¡Toma que toma!

We can’t help but start our tour of Spanish music with the primary Andalusian musical genre, and the closest Spain comes to having a “national” music — flamenco! Flamenco developed from the multilingual, multicultural mix of Arabs, Jews, Christians and Gitanos (“Gypsies”) present in Andalusia in the centuries after the 1492 Spanish “reconquest” of the Iberian Peninsula. Though the genre may have risen from the Andalusian streets by the 18th century it was well within the realm of professionals, with flamenco guitarists and dancers expected to pursue a rigorous course of study to develop their craft. Even so, flamenco music still moves performers and listeners most when it oozes emotion. Flamenco is not truly flamenco unless there are at least three elements present–cante (voice), baile (dance) and toque (playing guitar). In this video we enjoy master Flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia toque-ing his heart out.