This 1950s video features composer, guitarist Vicente Gomez performing some of his Alegrias composition.

For those unfamiliar with Gomez, he was born in Madrid in 1911 and got an early start in music performing flamenco in his father’s red light district tavern by the age of 8. Concert pianist Arthur Rubenstein eventually heard him play (presumably not while frequenting Madrid’s red light district!) and encouraged him to pursue a professional career. He toured the world performing in the 1930s and became a U.S. citizen in the 1940s. He was drafted into the Army in 1943 and discharged in 1946, after which he opened a nightclub in New York, performing classical and flamenco music on his guitar nightly. During this period he also served as President of the New York Classical Guitar Society. In the 1950s he moved to Los Angeles and opened “The Academy of Spanish Arts” to teach classical and flamenco guitar, flamenco dancing, Spanish language, etc. He was also a frequent contributor to film music.

Vicente Gomez passed away in December 2001 at the age of 90, just two months after his wife passed away.


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