This year's Mediterranean Music Institute award, which recognizes excellence in the great artists of Mediterranean music and its styles today, focuses on flamenco music and honors two of the greatest flamenco musicians, singer José Mercé and guitarist Pepe Habichuela.
Pepe Habichuela, born in 1944 as Jose Antonio Carmona Carmona, is a gypsy flamenco guitarist. His family is one of the most famous flamenco dynasties, boasting more than five generations of flamenco musicians. Habichuela learned from the great guitar masters Sabicas and Mario Escudero as well as from his own family, and brings a unique, personal sound to his guitar playing.
José Mercé is one of the major flamenco phenomenons of all time. With more than 600,000 albums sold in the last 15 years, the singer-songwriter from Jerez, Spain, is an artist who knows how to transmit, like few others, the message that flamenco is for everyone. His 1998 album, Del Amanecer, “converted José Mercé into an artist for the masses, placing him at the head of the flamenco movement,” according to flamenco scholar José Manuel Gamboa.
The award ceremony will feature a student band concert, Eleni Arapoglou Trio, which will perform a traditional Greek repertoire, representing the MMI spirit. The event will be open to the press.