ALBERTO VÉLEZ'S BIOGRAPHY
Alberto Vélez has demonstrated a remarkable talent for the guitar his entire life. Born in 1921 in a small town (El Cerro de Andévalo) in the province of Huelva, Spain, he debuted as a professional guitarist in Sevilla, while yet a youth. A guitarist of extensive skill and repertoire, Vélez's remarkable depth of musical knowledge is noteworthy. His was a regular presence in "Flamenco Opera" shows held in the major theaters and bullrings of the time. Throughout that prolific era of popular flamenco performances, he performed alongside other outstanding artists such as Ramón Montoya, Niño Ricardo and Mario Escudero. Vélez accompanied many important flamenco singers––Manuel Vallejo, José Cepero, Pepe Marchena, Tomás Pavón, El Gloria, Valderrama, Canalejas, Fosforito––as well as renowned flamenco dancers such as Antonio and Rosario. He and his wife, Raquel Lucas, formed an artistic duo. Raquel was the lead dancer for Concha Piquer's troupe, as well as Estrellita Castro and Antoñita Moreno's companies. Vélez toured Europe and America several times. His travels also took him to Japan and South Africa as the guitarist for the popular singer Marisol. He performed in several of her movies along with Antonio and Rafael de Córdoba. He performed in movies with Pepe Marchena as well. Vélez gave a solo performance in Albert Hall, London, after being chosen among many other notable performers of the season. As a concert guitarist, he performed with "El Niño Ricardo", and Mario Escudero, with whom he made a recording in Paris. Vélez also recorded with Fosforito, Rafael Farina and Manolo "El Malagueño". Vélez suffered an untimely injury on a right-hand finger. This eventually caused him to give up performing altogether, putting an end to a promising professional career. Many attractive offers to perform and record had to be turned down. Vélez performed for many years at the "Las Brujas" flamenco tablao (club) in Madrid, where he and Manolo Sanlúcar developed a deep and long-lasting friendship. In the latter part of his professional career, Vélez was appointed professor at the Royal School for Dramatic Arts and Dance of Madrid.