José Astárida, best known as “El Pechuguita”, is the son of “El Pechuga”, a flamenco singer and composer of renown prestige who has work with music stars like BB Kink, Kiko Veneno, Triana, Raimundo Amador or Barón Rojo.
He began to sing as a professional with only 12 years old in order to make a living. At the beginning, it was his father who taught him the singing techniques. He continued with his education learning from some of the best artists: he worked with El Capullo de Jerez, El Extremeño, Manuel M Molina, El Torta, Rancapino, Marsellé, Agujeta, Carmen Ledesma, El Lebrijano, Concha Vargas and La Farruca, among many others.
José Astárida has performed in the main theatres of Spain like Lope de Vega, La Maestranza, in Sevilla, el Fibes, el Central and also the Biennal of Sevilla.
Besides travelling around the national geography, his art, talent and effort have brought him on tour around USA, Jerusalem, Serbia and also Casablanca.
Effortless and versatile as he is, El Pechuguita has worked also as a flamenco teacher as a part of the program of a foundation in Las 3.000 viviendas (a neighbourhood of Sevilla), with the aim of promoting flamenco among young people.
He has an aged and orthodox style of singing that reminds Antonio Mairena. From his throat sprout black and ethnic sounds that strongly wrap his deep and dark voice.
José Astárida knows around 18 kinds of cantes and he is an specialist in the so-called “cantes de fragua” (cantes originated while working in the forge) like “martinete”. Martinete is a purely gypsy and primitive cante derived from Tona (another type of cante). Cantes de fragua are the first flamenco cantes that appeared. They were born from the bellows, the anvil and the hammer. In those times, it was usual for the gypsy people to work in the forge. Martinete is a cante without guitar, only accompanied by the beat of the anvil. They sang these cantes to feel their sadness and sorrow. It is said that they were originated in Triana’s forges, where the purest forms of Martinetes were born and divulged by the Andalusian gypsies of those days.
He also masters some others primitive cantes like “Seguirilla”, one of the main “palos” of flamenco and also derived from Tona. This palo was born to be danced and it has also gypsy roots. For this palo the inspiration is really important, as much as being able to transmit the pain through the cante.
Another cante that he also knows is the “Soleá”. This cante was originated during the XIX century. Its majestuosity, melodic richness and deep execution make this cante very popular among the artists.
Finally, it is also usual to hear him singing “tarantos”. Taranto has its origin in Almeria (east of Andalusia) and it has a binari beat that accompanies the dance. It is also considered as a variant of the taranta with less mining theme. It is a solemn kind of cante that doesn’t allow virtuosity nor personal showing of.
El Pechuguita is a flamenco singer who, despite his youthness, has already dazzled many spectators around the world. His voice and technique makes him one of the young promises of flamenco sing.