías

This post has been translated from spanish by Abigail Lazkoz. Thank you very much, Abigail!