Happy Birthday to Carlos Montoya, Flamenco Guitarist

The blazing fingers of musician Carlos Montoya were first given to the light of day on December 13, 1903, in Madrid, Spain.  Montoya’s passion was flamenco music, which he attributed to his Gypsy heritage. He began guitar lessons at age 8, started his professional career in the lively, elegant cafes of Madrid, and launched his solo career in 1945.  Montoya spent most of his life on tour, accompanied by his translator and wife, Sallie.  He dazzled audiences in North and South America, Europe, and Asia.  He enjoyed small venues such as universities and colleges, as well as spacious concert halls.  His listeners were part of his passion, as his wife said, “He has to reach out to people, and that’s when he starts to be creative.  He’s hooked on audiences. To Carlos, his music doesn’t really exist except when he’s playing it for people.” Carlos continued to play for his beloved audiences through his farewell tour at age 85.