Bassoonist and composer specialized in flamenco music. Known by his pseudonym, Niño Rubén was born in Doña Mencía on March 25, 1997. Courage, elegance, youth, freshness or virtuosity are just a few terms that assure the unquestionable recognition on the part of his audience. He excels in several recitals and competitions related to the classical world, from which he will gradually move away. Highlights the obtation of the Special Jury Award in the 1st Seville Double Reed Society Competition in 2014, awarded for his «outstanding performance and musical talent». He debuted as a soloist at thirteen, moment in which he began to compose his first works in a self-taught way. From these years, he combined both facets with the world of Flamenco, starting to naturally develop a new and unprecedented resounding universe in the history of music.
He begins his musical education at the age of nine in the Professional Conservatory of Music "Maestro Chicano Muñoz" in Lucena, where he finishes his studies as one of the winners of the Germán Romero Bellido Award, with one of the best records in his year. During this decade, he learns with numerous instrumental chamber formations and orchestras from all over the national territory. Then, he begins the Bachelor of Music in Performance at the Higher Conservatory of Music "Pablo Sarasate" in Navarra, north of Spain, where he receives honors in 2016. It is in this year when the American publisher TrevCo Music Publishing, one of the most important dedicated to double reed instruments, publishes his work as «something totally different, original and challenging». At the end of, he says goodbye to everything which is considered orthodox, after take part in the Virtuosos spanish television program. According to the interpreter himself, the main objective that he will always pursue is «the absolute freedom». The vocation regarding teaching also exists in Niño Rubén's professional career from an early age. His passion for music makes him interact with children and young people through different educational workshops. At the age of nineteen, he is a professor of harmony and composition at the University of Granada thanks to the educational support program of the Young Society of Musicology, who review: «He owns a breathtaking style that is born from the flamenco essence».
From a very young age, he began to sketch his first compositions, instinctively looking for the completely unexplored. Both the lyrics and the music of all of them are mainly influenced by the culture of their land, Andalusia. In 2013 he presented an intimate "Song without Words" after the death of his «angel from heaven», and in 2014 his pieces "Pasión según San Lucas" and "Adagio & Burlesque" were premiered, in Doña Mencía and Lucena respectively. They include transcripts, melodies derived from folklore and rhythms from flamenco music. This year he founded the Ensemble Trémolo, with whom he produced his first album called "Comienzos". Also this year he gets a scholarship from the European Community which allows him to travel to Turkey and study his traditional music as a member of a project called “Music, Universal Symbol in Communication”. In this way, he begins to increase his discourse through other world music, also interested in the aesthetics of contemporary music. The piece "Andante Appassionato & Eight Variations", composed in 2015, is proposed the following year for the prestigious Fernand Gillet-Hugo Fox International Competition. In 2016, his work "Rustiques" is premiered at the Museo Oteiza in Navarra, commissioned by the bassoonist José Lozano, soloist in the Symphony Orchestra of this region.
On June 2, 2017, "Al Toque del Fagot Flamenco" comes to light, a work in which Niño Rubén exposes a new way of playing his instrument, which was developed by himself in order to be able to incorporate the bassoon into the world of Flamenco. Trevco Music Publishing grants him the distinction of «Creator of the Flamenco Bassoon» due to his research and dedication. For the first time in history, the bassoon achieves to display the typical depth of this art. Along with the sale of the work, the British publisher June Emerson Wind Music reviews: «Its author is known for introducing the bassoon to new musical styles. Flamenco and bassoon have never before been associated with one another. The second unedited version leaves the performer to use his imagination and feelings to determine his own performance».
This unique sound will not be heard until a month later, on July 2, 2017 in the Doña Mencía Castle, in an intimate show, Tribute to Camarón de la Isla. His particular sound is a pleasant surprise for the audience, achieving making this instrument the protagonist as it rarely had been. Carmen Romero, culture councilor at the municipality of Doña Mencía, presents the act stating: «This invention grows out of his necessity of expression. It emerges as flamenco does, out of his own heart, and after a process of huge research, he fuses the sweet and deep sound of the bassoon with the anguished soul of flamenco, something never done up until now. We are going to witness something unique and incomparable». In the sections of El Bermejino review: «His bassoon detached from the classical melodies we are used to and let the audience discover new sounds, flamenco harmonies and rhythms unknown for this instrument until now». A few days later, he receives one of the Cruzcampo Foundation awards, that bet on Southern Spain Talent. This recognition allows him to collaborate in the symphonic shows with the flamenco singer José Mercé. Radio Lucena explained about: «His bassoon, however, has already been investigating the relations between classical music and flamenco, because in fact he is preparing an autobiographical album in which flamenco sound will in an unprecedented way reveal his own life path» .
The presentation of flamenco bassoon culminates in 2018 within the XLVII Congress of the International Double Reed Society, where he has the opportunity of premiering his work "Al Toque del Fagot Flamenco". Trevor Cramer, director of TrevCo Music Publishing, review: «It is a privilege to publish the fine editions from Rubén Jiménez here in Spain, and it will be even more exciting to hear the premiere of his flamenco bassoon. Keep looking for his name, he will become very famous». Bassoonists and oboists from all over the world who attend his recital praise him with a great acclaim and international criticism places him as one of the most innovative bassoonists so far. The Australasian Double Reed Society's Reeding Matter magazine highlights his recital as one of the most representative ones within these conferences. Arek Adamczyk, doctor at the Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznan (Poland), explains: «Flamenco Bassoon by Niño Rubén was my highlight of entire conference. Rubén's playing was exceptional. I was truly impressed by his fiery and rich sound that became an integral part of this stunning flamenco show». Another of the attendees, an Argentine bassoonist Gonzalo Brusco, reviews: «It must surely be one of the most innovative bassoonists I've seen in recent times. The initial surprise and expectation is giving way to a very pleasant musical moment. The generous final applause from the public was a valuable recognition of his way of playing the bassoon, very natural and original. The show has stood out in the framework of such an important event, where other Spanish artists have also participated, but none with such emblematic works of Andalusian culture. Fortunately, there are people like him who not only represent their culture in a valuable way, but also open up a whole world of new expressive possibilities to the bassoon repertoire».
In 2019, he finishes his debut in front of the flamenco public at the Cathedral of Cante, during the LIX International Festival of Cante de las Minas in La Unión (Murcia). All this presentation is collected for the short film "El Nacimiento del Fagot Flamenco" (The Birth of Flamenco Bassoon) recorded, in addition, at the Lucena Peña Flamenca —the third oldest in the world—, with the collaboration of the guitarist Luis Calderito in a tribute to Juanito Valderrama. This short film summarizes the artist's creative conception and how the making of this original premiere has been. The president of the Lucena Peña Flamenca, César del Espino, reviews: «Sometimes, the purity of Flamenco is found in what, a priori, may seem like heterodoxy, and when that happens, the result is usually highly creative and promising. With an overwhelming talent, Niño Rubén takes his bassoon to the most flamenco sound registers and he returns them recognized and recognizable in the most orthodox classicism of Andalusian art». This is the first audiovisual to be shared publicly, since during the following years the young musician made sure that his innovation had not been heard by the audience. In this way, as Luis Pérez reviews in ExpoFlamenco: «The young musician from Córdoba places his instrument on the front line of Flamenco».
«Knowledge, youth and daring in the documentary El Nacimiento del Fagot Flamenco».
«It is often said that everything has been already invented. But that statement usually has its limits. In fact, there are people who like to destabilize those limits. And doing it with your feet on the ground, without losing your balance. A young native from Doña Mencía, and resident in Lucena, has decided not to lose his ‘balance’ in relation to tradition but he has also decided to go forward and to cross certain borders. He has taken a risk: to introduce the bassoon in flamenco music».
«Only a clean and new look, together with an eager knowledge could find the union between this instrument, so closely linked to classical music, and the ‘anguish’ of flamenco. A personal and artistic evolution which starts from an innocent and courageous vision. A starting point, a new way of observing. Like the eyes of a child».
On September 7, 2019 he closes IV Alquería de Bormujos Flamenco Festival (Seville) with a special performance right after the singer Esperanza Fernández. Luis Perea, president of the Bormujos Peña Flamenca, reviews: «The audience fell silent when they heard how such flamenco melodies could come out of that woodwind instrument, with so much pinch, beat and duende». In 2020, Leonardo Sardiña invites the young musician to Encuentros Canal Sur, being the youngest guest to have gone through the program, and presents him as: «Brave and risky, respecting tradition and expanding the borders of flamenco. A Cordovan from the subbética that revalued an instrument hitherto somewhat hidden».
PO Box 759. 14900 Lucena, Córdoba (Spain).
Tel. (+34) 663 166 731 |
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Among his many contributions, he has opened a path as a soloist for an instrument as atypical as the bassoon, including it in spaces where it has never been seen before. His inquisitiveness have led him to perform in places such as the Marenostrum Music Castle Park Festival (Malaga), the Festival Cazorla Flamenca (Jaen), the Cartuja Center Cite Auditorium (Seville), the Bormujos Flamenco Festival (Seville), the Mosque in Cordoba, the Episcopal Palace of Astorga (Leon), the EDP Gran Vía Theater (Madrid), the International Festival of Cante de las Minas (Murcia) or the IDRS conferences. Throughout his career he has worked with high flamenco figures such as José Mercé, Alicia Morales, Araceli Campillos, Dorantes, Luis Calderito and David de Arahal; in addition to other prestigious names of the musical and artistic field such as Ramón Torrelledó.
Niño Rubén es uno de los principales contribuyentes para que el fagot sea cada día más conocido y valorado. Su continua búsqueda artística es avalada por diversos premios, además de contar con el aplauso unánime de la crítica internacional. Dueño de un sobrecogedor estilo que nace de la esencia del flamenco. No solo es el creador del fagot flamenco, sino el descubridor de todo un universo de nuevos sonidos. Junto a sus composiciones, lanza esos sonidos al mundo convertidos en un color claramente diferenciado dentro del arte flamenco. Su estilo altamente vanguardista ofrece una gran aportación de cara a expandir las fronteras del género. Su obra artística se centra en ampliar el escaso repertorio del fagot, en donde propone recursos extendidos y nuevas posibilidades inéditas para este instrumento —técnicas son actualmente referentes y utilizadas para composiciones contemporáneos—. Su discurso destaca por contener un discurso creativo e inesperado, lleno de matices que van reflejando su verdad más íntima. Actualmente trabaja con varias editoriales internacionales como TrevCo Music Publishing, aunque todas sus obras flamencas son autopublicadas y vendidas en exclusiva a través de la plataforma
Niño Rubén is one of the main contributors so that the bassoon is increasingly known and valued. His constant artistic research is endorsed by several awards, as well as having the unanimous applause of international critics. Although he is usually identified with the name of 'flamenco bassoonist', this only leads us to the hallway of his essence, because Rubén is not only the creator of flamenco bassoon, but is considered the discoverer of a whole universe of new sounds. Along with his compositions, he launches these sounds into the world, converted into a clearly differentiated color within flamenco art. His highly avant-garde style offers a great contribution to expand the borders of the genre. His artistic work focuses on expanding the scarce repertoire of bassoon, where he proposes extended resources and unprecedented new possibilities for this instrument - techniques are currently referents and used for contemporary compositions. His speech stands out for containing a creative and unexpected speech, full of nuances that reflect its most intimate truth. He currently works with several international publishers such as TrevCo Music Publishing, although all his flamenco works are self-published and sold exclusively through the platform.
Más allá de su labor concertística, es invitado frecuentemente a participar en diversos proyectos como docente o conferenciante. Desde 2016 realiza su iniciativa llamada "Saca el Cien por Cien de Ti", unas clases magistrales dirigidas a instrumentistas y compositores interesados en adentrarse o profundizar en el mundo del flamenco. El principal objetivo no es otro que desarrollar la voz personal de cada asistente gracias a la propia experiencia de Niño Rubén como artista experimental. Se profundiza en la comprensión de la estética así como el lenguaje y la organización musical del género, englobando desde los niveles más básicos a los más avanzados, y desde lo más tradicional a lo más contemporáneo. Su actividad como flamencólogo se ve especializada en el ámbito de la composición y la contemporaneidad de este género. Cualquier lectura especializada nos remite a la simbiosis entre el fagot y el arte flamenco: ¿Puede el fagot ser uno de los protagonistas dentro del mundo del flamenco? (Revista de la Asociación de Fagotistas y Oboístas de España), Acercamiento a la trayectoria del fagot en la música actual y recursos contemporáneos, La inclusión del fagot en el arte flamenco (Trabajos Fin de Grado).
Enseñanzas Artísticas Superiores en la especialidad de Flamenco, Itinerario de Flamencología. Conservatorio Superior de Música “Rafael Orozco” de Córdoba. (actualmente)
Enseñanzas Artísticas Superiores en la especialidad de Interpretación, Itinerario de Instrumentos Sinfónicos (Fagot). Conservatorio Superior de Música “Rafael Orozco” de Córdoba. Obtiene la máxima calificación por su Trabajo Fin de Grado “La Inclusión del Fagot en el Arte Flamenco”.
Enseñanzas Artísticas Profesionales en la especialidad de Composición. Conservatorio Profesional de Música “Maestro Chicano Muñoz” de Lucena (Córdoba).
Título de Bachiller en la modalidad de Artes Escénicas, Música y Danza. Instituto de Educación Secundaria “Juan de Aréjula” de Lucena (Córdoba).
El Periódico Extremadura: «Un instrumento musical es una extensión de nuestro cuerpo, de nuestra forma de sentir» (28/03/20)
Pellizco Flamenco: «Con Camarón empecé a enamorarme del flamenco» (05/05/20)