Criticized for Enjoying Flamenco Music?!

That’s right! I’ve been criticized for enjoying flamenco music! And criticized by Spaniards, no less!! Is there anything MORE “Spanish” than Flamenco Music??

All those years living in Ohio, USA, I was listening to flamenco music almost daily, allowing its guitar and vocal sounds to virtually “take me away” to the country I pined for so desperately. Flamenco was part of my “assimilation” process. And now that I live in Spain I actually get criticized for listening to flamenco radio stations like RadiOlé! Can you beat that??!

Generations of Spaniards have been listening to flamenco music on the radio, I suppose, because there was little else broadcast. Now we have more choices, of course. So why would an American living in Spain choose to listen to flamenco music on the radio? Because I like it!!’

Now I feel like if I’m not listening to Spanish or English pop music that I’m “cutre“, “hortero“, or “old fashioned”. I’ve been called “cutre” many many times by Spaniards for choosing to listen to RadiOlé and it always ruffles my feathers. It’s as if I should be listening to the Rolling Stones or Elton John or whatever.

Is it that Spaniards are shunning their heritage because it’s not cool? There must be enough of a following for flamenco music because radio stations like “Radio Olé” are alive and well. I can’t believe that ONLY the gypsy population is the only group of people listening but maybe so. According to some, only gypsies, tourists, and old Spanish women listen to flamenco. Maybe that’s true but today’s standards. I don’t know. I’m inclined to take an opinion poll in the Puerta del Sol and ONLY poll Spaniards – if I could get more than a dozen of them per hour in SOL, that is. Surely I could.

The population in any given Suma Flamenca flamenco festival (every May) performance is, without a doubt, 95+% Spanish in attendance. Is it because it’s art-and-theater and not intended for tourists? Not sure. So it would seem that flamenco performances, at least, are enjoyed by Spaniards. But why if these same people don’t listen to flamenco on the radio or on CD in their homes?

I enjoy Spanish pop like Amaral, Chambao, Ismael Serrano, Jarabe de Palo and the like. But when I’m working or doing the dishes I like listening to flamenco music. Why? I guess because it seems so soulful, so ancient, so down-to-the-roots Spanish music.

Do YOU, a non-Spaniard, enjoy Flamenco Music? Or if you are a Spaniard, why – or why not do you enjoy flamenco music?

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11 Responses to Criticized for Enjoying Flamenco Music?!

  1. Pingback: Listening to Spanish Radio from Spain | Madrid Blog Spain by

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