El Chino, flamenco singer and guitarist , José Manuel Ruiz Rosa

El Chino - Flamenco singing / "Cante"

About El Chino

El Chino


Name: José Manuel Ruiz Rosa

Type: Flamenco singing / "Cante"

Place of birth: Málaga

Telefono: 687 10 90 56

Fecha de Nacimiento: 14-10-1953

Mail: tonirivera@flamenconau.com

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José Manuel Ruiz Rosa "El Chino". Flamenco Singer, guitarist and composer. (Málaga 1953 -Benalmádena 1997)

We allow ourselves to talk about this Malaga genius of Flamenco in the words of his soulmate José Rodríguez Jiménez, who after his death directs this writing to him:


My admiration for him began in 1965 (he was 12 years old) because I heard fans of "El Perchel" telling me about his art. I heard it for the first time and appreciated that I sang with "angel" and played the guitar with a great rhythmic sense and an inimitable flamenco air.

El Chino, as a good bohemian in the 70's, travelled through the best tablaos in Malaga, Madrid, Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca accompanying the main cantaores and growing artistically.

In 1.978 founded the group ARTE-4 and left some important recordings for tangos and bulerías: "I want to pronounce your name" or "Don't go, stay"and other recordings like "Niña Pequeña" or "Breaking the chains", where El Chino was shown as a precursor of the new avant-garde flamenco currents that appear in Madrid with "Caño Roto","Las Grecas" or "Los Chichos". ARTE-4 was a flamenco group of great category where El Chino sang, played guitar and composed the songs; and where Amina's brother also stood out with the accordion and "El Moro" with the timbales.

After this experience, the Chino moved 3 months to Venezuela and because of his success, he stayed there for 6 years performing simultaneously in several tablaos in Caracas.


It is as a result of his return from Venezuela, in 1987, on the advice of his friend and teacher Paco de Lucía, when my friendship with El Chino and my presence with him increased until the date of his death, which is now three years (this letter was written in the year 2000, in 2017 is 20 years after his death).

We bring him to the Peña Juan Breva, we look for a series of private galas and artistic performances in Peñas and I accompany him with my wife assiduously to the festivals in which he took part.

I have a special memory of the year 1995 in which he won the National Flamenco Art Prize "Enrique el Mellizo" in Córdoba, for tangos and alegrías and his cache begins to rise, and death appeared at the best moment of his career.


His latest album "Vieja Letanía" is a clear example of El Chino's artistic maturity for the amount of styles he makes, along with good interpretation and vocalization, and the original musical contribution and the content of new lyrics with flavor to old by its theme and expression.

Las Soleares, Bulerías, Malagueñas de Chacón y de la Trini, Tarantas, Mineras, Romances, Alegrías and Tangos, contained in the album, are a delight for flamenco fans.

Previously, he recorded "Vístete de Fantasía" and "Una historia de amor", albums in which he alternated flamenco themes with lighter ones. EL CHINO HAS BEEN A GREAT FLAMENCO of our time and with projection towards the XXI century or even the XXII century, which has gone silently without general recognition.

Anyone who wants and knows how to listen will be able to discover an interesting cantaor even in those rumbas and ballads that he left recorded and that surprise you with their choruses and rhythm changes.

I would not like to omit that in 1985, El Chino created a romance for bulerías to García Lorca, with an exquisite taste, 10 years ahead of the flamingos of his time and the celebrations of the centenary of the great Federico from which other artists took advantage of so much.

The flamenco projection of El Chino's work will be hindered by its own complexity. He was a VIRTUOUS flamenco of rhythm, singing and music and incorporated nuances very difficult to reproduce by another artist or amateur. Either way... there's that left for anyone who's capable! My particular impression of El Chino's work is that, even though everyone liked it, it was especially admired by the artists themselves, who, after all, are the ones who know most about it.


I want to express that I think he is "the best of the best" at the risk of not appearing objective because of the affection that I have for him, because for me it is as if he had not died.

El Chino is flamenco: his cradle, his roots in C/ La Puente, cathedral of the best Flamenco, his lineage, his father Chiquito del Perchel, who sang very well, his adoptive father Juan el Africano (how Juanito played!) and his mother La Blanca, his way of life, etc... I repeat: Everything in El Chino sounds like Flamenco!

As an artistic legacy, apart from his own recordings, he has left behind songs that have been recorded by artists such as CamarónRemedios Amaya, Aurora Vargas, Morenito de Íllora,, etc.

In conclussion, I would highlight other values of El Chino that I have not highlighted in the course of this interview: the extraordinary lyrical beauty of the lyrics I composed.

The great musical mastery he had of Flamenco, which meant that it was not repeated in any performance. Other important values in El Chino include creativity, inspiration, purity and above all its PERSONALITY, which is the best virtue that should adorn a flamenco artist. 


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