Camaron De La Isla
Jorge Monje Cruz, aka Camaron de la Isla, recorded his first album at the age of 18, a 21-year-old guitarist named Paco de Lucia by his side. It was 1969, and flamenco had found its new voice. Over the course of his career, Camaron de la Isla (camaron means "shrimp"; he was so named for his surprising blond hair) would prove his worth as a flamenco singer in the stark, classic tradition, but he also went on to lay the foundations for flamenco nuevo, exploring new instrumental combinations that had been all but taboo previously. La Leyenda Del Tiempo, recorded in 1979, proved the turning point: Camaron dropped "de la Isla" from his name, recorded the album in the countryside with a houseful of musicians, and sported a beard on the cover. (It's said that older, disgusted Gypsies returned the record in droves.) His future was secure: the musicians on that session included the 19-year-old Tomatito, who'd played with him for two years already and would accompany Camaron until his death.