This was the name given to Jose Valle Fajardo by his Grandfather. Since then, the name Chusco has come to describe a guitarist of consummate skill and a profound understanding of the Flamenco traditions.
A native of Antequera, Spain, Chuscales grew up in a traditional gypsy family known for its professional musicians and dancers. His grandmother was among those who lived in the caves of Sacromonte, one of the legendary cradles of flamenco. Chuscales recalls, "there were shows with Gypsies from Granada who grew up in families that lived there. I wish you could see it, the families in the caves and the singing and dancing. There might be seven, eight, maybe nine caves, all with singing and dancing, and there would be more singing and dancing on the streets every day. It was unbelievable. It was a very formative time in my life. It was like a dream. This is where I learned everything — the rhythm, the beat, the guitar. I am still learning from those thousands of nights performing with my family, my father, my Grandfather, and my friends.
Chusco began guitar lessons at age six under the instruction of his uncle Joaquín Fajardo and Maestro Agustinillo, two prominent masters in the region where such greats as Segovia have studied. As a teenager, Chuscales found himself in the company of Paco de Lucía, who often performed in the area and would take time to play with the talented youngster and answer his questions. Meanwhile, he began his performing career as a dancer — an experience that gave him a detailed understanding of flamenco's rhythmic nuances. Chusco elaborates as the accompanying guitarist, "I can understand and follow dancers. I can see where they are going before they take their next step. I know what the dancer is looking for, how much tension is in the music, the right rhythm when to play strong or soft, so if a dancer asks me for something, I know what they ask." Chuscales' affinity for dance is delightfully apparent in his artistry; blending music and movement as he does is no accident. "It's something we learn through life," he says. "Many people don't have my luck to grow up in the caves, learning flamenco in a Gypsy family where the music comes from tradition to tradition, from legend to legend. I thank God I have been around such great musicians all my life.
Whether versed in flamenco traditions or not, audiences find Chuscales' music touching and exotic; his presence is engaging, and his skill as a guitarist is simply astounding. A Chuscales concert is an experience that audiences take with them.
Chuscales performed in many productions including "Chuscales & Friends" (Santa Fe, NM 2022), "Festival Flamenco 2021" (Albuquerque, NM 2021), "Lemon & Orange" (Santa Fe, NM 2021)("Tree of Life" (Santa Fe, NM 2020), "Gypsy Moon & Stars" (Santa Fe, 2019), "Tulsa Jazz Festival" (Tulsa, OK 2019), "Monet's Moon" (Santa Fe, NM 2019) "Feria de Abril in Santa Fe" (Santa Fe, NM 2019), "Monet's Moon" (Santa Fe, NM 2018), "Holiday Dream" (2018), "Carmen La Golondrina" (Santa Fe, NM 2018), "The Little Match Girl" (Santa Fe, NM 2017), "Dance with Spirit" (Santa Fe, NM 2017), "Illusions in Arts "Calligraphy & Choreography" (Santa Fe, NM 2017), "Romance de la Luna "(Santa Fe, NM, 2016), "Una Nota de Lorca" (Santa Fe, NM 2021 & 2016), "Gypsy Book" (Santa Fe, NM 2015), "Flamenco Masters at Cleo Parker Robinson Theatre" (Denver, CO 2015), "Houston Spanish & Flamenco Festival 2015" (Houston, TX 2015), "Flamenco X3" (Santa Fe, NM 2015), "Gypsy Passion" (Santa Fe, NM 2014), "Flamenco Fiesta!" (Santa Fe, NM 2014 & 2013), "Forever in My Heart" (Santa Fe, NM 2013 ), "My Gypsy Soul" (Santa Fe, NM 2012), "Chuscales at Old Main, Boulder" (Boulder, CO 2011), "Chuscales y Mina Fajardo con Las Tres Mujeres" (Las Vegas. NM, 2010), "Chuscales Live at MIT" (Boston, MA 2009), Telluride Jazz Festival (Telluride, CO 2008), "Chuscales at Tubac" (Tubac, AZ 2007), "Soul del Arte Tradiciones e Innovaciones" (San Francisco, CA 2005), "Ainadamar, Landscapes and Impression" Santa Fe Opera (Santa Fe, NM 2005), "A Night of Flamenco Magic" Lakewood Cultural Center (Denver, CO 2005), "Santa Fe Jazz and International Music Festival" (Santa Fe, NM 2004 & 2001), The John E. Morlow Guitar Series "Flamenco Night" (Chevy Chase, MD 2004), SJC Multicultural Arts Series "Flamenco" (San Juan Capistrano, CA 2003).
He played the guitar for the prince and Prince of Spain at Santa Fe in 2009. He appeared in films "Camelamos Nauerar" (1976), "The Flamenco Guitar of Jose Valle" (1985), "Gypsy Heart" (1998), "Flamenco Passion & Soul" (1999), "Viaje Al Duende" (2009), "The Spanish Table" (2010) and "El Payo" (2010), "Españoles en el Mundo - Nuevo Mexico" (2013), "CNN Hero – Roger Montoya" (2019).
He received the Dora More Award for outstanding sound design/composition (2010, 2009 & 2007) Isadora Duncan Awards for composition, arrangement, and direction (2011 & 1997).CDs: "Al Alba" (1988), "Formas e Imagenes" (1991), "Forever in My Heart" (1996), "Soul Encounters" (1999), "Midnight in Madrid" (2001), "Best of Narada New Flamenco Guitar" (2003), "El Payo" (2010), "Azafrán" (2018), "A Time of Silence" (2020), "Natural Meditation (2020), "O Holy Night" (2021).
Teatro Paraguas presents
Santa Fe’s premiere flamenco troupe, Compania Chuscales y Mina Fajardo, will present Flamenco Passion as the Flamenco Fiesta de Santa Fe Fall 2023 concert at Teatro Paraguas.
Mina and Chuscales have performed internationally for decades, inspiring and teaching hundreds of flamenco students.
Joining Mina and Chuscales is guest dancer Fabian Esquiplula Sisneros, a teacher, flamenco dancer, writer, poet, and choreographer, and two singers— Nicolasa Chávez, and Gretchen Williams.
Principal Dancer Monze Diaz is joined by fifteen other dancers, including Lacey Romero, Micah Birdshire, Katherine Pavuk, Charo Shaffer-Perez, Estrella Garcia-Vigil, Allison Hoyman, Paz Asquith, Alandra Lopez, Angelique Cordova, Jenna Espinoza, and PAPA Flamenco.
Chuscales (Music Director, Composer & Guitarist)
Mina Fajardo (Artistic Director, Choreographer, Singer/Cajon Player & Dancer)
Fabian Esquipula Sisneros (Special Guest Dancer)
Monze Diaz (Dancer)
Nicolasa Chávez (Singer & Dancer)
Gretchen Williams (Singer & Dancer)
Lacey Romero (Dancer)
Micah Birdshire (Dancer)
Katherine Pavuk (Dancer)
Charo Shaffer-Perez (Dancer)
Estrella Garcia-Vigil (Dancer)
Allison Hoyman (Dancer)
Paz Asquith (Dancer)
Alandra Lopez (Dancer)
Angelique Cordova (Dancer)
Jenna Espinoza (Dancer)
PAPA Flamenco (Dancers)
Dates and Times:
Friday November 10 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday November 11 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Sunday November 12 5:00 - 6:30 p.m.
$25 general admission
$20 seniors and students
Online Tickets: https://teatro-paraguas.ticketleap.com/flamenco-passion/
Venue: Teatro Paraguas @ 3205 Calle Marie, Santa Fe, NM
Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/teatro.paraguas
For More Information, Contact: email@example.com
One of the most accomplished and captivating flamenco guitarists in the world, Jose Valle Fajardo “Chuscales” grew up in a traditional gypsy family of musicians and dancers in Antequera, Spain. His grandmother lived in the caves of Sacromonte, one of the legendary cradles of flamenco. Chuscales recalls, “There were shows with Gypsies from Granada who grew up in the caves. It was unbelievable. It was very formative time in all my life, like a dream. This is where I learned everything—the rhythm, the beat, the guitar. I am still learning from those thousands of nights performing with my family and my friends.”
Chuscales has performed around the globe, including appearances at Lincoln Center, Telluride Jazz Festival, the National Hispanic Cultural Center, and the Santa Fe Jazz & International Music Festival. He was musical director and principal guitarist for the prestigious Maria Benitez Teatro Flamenco for nearly two decades and he is the recipient of many awards.
Joining Chuscales onstage are Mina Fajardo (cajón and vocals), Marc Yaxley (guitar), Monze Diaz and Katherine Pavuk (dancers), and Argos MacCallum (spoken word).
Dates and Times:
Tuesday & Wednesday, December 19 & 20, 2023
$25 in advance
$30 at door
$20 mothers, seniors and students
Venue: Teatro Paraguas @ 3205 Calle Marie, Santa Fe, NM
Social Media: https://facebook.com/teatro.paragas/
For More Information, Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org ; 505-424-1601
In Caló, the language of the Spanish Gypsies, Chusco means the crunchy end of a loaf of bread. Chuscales, or Chusco for short, refers to a person who is a "guitar-cruncher." José Luis Valle Fajardo, better known as Chuscales, is a guitarist with consummate skill and deep understanding.
Sign up to hear about upcoming shows, albums, and events.