The guitar has always been associated with the accompaniment
of Cante ( voice ) and Baile ( Dance ) In the past most of the great legendary
flamenco guitarists worked with Dance troupes, though performing with singers,
has always been looked upon as a better option ,because there was more opportunities
to solo. Many of the Dance Troupes would allow the principle guitarist to solo,
to give the dancers a chance to have a rest.
One of the first great Flamenco solo guitarists, was Ramon Montoya who introduced the Flamenco guitar as a solo instrument in its own right. Along with him were Pepe Martinez, Nino Ricardo, Sabicas and Escadero,and Carlos Montoya.The last 20 years has been dominated by the outstanding guitarist Paco de Lucia, who popularised Spanish music through the medium of large international concerts, playing alongside the great jazz/rock guitarists John Mcloughlan, and Al de Meola, he has nevertheless remained in the Spanish Cante/Baile style.
The emergence of the new style of Flamenco, after the period of La Movida following the death of the dictator Francisco Franco, is called Flamenco Nuevo. After this period, guitarists and Art generally, began to open up and reach out to a wider audience.Of these Guitarists Tomito, Gerardo Nunez, and Vincente Amigo,along with many others. are expanding the flamenco tradition. Here are three of the most famous Festivals in Spain ( there are many more):
These two venues organise flamenco events on a regular basis, (very authentic):